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Plymouth woman gives cherished heirloom violin a new life

Plymouth woman gives cherished heirloom violin a new life
Plymouth woman gives cherished heirloom violin a new life 02:46

PLYMOUTH - A Plymouth woman drove for three days to give a family heirloom to a Maryland police officer after seeing his story on the CBS morning news. That item is a century old violin.

"I didn't even have to think about it for a nano second. This is so perfect," said violin owner Denise David-Fitzgerald. "This is exactly what I want to have happen to this violin."

David-Fitzgerald used to listen to her father play the guitar when she was a child. Her father moved to the United States from Albania and took up the violin. He also owned a restaurant in Natick.

"Once he came to Massachusetts and opened a restaurant, it's not an easy business. He left like a bat in the morning and came home like a bat. He would every once in a while, pick it up and play a few tunes," said Denise. "One particular tune I remember him playing is called Flight of the Bumblebee."

Alexander Strachan
Denise David-Fitzgerald and Alexander Strachan CBS Boston

In 2021, Denise watched a CBS story about Alexander Strachan. He is a police officer in Maryland who plays the violin for people in hospitals or on hospice care. He was inspired to take his talents to nursing homes after he played for his mother. She was battling breast cancer and Alzheimer's.

"Unfortunately passed away," said Strachan. "It brought her back to me when she couldn't remember people's names. She would hum or sing when she wasn't feeling good."

Denise shot Alexander an email, and the two struck up a relationship. Recently, Denise drove three days to give the violin to Alexander.

"We went on an excellent adventure in three days of fog, rain and cold," said Denise. "We took him and his wife, and adorable baby, to dinner. He was kind enough to play a couple songs in the lobby of the Quality Inn."

"Through COVID I was giving her life updates. She got to meet my family. I brought my son. She held him as I played her violin," said Strachan. "It was the first time it had been taken out of the case in years. The strings were really old."

The violin is currently in the shop for repairs and news strings. When it is ready, Alexander will take it to play for people in need. 

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