local piano hero (not like you think)

This week has been the week of the piano (according to which Eastern calendar? I forget). The story begins with a trip to the new recycling station 500m out of the village (Sweden is a recycling country: politicians, bottles, paper, you name it). When I drive on to the new, still beautifully clean patch of asphalt with the snazzy new green and white containers, there stands a piano there, on its side. A piano. Logical: so soon after the opening, people are probably still guessing what the function of the new place is: better put somthing really conspicuous there, see what happens next. Afterwards it’s a matter of stepwise adjusting. And: dumping only bottles and newspapers is so old-school.

Anyway, there is this instrument and here is the player (the poor piano dosn’t know that I specialize in historical keyboard instruments, not just old ones). No rain – the instrument still fairly undamaged – a quick test shows that all the notes play. So after some impromptu soul-searching I tip the whole box into my car (Sweden, remember), drive it home, get it out somehow on the squishy grassy slope and (using a few planks and two dollies) into the basement and Jessica’s vacation room. Needs tuning, a bit of regulation; I bend one twisted hammer (factory fault) straight with help of a large gas lighter – its a perfectly normal, slightly old piano (a paper slip shows that it was made in 1972), of the simple Music School type.

The local newspaper reporter here writes a small piece about the new recycling station which, he praises, is now so nicely placed between the two villages. I drop him a message about the resulting lack of social control and its consequences. Next morning he is here with his camera, drinks my cappuccino and bang, I am getting a whole newspaper page with the entire anecdote – and pictures (today). When I fetched my car back from the workshop, the parting remark was “go and play the piano a little now, willya?”. Years of fun to come.

(the police inform us that leaving pianos in random public places is illegal and taking them home isn’t).


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