One Minnesota man has created a musical legacy by building violins for each of his 10 grandchildren.
Cambridge resident Gene Van Alstine received a violin many years ago from his grandfather, whom he remembers with fondness.
"All evening he'd play fiddle and let me sit on his lap," he told KARE 11 News.
These memories led Van Alstine to consider bequeathing the violin to his own progeny, but that presented a problem: He has 10 grandchildren, and there's only one violin.
"You can't cut it in half," he said. "And I wanted each one of them to have the same feelings that I had."
Gene Van Alstine (middle, back) spent a decade making 10 violins for his grandchildren. Gene - who was given his grandfather's fiddle - wanted to continue the legacy. "I want to leave them something that's special," Gene says. Next on KARE #land10kstories photo: Lori Zabel pic.twitter.com/9IYFZAmCsz— Boyd Huppert (@BoydHuppert) August 12, 2019
Thus, he set out to learn as much as he could about lutherie so he could make a violin for each of his grandchildren. He read extensively for three years before even starting his prototype, which was built using cheap wood from a local home improvement store.
Although his journey faced setbacks due to recurring bouts of bladder cancer, he finished the tenth violin this year.
On Easter Sunday, after an estimated 10,000 hours of labor over the past decade, he presented his grandchildren with their violins.
While he set out to honor the legacy of his grandfather, Van Alstine ended up making one of his own.
Watch the original segment from KARE 11 News below: