Saturday, December 01, 2007

Welcoming the New Addition

Adoption date: 12/1/2007
Size: 5'8"
Weight: Around 650 pounds
Age: 24 years
Color: Walnut
Name: Baldwin Model R

After playing an abysmal piano – a Steinway Model M made in 1923 – on Thursday, I concluded that I wanted much more than a name. I called up my long-time piano tuner Walter Kim, who had worked for Gordon Keller until the store recently closed. Mr. Kim is a soft-spoken Korean man who knows everything there is to know about pianos. He assured me he could find me the perfect piano at a price I could afford. Yesterday he delivered on that promise.

I just had a feeling like I was going to be meeting a new family member as I got ready to go look at the piano. At 3:30 we walked into Christine’s Pianos in Great Falls. Christine is a shy Korean woman who has been in the business for 23 years. She showed me several models, but Walter told me the very best one for me was the Baldwin, the one I saw as I walked in the front door. He had already negotiated a price $10,000 lower than that sticker price.

Someone recently told me that you know the right piano immediately when you play it. I might have said that last weekend of the Steinway Model A for $42,000 that I played at Rick Jones Pianos. But it was already sold and I knew $42,000 was simply out of the question.

As I played the first chords on the Baldwin, I knew it was the one. It was new enough that it didn’t need the major repairs that the fine old Steinways need. It perfectly matched the furniture in our living room, much better in fact than the spinet that I had gotten at age 10. It could put out a powerful sound. And it was in perfect condition.

So the search was over. When could they deliver it? How about the next day? That would be today.

I watched incredulously as the 3 big burly moving guys brought in my unassembled grand piano and put it back together before my eyes. Then they took away my old blond friend as a trade-in. I fondly said goodbye.

There’s considerably less floor space in our living room, but it has graciously accommodated what will probably be my last piano, as my friend Deborah reminded me.

I teasingly told her I picked a piano that would look good with her double bass. She’s coming over later this afternoon to meet the new arrival and to see what kind of music we can now make together.

Isn’t it a beauty?


Blogger Kate said...

Spectacular! And I know it will love your touch!

Congrats on the adoption.


3:45 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kate -- Deborah and I decided the piano and her bass were made to be played together! It's just too bad the piano isn't as portable as the bass.

11:43 PM  
Blogger KC said...

Can't wait to meet the new arrival. We should have a piano shower! Would the proper gift be sheet music or a CD?

4:40 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Gorgeous! congratulations!

8:33 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

KC -- No gifts necessary. Just your agreement that it sounds as good as it looks. Can't wait to see you!

8:34 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- But wait to you hear it! It's a rich smooth sound.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous KassyK said...

What a beauty. I was just telling Chef that I so miss having a piano in the home. We went to the music store so I could play the ones there for a bit just to remember the feel. :)


3:04 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Beauty! I can only imagine what beautiful music will come out of it when you play it! Make a recording and post it!

3:35 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

I'm with MOI - I'd love to hear it! If it sounds as good as it looks, we're all in for a treat.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kassy -- A piano is a wonderful thing to have in your home. Hopefully you will once again have one to play. It is such a good source of entertainment, therapy, enjoyment.

MOI -- Bring your guitar on down and play with me!

Pauline -- You can be our audience!

9:02 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Gorgeous. What a great gift to yourself!

10:33 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

Congratulations! It's awesome.

What a fabulous Hanukkah gift for yourself.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

Absotively gorgeous!
I just read the book, "Piano Shop on the Left Bank" and know you would enjoy reading it as well. May it stay in tune for a hundred years!

1:13 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Congratulations! I hope you have many wonderful hours and memories playing it.

6:35 PM  

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