Monday, August 9, 2010

My Piano


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Let me tell you the story of my piano. That's it above, with me and Ronnie's grandson, Lake, playing! It's not a real good picture of it, but you get the idea.

In March, 1992, I pleaded with my husband (at the time) Cliff to go look at player pianos. I had always wished I knew how to play the piano, and this seemed the next best thing! He was not all for it, but since I was recovering from brain surgery caused by an aneurysm, and he was a sweetheart, he gave in; and away we went to see Mr. Kadwell. Mr. Kadwell used to work for Liberace in earlier days, taking care of his pianos, so he knew a few things about them. He started a business in a little Southwestern Washington town of refurbishing and refinishing player pianos. It was fascinating to see all the various stages of rebuilding and by the time Mr. Kadwell had explained the workings of the innards, Cliff was sold! Yay for me!! We bought this 1918 Story & Clark upright, player piano for $2795.00, completely rebuilt.

We also got a catalog of new player piano rolls, and proceeded to buy songs like crazy. We had Christmas songs, Patsy Cline, Kenny Rogers, Frank Sinatra, etc. etc. etc. And we had some of the best times playing and singing. And all the grandkids loved it! Well, then Cliff got lung cancer and died in 1996. In 1998 I met Ronnie and moved to Missouri and we got married. Alas, he did not have room for my piano in his little house. So, since my youngest daughter and her family bought my mobile home, I left the piano with her. She did not care for it and never played it. When I would go back to visit at first it played, but after a few years it did not function at all. The reason being because it wasn't played! of all things. The leather pouches had dried up or something. So in 2008 she sold the mobile and owed me $5000.00. But what to do with the piano? She didn't want it and couldn't sell it. So I said, "use that money you owe me and ship it to me".

So one day in August, 2008, are you ready for this?, a FedEx truck pulled into our yard to deliver my piano!! (We had moved to a bigger house.) The poor driver was alone, he had no idea what he had until he got to my house,the piano was wrapped in all kinds of packing material and crated, and he had no way of getting it off the tailgate of the big truck. And it was probably 100 degrees outside. Our landlord came to the rescue with this tractor with a forklift and took it off the truck and set it just inside the garage. It sat there for a couple weeks and then 4 big guys from church came over and they got it into the house. Hooray!! It cost $1000.00 to ship it FedEx.

Then, of course, it didn't work! Now to find someone to "repair" it and make it play again. I found one man not too far away, but he was busy for at least a year, and only did it in his leisure. I finally found a guy in Illinois, who came and did some work, but it was not complete nor satisfactory. Then I found another guy in St. Louis who came to the house (we lived about 60 miles north of St. Louis) and took it apart and showed me what needed to be done, and what the other guy did/didn't do. He took the part and replaced all the leather pads on the keyboard and I don't know what all. He said it needed new bellows, but in the meantime we could electrify it and get by. So that's what we did. Now I didn't have to pump it to play, just throw the switch! I would guess all in all getting it playable cost me another $2000.00. So now I have about a $6000 player piano. If I fix the bellows, that will be about another $500.00; but I'm happy for now.

In the meantime, I was going on EBay and bidding on old piano rolls and having a blast. It was great to be able to play my piano again. I have so many songs from the 20's, 30's, 40's and so on it's amazing. I have 4 plastic tubs full of rolls! HOWEVER, the next thing you know, we are moving to Oklahoma, with no house. Can't you just see the piano in our little 17 foot camp trailer? NOT. So my good friend in Troy, Missouri volunteered to keep the piano for me until such time as I would have a place for it. She loved playing it and said it was no problem. I'm glad of that, because it's now been at her house for almost a year and a half! BUT WAIT!! That's not the end of the story! Ronnie said that he would go to Missouri this weekend and get my piano!! I'm so excited. Now I have to re-arrange furniture and make room for it. That just puts JOY in my heart! When it gets here I'll post another picture for you.

Hope I didn't bore you with all the details. It just goes to show that if you are patient things always work out. I'm sure God has had a hand in all this. So you all remember to be patient, and see what happens. Take care and God bless.


carolina nana said...

Isn't it funny how some objects just seem to be destined to be in our possession!!!
Hope you get that piano home so you can have many years of enjoyment from it.
Blessings to you

Sonja said...

So glad you are getting back soon! Thanks for making me tear up....about Cliff. It's nice to hear you talk about him. He's been on our hearts and minds more, for some reason, lately. We love to tell the kids about him.