Chapter 27 described the purchase of my Kawai grand piano, pictured on the cover of Piano Dance.
You may recall that the home where I found the piano was diagonally behind Ray Charles’ house, although no one could recall if Ray had ever played it. About ten years later, I had the opportunity to tune a concert piano for the Ray Charles Band. These gentlemen seemed to be in their 80’s and 90’s and were touring again with a young man replacing Ray on the vocals and piano. After rehearsal, many of them were hobbling up and down the hallway outside the Green Room, to keep their joints mobile. They were a lot of fun to talk to. I asked them if the movie Ray was accurate in its depiction of the events of the time. They agreed that it was.
My fiancée and I had many happy hours playing that piano and singing songs with it. After I had owned it for about 8 years, we decided to move to Florida. The cost to move the piano was more than I could afford, so I reluctantly put it up for sale. Fortunately, a colleague of mine recommended the piano to a client of his. The mother and ten year old son arrived and the boy immediately went to the piano and started playing quite advanced classical pieces from memory. He was clearly loving playing the piano. After a while his mother said to me, “We’ll take it.”
While she was writing me the check, her son stopped playing, and said, “Are we buying this!?” He couldn’t believe his good fortune. I was extremely happy to be selling the piano to someone who appreciated it that much. I have never had any regret of selling it, seeing how happy he was and knowing that the piano supported development of his significant talent.