Random Memories of German-Pianos and Such

2 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I believe I’ve mentioned in previous musings, that I had piano training from the day I started first grade until I graduated from high school.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I was a prodigy.  I believe God gave me a talent for music – and the piano in particular – but I was not given the “gift” of music.  I can play, but I always must have a piece of music in front of me – I am unable to play “by ear” as so many can and do.  I am grateful for what I have, and rejoice with those who have the gift of music, and I enjoy their talents.

But that’s not what this post is about.  There has almost always been a piano in my life.  I grew up with a piano in my house.  I remember always having an old upright piano at home.

1950 – Judy at the old upright piano

Then in 1952, when I was just 11 years old, my parents purchased a new piano.  That’s the one I still have.

1952 – the new piano

1952 – Judy at the new piano

When I went away for college, there wasn’t one.  And when Fred and I married, there was no room in our little apartment for a piano, even if we could have afforded to buy one.

But following the death of my father, my mother re-married after some years, and they moved into an apartment, with no room for the piano.  So I inherited that piano – and it still sits in my living room now.  But it wasn’t until the early 1970’s that I acquired it.

2020 – at home in Orlando, Florida

When Fred and I went to Germany (Wiesbaden) in 1967, we joined a small English-speaking church there.  Soon I was asked to be the church pianist.  And so, after we moved from the economy housing to government quarters, we rented a piano from a company in town.  We were amazed to find that those who brought the piano up three flights of stairs….were two older gentlemen!  They had some sort of straps around their backs, and the end of the straps – in front of them – had a large “hook” at the bottom that fitted under each end of the piano.  We couldn’t believe our eyes when those two men – one on each end of the piano – bent, then lifted – and the piano came up!  They carried that piano those three flights of stairs like it was a walk in the park!!  And two years later, when we left Wiesbaden, they carried it down those same three flights of stairs, like they were carrying something as light as a feather!  No grunts or groans from them!  Amazing!

Ten years later, when we moved to Heidelberg, Germany,

it was during a time when the government was allowing more than 2,000 pounds of household goods to be shipped, so we, essentially, brought our entire household with us.  Well, most of it, anyway.  We knew there would be washers and driers available to us, so we left ours in storage.  However, my piano came with us!  I honestly don’t remember the trip up – once again it was three flights of stairs.

Christmas 1982 – Karen in front of the piano in our quarters

But the trip down, three years later, was something else.  No strong older gentlemen this time, but it took five hefty men with many straps around and under the piano to get it down the stairs.  If you will look at the picture below, you will see large windows at each landing.

Well, on the way down, a couple of the men simply just gave up their jobs and let the piano go to the other three.  It happened on the stairway, not the landing, and I had visions of my piano flying down the rest of the stairs and straight out that landing window – and onto the sidewalk below – smashing into a million pieces! Fortunately, the other three men were strong enough to hold the piano in place until the other two could gather their strength again, and carry the thing the rest of the way down.  Whew!

And one last tidbit about that piano.  It was made by Everett, and instead of a wooden pegboard, it had a metal pegboard.  That made the instrument VERY heavy!  As it was being off-loaded at our new house in Virginia – again with FIVE men carrying it – they

got if off the truck and had to stop and catch their breath!  Then they got it to the bottom of the stairs going into our house.  Again they had to stop.  One of the gentlemen asked: “who plays this thing?”  I replied that both my girls and I did.  He then said, “that’s a good thing, because if this was just a piece of furniture, we would leave it right here!”  Fortunately, they didn’t, and it made it into our living room.

1992 – Seaford, Virginia – Judy and Mom in front of the piano

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

One Response to “Random Memories of German-Pianos and Such”

  1. divoran09 August 2, 2020 at 10:13 am #

    I really like piano stories and this was a good one.

    Like

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