“You never sold your saddle and that’s the most important thing.”

Well–I sold my saddle. Figuratively speaking, anyway. I sold my 1929 Mason & Hamlin grand piano–the piano that had been in my life for the last 35 years. Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver; I gave up Mason for an additional 30 square feet of space in my living room.

This decision has had its price. I was pouring out my heart to my piano tuner and he said (in effect) “Get over it.”

weeping woman

He actually said “decide how long you’re going to be in mourning for Mason, wear black, play sad music and then get on with your life.” I suppose it’s good advice but it feels rather like having a large part of one’s soul ripped out and put through a shredder. Mason and I got on well and we went through much together. Now, he’s been turned out and a brand new upright piano(gag) has taken his place against an innocuous wall.


Deciding on a replacement piano was much like making a firearms deal. At least that’s the way the vocabulary sounded to me. I was told that a P-22 would be just what I wanted so I went to try one out. (I’ll have a look at that P-22, please, and do you have ammo in stock for it?) Well, I didn’t like the P-22. I didn’t like one thing about it. Harumph.
Salesman:     Oh my, I’m so sorry. Of course I should have realized that our P-22 is not for you. What an idiot I am! One look should have told me that you aren’t the type of person to whom a P-22 would appeal. (Aside) “Boy, take that P-22 out of this store and burn it. And make sure there is never a P–22 on this show floor ever again.”

Salesman:     My dear Mamatoc, I am deeply sorry. What I meant to show you was a U-1.

Mr T:             Wasn’t that the spy plane that Gary Powers was flying when he was shot down over East Germany?

Salesman:     (totally blank look)

Mamatoc:      I think that was a U-2 but I see what you mean. I didn’t realize pianos used so many military terms. Do I have to register the U-1 with the state? Will it be confiscated when the Second Amendment is repealed?

Salesman:      (totally blank look)

And so, it was done. The deal was struck. Mason would be traded for the U-1. I had one week to unload everything off the top of the grand and prepare for delivery of U-1 and removal of my dear friend. Imagine every World War II movie when the troop train pulls out, leaving the young lovers separated, the ending of “Love Story” and “Old Yeller” all rolled into one crashing, sad ending. One wept.



About mamatoc

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