A Long-Lost Pianola Returns Home
By Adam G. Ramet
I thought you might like to hear this short story about a player piano
I attended upon yesterday evening.
The owner called me to view a player piano yesterday evening needing
attention. His parents had received it as a wedding present new. When
his parents died the house and contents were sold (over 20 years ago).
He lived abroad in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) at that time.
Many years later he eventually returned to the UK and opened a restau-
rant. Last week he was chatting there to a customer and his wife about
the fact that they had both married Chinese wives. The customers lived
in the same road as his parents used to. The son and now restauranteur
could not believe it when he heard that the customer actually had that
old player piano he hadn't seen in 40 years or so. The customers wife
wanted rid of the instrument which had lain in their garage and never
been touched since they acquired it over 20 years earlier.
The man got the piano given to him for nothing and picked it up. In
the garage he made a discovery. As a youngster (he is now 70 years
old!) he and his brother had tied two rubber bands round two hammers
and pinned the bands to the hammer rail so these two hammers returned
The rubber bands were still there and were still stretchy and worked!
The player didn't go (the transmission was totally jammed) but feeling
plenty of air in the mechanism I asked him to pass a screwdriver and
some oil. After a couple of minutes of transmission adjusting the
player gave forth a burst of 1920's "Down on the Farm" and you should
have seen the joy on his face!
Plans for the future? The piano action and roll motor will need a bit
of work. He is calling his brother today in Australia to tell him all
about the piano and those old rubber bands! I can't recall anyone so
thrilled about an instrument ever!
(Message sent Wed 16 Jun 1999, 15:23:39 GMT, from time zone GMT+0100.)