How we got our piano

My daughter is in Washington, D.C., for spring break.

When we went there on a family vacation we got a big thrill. A twin to our piano is on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

We have an antique quarter-grand Chickering. It has amazing sound, which we are told will continue to be true for generations.

We almost didn’t get it. When we found it in the classifieds, it was advertised at $2,500. We figured it was old; we’d have a tuner look at it and offer what it was really worth. If the old lady selling it let us pay a little every month we could pay off two grand in a year.

This plan began to fall apart when the tuner said it was worth more than she was asking, and completely unraveled when she told us she underpriced it, because she wanted the money right away.

It was a humiliating afternoon. My son was testing out the goods with a Bach piece when she threw us out of her powder-blue living room with a huffy ‘well I never!’

This was a month after his second surgery — the one to remove the disfiguring tumors.

Because whatever was wrong with him had never been seen before, the Discovery Channel did a Medical Diary episode about him. All of the local papers ran a story about the local boy who was on TV.

The day after the show first aired we got a call from the old lady we offended. She knew there was something special about that boy, she insisted.

She wanted us to take the piano for $2,000, pay for it as we were able, and accept the bench, lamp and sheet music to boot.

We had too much pride for that. We would pay the full price.

And by ‘pride,’ I mean money from my mother-in law.

link to photos

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2 Responses to “How we got our piano”

  1. willl Says:

    DC is fun even if we stay on the bus a lot ( we are on the way to Jamestown now, 4h drive from gettysburg )

    I can’t remember if we are going to the smithsonian, but if we are.I will look for the piano.

  2. My son’s second surgery « Stories O' Mine Says:

    […] this calls to mind my son’s second surgery, which I had meant to tell you about way back when I told you about his […]

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