A New Addition Enters the Manse

A new toy has been added to the household.

I will explain how this came about so fasten your seatbelts and hang on.

I played a friend’s pump organ and realized this was as good as a Stairmaster for exercise–except one gets music! So I set out to find a pump organ and as serendipity is wont to do, I found sommeone on Craigs List who wanted to give me his parents’ old reed organ. He didn’t want to be paid; he only wanted to know it was going to a worthy home. Wonderful Mr. T hooked up a U-Haul trailer to the Jeep and off we went. Hours later(including driving over the Golden Gate Bridge and through the streets of San Franciso twice) we had the pump organ in our garage. It is a bit–well, maybe more than a bit–over 100 years old and mostly works. After cleaning out cobwebs and the dust of the ages, the thing actually plays! Okay–it needs ‘some work’ but I knew just the man.

After several emails and phone messages to the pump organ authority, he finally returned my call. I had forgotten that dealing with organists is a unique experience. I had sent him a video of the reed organ and he pronounced it “above average” which I figured was the Big Green Light. Then he told me how he didn’t like pianos because they have 88 keys and he doesn’t like the number 88. He likes the number 61–guess how many keys a pump organ has? 61!!!! After answering more questions he told me that he was swamped with restoring pump organs–of course he is!!–and he would give me a call back when it was convenient for him to have us lug the old thing back to San Francisco where he would get it in good working order. I felt I’d passed a great test. And so the pump organ was moved into the house.

The room was getting crowded. The usual living room/dining room furniture, 3 toy boxes for the grandkids, my tea cup collection, music cabinet, a grand piano and now a pump organ. That’s when I knew that the time had come to downsize. I couldn’t even look at Mason, my trusty sidekick for so many years. But he took up so much room. The piano had dictated our last 6 moves. As much as it hurt, I realized I wanted my whole living room back. The new interloper was the tipping point and so I began the painful process of easing the Mason & Hamlin out of my life.

Meanwhile, I’m getting aerobic exercise by pedaling like mad and playing hymns. Not only does one have to keep pumping to get sound, there are two knee levers that add volume when one presses one’s knees outward. It’s not really an attractive picture but Mr. T finds it hysterical. Not all the notes work so there are some startling gaps in the tunes. The neighbors have told me it sounds as if the Salvation Army has taken up residence in our house but they don’t mind. Really. They don’t mind…..Really.


About mamatoc

A Baby Boomer learning to live in a retirement community in California.
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