Today in My History
2001: One Step at a Time
2002: Shoes and All
2003: The Spawn of Satan
2004: Day One
2005: Who Needs Desperate Housewives?
2006: It's Queer-Hunting Season
2007: The Interrobang
2008: Leader of the Pack
The Lion King
Books Read in 2009
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
VIDEO OF THE DAY / WEEK / WHATEVER
5 June 2009
The piano is leaving next weekend. It's a piece of our family history and it's going to be strange to see it go.
I still remember the night we bought it. We had gone to dinner at the home of our friends Andrij and Lilea (either that or we went to a restaurant and went back to their apartment afterwards). I remember they lived near the railroad tracks in Berkeley. They were moving and had to sell their piano and wondred if we wanted to buy it. I think we had bought our house in Oakland by that time. I don't remember having the piano in our rented house. That would mean that I was pregnant with Paul at the time. I remember that we paid $100 for it.
I can still see our kids, very small, pounding on the piano, where it sat in our dining room in the house in Oakland. I remember trying to pick out pieces from books of sheet music, dusting off whatever I remembered of my 2 years of piano lessons.
It's been in our living room here in Davis since 1973. I have many times wanted to chop it up and throw it out because it takes up SO much space in the room and is hardly payed at all any more.
Jeri got lots of use out of it during her 12 years of piano lessons. Walt would occasionally sit down at it and play the finale of Iolanthe (I think that is the only thing I've heard him play on it).
I remember the kids using it for Egg Nog Galas at Christmas time (check the first part of the Video of the Day). As the kids got older, the piano solos turned into combos with everyone playing the instruments s/he could play.
I remember Jeri and our guest from England, Fiona, playing duets on it while Fiona was staying with us. In the foreign student years, when our house was usually filled with young people from all over the world invariably somebody would sit down and play...or a couple of people would pound out an energetic "Heart and Soul" duet.
I remember Paul spending hours creating music on the piano. He never took lessons because he wasn't patient enough to learn music, but music was just in him and it eventually had to spill out onto the keyboard of the piano. Nothing complex, but simple tunes that he would play over and over again.
I remember the time my father got his friend, the piano tuner, to come and tune the piano. He had decided to give us the tuning as a gift. What a nightmare! The piano tuner had had a stroke and only had the use of one arm, so my father was going to be his second hand, but my father had very poor fine motor skills, so it was like getting help for watch repair from Oscar the Grouch. The two men were at it all day and so late into the night that I finally went to bed and left them at it. They were gone in the morning (I think I heard later that they left around 3 a.m.). The piano got tuned, but I don't think the two men ever spoke to each other again. The problem was that the piano was so old that every time the guy went to tune a string, it would pop and he'd have to replace it.
I had it tuned again sometime within the last ten years. It was when Steve was coming to Davis to give a concert and was going to be staying with us. I knew I had to have a well tuned piano for him.
I don't think the piano has been touched, much less played, since that time. As you can see from the photo, it is used today more as a place to display photos!
Getting rid of the piano is the first step toward finally tearing up the puppy urine soaked rug and replacing it with Pergo. I can hardly wait. I don't dare invite anybody into the house because it smells so bad, but it's gone way beyond simply shampooing the rug.
The piano is going to a good home. And it's actually staying in the family. Ned's sister-in-law, who has two small children, is taking the piano and I hope that the instrument will give them as much pleasure as it has given us over the years.
NB: Tomorrow night is our second "pre-trip" dinner in the Bay Area. I'll be spending the night down there, so the next entry will be posted late.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
MILES TO NOWHERE: 113 miles