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Link to $40,000 Cello Return


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As requested, here is a link to the story reporting that the cab driver that returned Lynn Harrell's cello wants an astronomical sum:


Editing: here are some links to the first two reported stories.



[This message has been edited by fatcat (edited 05-25-2001).]

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And here is more from today's NY Daily News (nothing like a slow news day):

- The cab driver accepted $1,000 after he realized that his requests for $40,000 were going nowhere.

- Harrell also sent him a note saying thanks for his honesty.

- The $1,000 was given to the cab driver the way he wanted: cash. He also had to agree to make no further demands upon Harrell.

Sorry, can't provide a link to this story as the on-line edition has not yet been updated.

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I would imagine that the doorman knew Mr. Harrell and that he played a really expensive instrument. He is probably not covered by insurance to accept something like that. It would be like asking the doorman to accept $4 million in cash or diamonds. What if the cello had been damaged in some way that wasn't visible to the eye - who could prove when it happened or who was responsible. The doorman did right in taking the guy's number and passing it on to Harrell - it is surely spelled out in his job how to handle such a situation.

But it is sad that in our litigious society, people/companies feel such a need to cover their asses!

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Here's my question. What ever happened to returning something because it was the right thing to do? Granted, the cabbie did this, but who does he think he is, asking for 40K? If I were Harrell, I'd take back the $75 check and rip it up, for being so ungrateful.



[This message has been edited by kreisler13 (edited 05-27-2001).]

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I still don't figure how the maestro forgets his "baby" in the truck. Premature dementure? Why would he even put it there? I'd be afraid of a freeway pile-up and "suzzie" the Strad is history! Rather have it inside the vehicle on the back seat. I never let a valuable (to me) instrument out of my sight if I can help it - insured or not.

I recently travelled for an hour with friends through Manila in a crowded mini-bus and reluctantly conceded putting my viola in the rear compartment that opens right onto the road. Had visions the whole time of the door flying open and viola going under the wheels of the car behind.

Having said all that I confess to once being half-drunk and leaving an italian fiddle on an Asian subway and gave it up for lost only to get a call a week later from a distant station master asking me to call and collect it. Can't remember if I gave him something or not - I was so relieved and shocked.

Hmm. Maybe I sympathise with Harrell after all!


[This message has been edited by Omobono (edited 05-27-2001).]

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Since when does honesty have a price?

I'm reminded of a TV show from about 5 years ago where people who did kind things or honest things were given a gift of several thousand dollars (this was for stuff like helping someone take groceries to their car, etc.)

Of course, half of the people refused to take the money. Anyone else remember this show? It was only on TV like one time.

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I still think it's a Jackie Du Pre's cello thing...

As to why cellists would put their instruments in the trunk - a friend who is a professional cellist said that cabbies often raise heck when she tries to put it in the backseat, saying it will rip the upholstery, etc. (like NY taxis are so grand crazy.gif ). Also, if you are travelling with more than one person that might be the only place for a cello!

[This message has been edited by fatcat (edited 05-28-2001).]

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Originally posted by Miranda:

the taxi driver obviously helped him stick it in the trunk ? So why didn't he help him take it out again ?

You're right, that would solve all the problems. Unfortunately, in NYC most of the time all the help you'll get from the driver is that he'll pop the trunk.

I am remembering one time in London when I tried to be helpful and give a cab driver directions to my destination. He assured me that he knew the way, and of course, he did. Wishing New York were as civilized...

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This is what I just can't understand !(forgive me if someone has already raised this concern,) .... the taxi driver obviously helped him stick it in the trunk ? So why didn't he help him take it out again ? There was probably more pressure on the cellist's mind, than on the cabbie's.

In this country the taxi driver is responsible for opening and closing the trunk !!! - If he allows a customer to place his goods in the trunk, - he is ultimately responsible to make sure the customer takes it out again.

This taxi driver seems to think that "finders'keepers',losers'weepers'"....

kind of law applies.

I'm not sure how much a regular cab tip is over there, so I'm not sure if I think it was stingy or not.

I've also heard of parents leaving their beloved children behind,when seriously distracted by worrisome thoughts. Hard to believe if you're not that kind of person yourself .... I am (worse luck) and find myself doing outrageously 'vacant' things when under serious pressure.

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