What a wonderful story we heard on NPR’s Morning Edition today – the Stradivarius violin stolen from Roman Totenberg 35 years ago was to be reunited with the family today. Nina Totenberg, famous NPR reporter, tells the story as only she can – how the violin disappeared after one of her father’s performances, how her father always knew who took it but couldn’t prove it, and the unlikely series of events that reunited the violin with the family.
The story woke me up this morning to total alertness, because the Drinan family has a connection to that Strad. Back in the 1970s, Roman Totenberg occasionally performed on that Strad at fundraisers for my uncle, Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts, and Bob later became good friends with Nina in Washington.
At my uncle’s wake at Georgetown University in 2007, Nina told me that she really wanted to attend Bob’s funeral the next morning, but she was scheduled to cover Scooter Libby’s trial. We looked at each other, smiled and nodded, and both allowed as how Bob would want her to go cover the trial. And so she did.
The Drinan family is thrilled that the Totenberg family has recovered their lost violin.
P.S. Here’s the update to the story from All Things Considered. The family plans to restore it and then sell it to a “great concert artist.”