Piano Memories


The guts of a piano are a marvelous thing: gorgeous curves, perfect geometry, use of space – and memories uncounted.  I helped lift this upright on to the back of a pickup.  It was beyond repair and my friend was taking it home so his baby girl could play with the strings.  He demolished the case and left the sounding board on the porch for her amusement.  My first thought upon seeing it was wow, what a beautiful composition (pun intended).  Now, looking at this photo, I wonder what it has seen, what songs it has played.  Did some young child plunk away on it dutifully for an hour a day only to give it up with adolescence?  Or maybe did they become a more accomplished musician and graduate to a full sized piano?  Did it sit in the foyer of a home as decoration, or was it regularly played at parties?  Did it play ragtime?  Boogie Woogie?  Hymns?  Maybe it was the piano in a small church that couldn’t afford an organ, giving vehicle to the musical offerings of the parishioners.  Maybe it had several of these lives.  Now it is the occasional plaything of a small child, strummed idly by passing adults and photographed by me.

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