Posted by: nativeiowan | February 18, 2013

Nana’s piano

We have lovely small, pink bud roses in the back yard. Connie planted them. They remind me of my Grandmother, Nana. She always smelled of roses.

I was just out, caught a heady whiff, and thought of Nana… and her piano.

What a monster piece of furniture that piano was. I helped my  Father move it from Dubuque to Indee. It was a bear of a job, both ways. I was youngish, maybe 13 and Dad, being Dad, did not have a lot of helpers and though I was still a kid I was big enough to work. I recall the moving of the piano as a stressful exercise.

The piano comes to mind in that we’re just deciding that buying a piano may not be wise.

The story continues…

We’ve just set up part of the front area as our music/ game room.


What do we see here?

Mendozza’s drum kit,

Angelo’s Fender 6 string electric on the shelf,

Gracie’s Taylor acoustic down front

My 1/1 fiddle against it,

Mendozza’s 1/4 fiddle with Angelo’s 1/2 fiddle in the cases on the shelf,

My 1922 Martin mandolin almost in the pict to the right… the old mandolin is a story unto it’s self…

Photo on 18-02-13 at 5.46 PM

There is also Uncle Teddy’s big, old Sigma-Martin Dreadnought that’s in the shop getting it’s neck straightened.

Oh yea, the ukulele is in the case by the drums.

So, I guess it makes sense that we discussed buying a piano…

We are getting into the music and having a lot of fun doing so.

Mendozza has been a drummer since young but he confidently picks up most instruments and makes pleasing noises.

Angelo wanted a guitar for Cmas and Santa brought him more than a guitar. Santa brought him a Fender.

Grace has been playing Uncle Teddy’s ax but misses her smaller Tekenene Paul confiscated. I think Qalo has the nice little Hohner.

So we decided to look for a smaller guitar. Do you ever have enough guitars?

In the process of shopping for the Taylor I decided to throw a good mandolin on the shopping list in order to bring the price down. Why a mandolin, you may ask… it’s simple, the mandolin and the violin are cousins. They are tuned the same and are basically played the same.

This is the boys second year of violin lessons.  We went shopping a few weeks ago for good fiddles. We rented last year and the machines we got were nasty. Though they both did real well in the lessons they did it despite the instruments. The better the machine the easier to use. So we took the boys to a crazy German luthier I found and had them “fitted” for their instruments. Mendozza being small has a 1/4 size, Angelo has a 1/2.


As we were doing this I took it into my head to buy a 3rd machine thinking a) I will do the lessons/ at home practice with the boys, and b) as they grow we will need a full size machine eventually. So I brought the price down by mixing the pot, and everyone is happy.

A side note… the boys had their lessons today and we have new music to learn tonight. I do look forward to it.

So… ahhh, ummm, yes, indeed, this is about a piano…

So Gracie declares she really wanted a piano. We know a keyboard takes up almost the same space as a modern electric piano. And an electric piano is not much smaller than a decent upright. I checked on line and found hundreds of quality uprights for sale for a fraction of what a new one would cost. Looks like pianos are like boats… the first guy to buy it gets hosed. The second guy to buy it gets a bargain.

Gracie and I finally decided we’re probably good without the piano, for the time being.

And it takes me back to smelling the pink bud roses, and thinking of Nana and wondering what ever happened to her piano.

Life is good


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