Let Saga Be Your Guide March 2002

Do you travel in order to do business, or do you do business in order to travel?” It’s a question that I have attempted to answer more than a few times, and like Freud’s great question, (“What do women want?”) It remains – unanswered when I dropped out of college for a while to pursue a career as a mailman in Konstanz Germany, I promised my mother that I would come back and graduate (I did). I thought that time abroad would put the wanderlust to sleep, but it did not. Three years in Central Luzon in the Peace Corps didn’t do it either. And the more you travel, the more these “exotic and foreign” places feel like home. A few months ago, we were in Manchuria in the northeastern part of China. Manchuria shares borders with Russia, Siberia and North Korea. I was a post-World War II baby, but nonetheless many of my preconceived notions about this area were formed by stories read when I was a boy about battles fought so long ago. So I was surprised again that I felt so comfortable there, so far from home. ‘So, where is home?” I asked myself.

In spite of all wandering and 25-year stint in San Francisco, home for me is still back in the woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. But as I looked around me there in Manchuria I saw trees, birch, maple, poplar, and pine – all of the foliage seemed so familiar to me. I realized that Manchuria is a slice of home too. That day, we visited warehouses of wonderfully figured maple and 150 year old spruce that have been prepared for our new Maestro Series Cremona Violins, which will be formally introduced to the market at the Frankfurt Musikmesse this month. Since 1981, Saga is the first in violins from China – not just first to import directly, but first in innovation. When you travel down strange paths it always makes sense to have a guide who is familiar with the terrain. For more than 20 years most dealers of string instruments have chosen Saga as their partner and guide. We appreciate your confidence in us.

Richard Keldsen
San Francisco
March 2002