Seventeen years ago, at a time when I thought we were at the downsized time in our life, we found we had to upsize, so we bought a 4 bedroom colonial in Washington Township, a “Premiere Community”. It says so, at Five Points, right on the water tower with clock that doesn’t work.
After we settled in and found we had a spare room, a formal parlor, my husband Mike voiced a desire to learn to properly play the piano. So we went to Wacker’s and found a nice, well used, Wurlitzer Spinet, which they delivered for a reasonable fee.
What Mike wasn’t counting on was that learning to read music is like learning to read another language. It wasn’t that he couldn’t learn to read music, it was the time and practice required to master it that wasn’t working for him. And so, the piano sat.
In my family, I and each of my siblings all read music. My sister is an accomplished orchestra musician with the bassoon. My brother played banjo and I played the guitar. I would never consider myself to be an accomplished musician, I enjoyed playing the guitar, classical and traditional music, mostly at church, but over time, arthritis and the vanity of a gel manicure, prevent me from pursuing it. But, to this day, I still maintain my instruments, in hopes that one of my grandchildren will pick it up.
Back to the piano; over the years guests and kids would tinker on it. One guest actually sat down and played Beethoven’s Fur Elise. That’s the best workout this little spinet got while living in our house. The regular repertoire was either Chopsticks or Heart and Soul. I would play Do, Re, Mi for the little grands, but that stinking b flat would always get fat fingered…and then I’d say, “Ok. We’re done.”
Over the years we’ve tried to find a new home for the piano. Because of a piano’s weight, nobody was interested enough to adopt it. During the Todzilla years, she has shown a knack for timing and tune, but she is not interested in the concentration of learning to read and practice musical notes.
Once again we’ve tried to give the piano away, free. New carpeting to be installed put us on a timeline. We posted in as many community venues as we knew of and had not one nibble of interest. After a suggestion to check out Craig’s List, I was disheartened to see there were several other ads for free pianos looking for a new home. But then, I saw other free ads of items that were already at the curb. So I posted on Craig’s List that “on the curb, Wurlitzer Piano, Spinet, fair condition.”
That didn’t work either. The only attention this little piano at the curb got, was being cannibalized for its bench and hood. I am not sure what could be of value of the hood, except that it’s solid maple.
In all our efforts to give it away, we found most people preferring to invest in a piano wanted a digital piano. In this age of instant gratification and ease of use, especially with music, a digital piano is less expensive than an acoustic instrument, certainly not as heavy, but digital is certainly more fragile, being electronic. It’s like the difference between playing a vinyl record and a CD…the sound is not the same.
So, this is what I see as I look out the window of my home in the “Premiere Community” of Washington Township.
Sad, isn’t it?
We notified the township that this piano needed to picked up and disposed. They assured us it would be done, at some point. That was a week ago. I hope my neighbors in this Premiere Community find this sight as amusing as I do.
Bye, Bye, little spinet. I’m sorry we couldn’t do better by you.