A musical instrument purchased for $40 at a garage sale in Lacombe, Alta., three weeks ago turned out to be an $8,000 oboe that had been stolen two years ago from a musician with the Red Deer Symphony.
“I was in tears when I found out because I really never thought I would see it again,” said Melody McKnight, who was reunited with her instrument this week.
“Every concert, I get complete strangers that come up and ask, ‘Whatever happened to your oboe? Did you ever get it back?’ Now I can smile and say, ‘Yes, I did.’ ”
The oboe she played for 10 years was snatched from her vehicle while she was getting her young children into the house.
“I was assuming someone hoped they were grabbing a computer and when it wasn’t, they just threw it in the garbage dump.”
When she got the oboe back, McKnight immediately began to play it — in part to see if it had been damaged. Luckily, the result was sweet music.
“I pulled out a reed. I put it together and I played it for the police,” McKnight said with a laugh.
“I gave them a really short performance. I wanted to see if it worked and it’s still in fantastic condition.”
The hand-made instrument was a product of A. Laubin Inc. in New York.
McKnight said when she got a call from the company recently, she thought it was because she was on a six-year waiting list for another oboe.
Instead, the company told her it had been contacted by a woman who bought the oboe at a garage sale and wanted to know its value. Company officials checked the serial number and quickly determined it was McKnight’s stolen instrument.
I love happy endings!