The Violin Maker
Virginia had a great
passion in life, and that passion was for classical music. She
had a day job all right, and was pretty good at it, but nothing
came close to her musical passion.
She became quite
accomplished on both the cello and the viola, but it wasn't
enough for her to play the instruments. After a while, Virginia
decided to try her hand at make the instruments.
surprise, even her own, she did very well. Her reputation
spread, and even the famous violinist Isaac Stern purchased and
frequently played a violin Virginia had made.
Virginia was an
absolute perfectionist. Everything about her instruments had to
be just right or she'd scrap the whole thing and start over. The
construction had to be perfect, the strings just so, right down
to the kind of wood. She'd search all over for the perfect wood.
Virginia started one
viola and finished the front part of the frame, but she wasn't
satisfied with the wood for the back. So she started looking
around -- and looking and looking.
Where did she finally find a piece of wood she thought was
perfect? Well, it was a shelf inside a phone booth in New
York City! This was at a time when phone booths still had nice
shelves to hold the phone books.
So Virginia called
the phone company and asked if she could buy the shelf out of
the booth. They thought she was crazy, of course, and told her
no. She made outrageous offers of money for that little piece of
wood, but the phone company wouldn't budge.
Well, she had to
have that piece of wood, so one night Virginia and a friend came
up with a plan to steal the shelf out of the phone booth. She
got it out all right, but, being a good citizen, she'd replaced
it with another piece of wood. But then she ran into problems:
the new piece wasn't the right size! It didn't fit into the
Virginia and her
friend became a little frantic, for they knew they had to
replace that shelf. There was a hospital across the street from
the booth, and they took the wood there to a restroom where
Virginia's friend took a saw and started to fix the new shelf.
guard, and when a nurse stopped and asked her what all the
racket was in the restroom in the middle of the night, Virginia
mumbled something about it being the only time workmen could get
Well, they finally
replaced the shelf, the phone company never knew what
happened, and Virginia finished her viola.
By all accounts it was one of the finest instruments she'd ever
isn't remembered today for her being a great musician or
instrument maker, even though she was both. But her name does
People with children
have heard Virginia's name mentioned in the delivery room.
That's right! Virginia was a doctor. It's a little known fact
that the wonderful musician and physician created a system for
the evaluation newborn babies to see if they needed special
medical attention. It's probably saved the lives of millions of
And it bears her
name -- the Apgar Score, created by Dr. Virginia Apgar.
by Chaz Allen
Goddesses archetypes abound in these true stories of
legendary American women and the things they did to make
this country great. You are a goddess too!
your own goddess archetype. Learn more about the