The story goes that my great-grandparents -named Roehm - had a piano for my grandmother's sister Lucille. Aunt Lucille was one of those rare and lucky people who could hear a song and sit down and play it without any music. Well, that first piano was lost in the flood of 1913 that hit Dayton. One of the first things my great-grandfather bought after the house was cleaned out was another piano - this one. Someplace in storage I have a little booklet that records his monthly payments to the piano store. I think the piano cost him $500, and I think he might have paid $5 a month on it.
So this piano was in their home until they both passed away. The piano then went to another aunt who didn't play the piano. I'm not sure why she was the one to get it, but I suspect Aunt Lucille didn't have room either. Before Aunt Kay had a place to put the piano, it "visited" my grandmother's home. My mother was a young girl at this time, and she desperately wanted to take piano lessons. Grandpa couldn't afford lessons for most of the time the piano was there, but then just when they got her signed up for lessons, Aunt Kay took the piano back, leaving my mother with no piano to take lessons on. She was heartbroken, and she carried that with her all her life.
When I was about 7, we moved to a house big enough for a piano, and getting me one was very high on my mother's agenda. My parents bought an old upright from some neighbors who were moving and put it in our family room. I started taking lessons at age 8 and continued until I was 16 when we moved to a new town.
Once I moved out on my own, I never had room for a piano. I bought an electric keyboard, and that worked well for travel because I could take it to visit grandparents for small concerts, but it was a weak substitute. In 1995, my mother finally inherited the family Chickering from Aunt Kay, so my upright got moved to the basement, and the Chickering got a place of prominence in the family room.
When my parents passed away, I chose to leave the old upright at their house (the buyers said they wanted it), and I had the Chickering moved to the home of some friends until I could take it. These friends have been loving foster parents, and their teenage son has loved playing it, but now it will finally take its rightful place in my home after all these years.
I think we might just have a Welcome Home party for The Baby, but not until I've had a chance to practice first!