Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Piano Comes Today & Beautiful Is MUDDY!!

I can't keep up with all the MUCK around here. I throw wheel barrows full of shavings in the stalls, and by the next day they're mush. And, Beautiful, is the worst one at rolling around in muck. The rest of the horses seem to try to keep themselves clean--my white horse is shiney white, my overo Paint is mostly white, but Beautiful is mostly MUD!!!! And, I can't wash her off in this cold weather.

What do I do???

Well, the piano search is over, and there is a winner. She's coming home today.

I went to a consignment shop here in town, Dan the Piano Man, and this wonderful lady, Jesse, took me through, piano by piano. I sat and played EVERY piano in the shop--about 30.

I started with the one I came to see--the Kurtzman 5'9" 1924 Grand. It was $3500, and had a very nice wood case. On the internet it looked PERFECT. But when I sat to play it, ay yi yi--no sound. It needed new strings, hammers, tuners--everything. It was just plain DULL.

Ah well, I sighed, to Jesse. Not meant to be. But since you have all these other pianos, I might as well try them out and see what's out there for me when I'm ready to buy.

I made my way around the store, one by one. Then, way back in the corner, sat this little 1919 blackish/brown Hamilton/Baldwin 5'1". It was stuffed under the airconditioner and hadn't been there long enough to even get tuned.

I looked at it like, I want to play it?

Sure, I want to play it. Of course I want to play it. Would I discriminate by looks and position? No.

So, I squeezed back there and began to play. sounds better than most of the rest up here, I thought. And, it's only 5'1"--I looked at the sticker--and it's only $1,000. What's up with this piano, Jesse? What's WRONG with it? (She'd been brutally honest about all the rest, cracked harps, sound boards, old strings and hammers.)

Well, she says, most people who buy Grands are here to buy furniture--and this one has sound, but it's not good furniture.

If you read my last post, you know words like that are "music" to my ears. Although, in honesty, under that not-so-bad, 1919 finish, lies beautiful African Striped Mahogany just wanting to get out and show itself off.

I had a $1,000 Christmas money--and here was a little piano that sounded great for $1,000.

And come to find out, whoever brought it there for consignment, had also put in new strings, tuners, hammers, and resurfaced the harp!! That's why it sounded so amazing. The owner of the shop, who hadn't tuned or, therefore, inspected it up to that point, said if I didn't buy it he was raising the price to $2,500 with the new information. But I knew a good deal when I played it.

Last night my husband and I went in to see it again and play it since it had been tuned that afternoon. Amazing--much better than I had remembered. Every key struck in perfect pitch--no tinny sound, no rattling--like some of the older grands.

Today it's getting delivered. I don't want to post pictures of it until it's sitting in my music room--right next to my other old friend--the upright which I've enjoyed for 17 years. They'll be roomates until the ground dries up and we can get it downstairs.

I'm so excited! A piano from 1919--the year of Prohibition--before the Great Depression, WWII, Vietnam, Iraq, Going to the Moon, computers--it comes to me from an entirely different world.

More on this later....


  1. Congratulations on your new piano! What a great deal.

  2. Thank you, Andrea. It does excite me, as you can tell! To think, you can get that much of an instrument--harp, wood, strings, pedals, ribs, soundboard, hammers, tuners--for $1,000...why doesn't everyone go out and buy old pianos?!?

  3. How exciting! Now you've got me all excited! You sure got a good deal! I'm sure you'll be very happy with it!

  4. What a wonderful find, Linda! I love when things like that happen. I so admire people who can play the piano. I played trumpet back in my high school days, still have the silver Olds my parents bought me, just don't play it. My son has been teaching himself banjo and I love listening to him play. He's become quite good.


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