Hi All, I just got off the phone with a customer who is having their
player piano electrified. Admittedly, the unit is hard to pump because
the valves and pneumatics are not in good shape. However, with three
children, three dogs and two cats, they don't really have the money to
have the unit restored at this time.
However, during the period of time since I got the unit working again,
the couple's children have been playing all of the rolls that came with
the instrument. And this is where the story gets interesting.
As it was related to me by their son's mother, the other day their son
came home complaining of pains in his legs, arms, and chest. Initially
concerned, she quizzed him about the activities he did while in school.
Being a nurse, she decided that he had done nothing at school that
could cause the problems he was experiencing. Then she thought about
the fact that one day earlier he had been pumping the player piano for
over an hour. To determine if her diagnosis of the problem was
correct, she had him play another roll.
Well, he had only been pumping for a few seconds when he had to stop
because he was in pain. Mom was right -- her son was simply "out of
We went on to talk about how "out of shape" most Americans are these
days. It's a sad fact that being overweight and/or in poor physical
condition create an environment that leads to health problems of all
kinds, from sore muscles to death. Having been a nurse for many years,
she went on to say that she has seen an increasing number of patients
at the hospital whose only real problems center around their poor
The fact is, we live in a basically 'push-button' world. Life is
generally so easy, from a physical point of view, that it is starting
to adversely effect the youth of our country. Children now complain if
they have to walk more than a block or two to catch a bus to school,
and the idea of doing any sort of physical labor is almost grotesque to
Thank goodness for the manually-operated player piano. Thank goodness
for any device that taxes a child's or an adult's muscles. Maybe we
should start promoting the foot-pumped player piano as a viable
alternative to all of those high priced exercise machines. I can see
the ads: "Stay Healthy and Be Entertained: Buy a Pedal Pumper"
John A. Tuttle