Frank Almond’s Stolen Violin


Stolen but not forgotten

Gilda Radner said it best, “What’s all this I hear about violins?  What’s the big deal?”

It was a big deal in Milwaukee when first stringer Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Frank Almond lost a borrowed $5 mil. string leaving a concert.  Two days later the culprits were found, one named Universal Knowledge Allah (you couldn’t make this stuff up as hard as you may try.)  He’s 36 so he should know better but he’s also Universal Knowledge so one would think a little bit of the universal might have filtered into his knowledge.  “Allah?”  It’s like Smith to Christians.

Frank’s Stradivarius was on loan to him so Frank was able to take it where ever he wanted to go – a concert here, Starbucks for a quick latte, Dairy Queen because the wife wanted ice cream, Pick ‘N Save for a gallon of milk.  How many places can one visit carrying $5 mil of something?  (And I worry about my nice wrist watch?)

Frank was Tasered which left him stunned by more than the loss of $5 mil.  The day the news hit about the theft everyone at work was convinced the violin was out of the country the same night.  There was no question about it.  (Too much “TV drama” for that bunch?)

What my fellow employees didn’t realize was that it was a hostage situation.  Universal and Salah (the other guy) would have held up the violin on a YouTube video for Frank to see and then cry about waiting for the financial release figure.  (What do you feed a Stradivarious while in captivity?  “We’ll kill your family as well!”  Although the Stradivarius family is dwindling in numbers.)

The police rounded the “usual suspects” (who originally said that line?  Say the man’s name in the comment box) and found it on a south side home in an attic suitcase, still breathing $5 mil.  The violin had no apparent wounds but apparently was badly shaken by the ordeal.

“Gilda,” says the news anchor, “it’s violence, not violin.”  Gilda looks at the camera with her great, confused face and says, “never mind.”

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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