For years my sister and I took piano lessons from a tiny woman named Alkirta Jones. She and her husband had never had children, so her students were her babies. From the very first early years, when we played on the upright piano in her studio room, to the later days when she allowed us the privilege of debuting a finished piece on her baby grand, she had energy and enthusiasm and love for each of us, and our family.
Once I was a teen so many other things crowded into my life, mostly school related, so I dropped piano lessons at the end of a school year. I remember being somewhat relieved at the time, because I didn’t like performing for concerts, and I was going to play in the high school band and needed my time to practice flute/oboe. But Mrs. Jones kept in touch with my mother, and they remained close friends, doing things together like church luncheons and ladies groups until Mrs. Jones death. I haven’t really played a piano since, but as an adult, came to long for one to have in my house for playing carols on, and the Moonlight Sonata.
There was never room in any of our previous homes… but this new one.. room aplenty. And so recently, when neighbors wanted help from my strong guys to move a piano, a chain of events happened. The man about the place asked if they wanted to get rid of it, as basically the piano was being moved out of the way since it wasn’t being used. They wanted it out of the way, but were not ready to part with it permanently. So we are storing their piano until such time as they no longer want it, or we are done.
In exchange, we will restore it. It came with quite a few sticking keys and a bit of dust. A local man had worked on it before, and agreed to come out and look at it again. For a couple of weeks we played without the F key or the C below middle… unless someone was willing to stand at the top and unstick the keys as one was playing. Our youngest was fascinated by the insides, and was more than willing to be the unsticker.
This was the magic week when the piano man came and assessed the piano. He fixed the sticking keys and gave it a quick once over. He will be back in a few weeks to take the center out of it and do some more serious repair. But at this point, it plays! He suggested it is near 100 years old, but will be looking into it further. All I know is that it is a happy piano. Both younger boys and I are enjoying playing it. The youngest has learned to play “Oh When the Saints….” The older plays a bit more modern rock music. I play the Moonlight Sonata, and favorite old hymns from the hymnal I grew up with, before our church decided it needed to be more modern and ruined all the music. 🙂
As I was saying, this old piano served its previous family well.. and you can tell it has had a happy life. We hope to give it a bit longer, and a few more years of happiness, and we had the perfect place for it.. just waiting until it found its way to us!