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Albert Mitchell's Unique Fiddle

Albert Mitchell plays a beautifully crafted violin made in the early 1900s by an uncle by marriage, S.D. "Sam" Minor of Huntsville, Texas. It has a mahogany top and back, made out of wood from some fine furniture that Minor acquired. The fingerboard, pegs and tailpiece are made from a horse's leg bone and look like yellowed ivory. When Minor moved from Texas to Tuscumbia, AL, he brought the fiddle. Albert was afraid to pay too much attention to it because he thought his uncle might think he was trying to get it from him, but Sam told him he could borrow it when he needed it. One day while travelling to a fiddlers' convention that brought him past Minor's home, he borrowed the fiddle. Afterward, when Albert told his uncle he'd won the contest, Minor said he could have it when he died. Albert claimed it quickly after Minor's death, knowing there were a lot of relatives who were lining up to get it. He has turned down numerous offers to sell it.

Based on an interview by Joyce Cauthen in Moulton, AL, March 22, 2003. Reprinted by Permission.