Journal of a Living Lady #272
Nancy White Kelly
There is an elephant in our den. Numerous outer scars indicate a battered life. Its ivories are yellowed and chipped. No doubt several folks have tried to tame this old elephant. A church finally adopted the blackish, 600 pound pachyderm. Eventually it was relegated to the basement hall where it has stood quietly in a corner, oblivious to the various church activities taking place nearby.
But the elephant is lonely and neglected no more. Perhaps this monstrous pachyderm has found a permanent home. Our home. Most elephants roar, but poke this one here and there and a rich, mellow sound comes forth. I don’t care about the looks. It is what is inside that counts. That goes for elephants, people, and old pianos.
Yes, at last I have a piano, an ancient up-right. It was a discard from a church that was up-grading its musical instruments. Buddy figured life is too short to hold back on life’s pleasures, especially such a simple one as this. He encouraged me to get it and worked out the moving with our son and his friend.
The piano came rolling into our home today. The floor creaked under its heavy weight and the wheels left a permanent crease in the linoleum. Oh, well. I am still glad to have it.
The walnut needs lots of touching up. The internet tells me that there are over 5,000 moving parts in an up-right piano. Looking inside mine, I can only imagine. The piano innards are layered with decades of dust.
My task now is to learn how to play the old Kohler and Campbell upright.
I did have a half-dozen lessons, more or less, many years ago, but the console piano we acquired back then had a very short tenure. The den needed to be partitioned to allow another bedroom for our growing number of foster children. Sadly, the piano had to go.
Today, when the new, old piano settled into our den between the couch and the bookcase, the keys beckoned me. I pulled up the bench and gave it a try. Surprisingly, a couple of old hymns flowed from my finger tips with just a few missed notes.
It is sad that the old hymns are fading away. The future generations will never know the truths of those faithful songs that have encouraged us old timers through difficult times.
Therapy comes in many forms. Mine will come from the music from this old upright. Just out of curiosity, I wonder why it wasn’t called an up-left.