Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Rest of the Story

Okay - so let's finish off this tale...

Thursday night Mike, my dad and I (barely) moved my mom's piano into the piano studio. There are now three pianos residing in our house. No one has an excuse not to practice. But, the room was ready...
Friday morning Jake woke up at 4:15am from a nightmare. I hadn't gotten to sleep until after 1am. When this happens to him, he and I usually end up brainstorming on happy things to think about and lately we just brainstorm a couple topics and he does the rest himself. Well, he came up with the happy topic right away. He said, "Mom...I'll just think about the piano arriving tomorrow. I can't wait to see it."

Which meant I pretty much didn't get to sleep because I started thinking about it again too. I finally got to sleep around 6am, but was up at 6:30 with tons to do. I got up and got ready and headed outside where I did some pretty fast shoveling of the entire driveway and walkway. Then, I headed out to get a "celebratory breakfast" for everyone. I mean - if we are going to have a good day, let's start it off right! Donuts for everyone!

The kids headed to the bus stop and I did everything after that that didn't involve pacing the floor. That was Mike, pretty much. He came upstairs between meetings and said he hoped they arrived before 9am because that was his next call. Then he tried to come up with a bunch of stuff to do upstairs while we waited. All to no avail. He headed back downstairs and Manny's Piano Delivery guys called and said they would be here in 30 minutes. I headed out to salt any remaining snow or possible ice in the walkway and waited by the window to read while glancing out the window every 15 seconds. I don't remember those pages too well.

But, they arrived around 9:30, along with our salesman, Phil Kjos. He was already out and taking pictures of the whole event and walked in with them. Those guys got right to work and laid out blankets and made sure everything was out of the way. Then before I knew it, in comes the piano...

These guys were amazing, to say the least. Two guys to carry a piano that weighs 960 lbs (my last post was off). Except the guy in blue says, "This high polish finish really adds a lot of weight." Mike and I thought he was joking, but the other guy assured us he wasn't; apparently it adds around 100 lbs to the piano.

And they got to work lifting it off the dolly, attaching legs - which actually aren't screwed on...one piece of wood acting as a shim keeps each leg in place! And the whole "tipping the piano" thing to get it upright...small heart-attacks for me.


Coasters were added under the piano, the guys wrapped up and it was here and beautiful! I really don't think this took them more than 30 minutes. After they left Phil gave us some Steinway items. First, there was a DVD called "Note by Note" and it's a documentary about the making of a Steinway (Model D...like ours). We watched it this afternoon and actually even the kids thought it was interesting. He also gave us a book written years ago about the Steinway company - a coffee table book, really. But, it's signed by Henry Z. Steinway - the same man who signed our piano. His final gift to us is really cool. He went and made a small scrapbook of our process in buying this piano. He took pictures of it being taken to Brooklyn Center for final tunings, polishing and basically the whole process in getting fixed up for us. He has pictures of most people involved, plus a page of all their signatures. He also knows the President of Steinway (America) and requested a letter congratulating us, which was included. It's a really neat memento.

And then Phil left, I looked at Mike, and started crying all over again. I mean...here was this amazing piano in our living room; it was actually IN our house and belonged to us. I bawled, and laughed at the same time. Then I got to play it. It's so beautiful. It sounds amazing.

And I played pretty much all morning in my new pink t-shirt that reads, "Piano Princess". My friend, Susan, gave it to me for this special day. I don't own anything pink - that's how excited I was for this day - I actually wore pink!

A brief history of our piano: It was bought at the Aspen Music festival (Colorado) this past summer. Before that, it was assigned as a Concert and Artist piano in New York. It's 10 years old. The Concert and Artist pianos are reserved pianos in each city that can be chosen to be used in concerts by Steinway artists. Dealers in certain cities are required to keep a particular number of these on hand in concert-ready condition for artists to choose from. This particular one was kept in New York. There are a couple great advantages here: 1)It's basically been broken in in terms of it's action and sound. The keys are easier to play, which I prefer, and the sound is amazing (as I've stated repeatedly). 2) Being in the C&A series, it was kept in amazing condition by STEINWAY. If these people can't take care of the piano properly for 10 years, who can?

The other part that Mike and I thought was cool is that each piano is assigned a specific "CA number". There is no serial number. Each piano is kept in rotation for 10 years, and after that it receives a serial number and is sold. We don't have the CA number, but we've managed to find the actual lot number of the piano stamped inside it and are hoping that between the serial number and this lot number we can find out who may have played this piano during the 10 years in New York. It's a long shot, but one we think might be interesting to discover.

Anyway, I played the piano ALL morning long, and Mike finally interrupted me to take us to lunch. When we got home, there was a delivery at our door from Phil....

In part the card read, "I've never sold a piano to anyone as thrilled as you..." Before he left, I had hugged him. I don't think I've ever been so excited about a purchase that I've actually hugged a salesman before. That mixed with the crying and the shouts of "Holy Crap" at the store may have put me over the top of the rest of my customer competition.

And Phil will be back to our house in the future. He's offered to give a concert with a small group he plays in. Another party around the corner for us and all our friends and family!

1 comment:

missy said...

That's really cool we are so excited for you. Happy playing.