[lit-ideas] Re: Sunday Story

  • From: Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2011 20:55:29 -0500

Lots of stories about blind piano tuners, but mine's about a deaf one.
Unfortunately he starved to death.

Mike Geary

On Sun, Jul 3, 2011 at 1:51 PM, David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:

> This week I talked with our piano tuner, as one does, about how to build a
> trebuchet, and whether Chriscraft-restorers in Alaska might want to buy the
> "Neverbudge."  The subject of nightmares came up.  I mentioned something I
> saw in Mexico, a grand that was situated on a patio no more than two hundred
> feet from the sea.  This, in a part of the world that suffers hurricanes. It
> was a Yamaha, but had a wild, honky tonk sound.
> Some music doesn't do well in honky tonk mode, but one evening there was a
> Tex-Mex themed event.  The pianist chose melancholy nineteenth century
> waltzes.  I applauded the matching of piano to music.  No one else did.
> "The worst piano I ever tuned," said our guy, "was the first.  It was in
> Guam, in a room also very close and open to the sea, but in addition to the
> humidity problem there was also a full, south facing wall of glass, so one
> moment the wood was full of water, and the next, completely toasted."
> "Then there was a piano for the annual salmon bake outside of Juneau.  The
> event was always half way up a mountain.  They built a roof structure to
> protect the piano from rain, which is what the weather did ninety nine days
> out of a hundred, but it was otherwise open to the elements.  They had a
> bunch of insulation draped for all the time when the piano wasn't being
> used, but eventually I figured out that that was one you just had to give up
> on."
> "I was more into boat building and repair in Alaska.  And black powder.
>  And trebuchets.  Did you see the Northern Exposure episode when they
> launched a piano?  That was a real piano, they used, you know."
> "With the black powder we'd go out into the desert--this would be after I
> moved here--and people would shoot at stuff, but the grand finale was always
> the guy who shot the piano with cans filled with concrete from a cannon he'd
> made.  Regular rounds didn't do much to a piano, but when he shot that
> cannon, boy that did some real damage."
> "Oh, and then there was the piano that belonged to the local cops.  It was
> in a social club they had.  Either the cops or a previous tuner couldn't
> figure out how to get into the case, so someone took a hacksaw to the
> mechanism.  They broke into their own piano.  What a nightmare."
> David Ritchie,
> Portland, Oregon
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