Friday, January 5, 2018

The Piano

The Heintzman piano is like a distinguished  lady and for over a hundred years has held a special place  in our  family homes in Toronto, Clarkson, Saskatoon, Calgary and  Edmonton.
 The piano was built in 1912 and purchased  by the parents of Mr. and Mrs. Gardhouse as a wedding  gift  for  their children.  The Gardhouses lived across the street from my parents in Toronto and "Gardy" worked for the city of Toronto.   His wife Jessie was a stay at home mom.  Mr. Gardhouse (picture shown) visited us in Calgary and was so pleased to see his old piano.  The piano was much loved for many years but eventually, in 1966, their family grew up and the Gardhouses no longer had room for the piano.  They were going to give it to the local church but when my mother was talking to them, they mentioned some repair work needed  plus  the  problem getting it out of their basement.  The lower level had been developed around the piano and there was no way it could be moved upstairs.  The church decided it would involve extra costs so turned it down.  My mother talked to me and we decided we would  take it, so had to  find a way to get it out of the house.  We had a piano specialist/mover come out and piece by piece, the piano was taken apart.  Carefully it was transported upstairs and laid out on the front lawn, then the time consuming task of reassembling it.
 Fortunately the basement had enough moisture to keep the piano from drying out but over the years the "action" had deteriorated and  needed  major repair work.  The piano specialist took it to their shop and redid the action, then delivered the piano to us in Clarkson.  The piano fit nicely in the dining room and Susan and Bob started taking piano lessons.  In our house on Robillard Road  it had plenty of use - my mother played it when she visited, friends and  uncles and aunts joined us at the  piano and I worked on tunes (mostly hymns) remembered from my teen years.  Grandma Moore in the photo below and Grandma Shillington in above photo,  it was a real treasure to have in our home.

In late 1968 we moved to Saskatoon and Susan started music lessons with May Woodley Benson, a music teacher that I remembered from my younger years.  We were only in Saskatoon for just over a year though and soon off to Calgary where the piano took its place in our
dining room.  Once again, Susan continued her music lessons and the piano had lots of use.  Eventually though, Susan grew up and music lessons came to an end.  
Susan got married and moved to Saskatoon and soon after we moved to Edmonton.  Instead of taking the piano with us, Susan asked for  it so we had it shipped to her in Saskatoon.   Susan's children, Pam and Arthur  both took piano lessons and the piano was in use by another generation of children growing up.  More recently, Susan's family had grown and she  was downsizing. Space was limited and
there was no room for a piano.  Finally, it was shipped to James in Edmonton where it was quickly put back into action for two upcoming piano players, Oliver and Jamie.

It has been there for four families and  with the beautiful sound of a Heintzman,  we hope to continue our  enjoyment of the grand old lady for many years to come.