All those years, I had an old upright piano that was quite sufficient. We moved back to my hometown of Ellensburg, Washington in 1965. I was in 6th grade and my piano teacher was just around the block from where we lived. My Dad found this piano for me at the college (it's now called Central Washington University), and we bought it and brought it home when I was in high school. It's been with me every since.
A few years ago I tried to find out when it was made but didn't have any luck. It's a Ludwig piano and from our move to California it has gotten a few nicks in it's body.
It's a shame that my piano sits all by itself in a empty living room (it's filled with furniture but no people). So, today I went in and pulled out my old piano books. My piano teacher, Mrs. Hertz, was a wonderful lady. Oh, how I wish I could meet her today as I would so appreciate her love of culture and music. She insisted that I only learn/play classical music. I loved Chopin and I loved playing Clementi sonatinas as the fingering had to be just right to have your hands float (fly) across the keys.
At one time in my life, my fingers could float across all those keys. Here's what I found remaining of my favorite piece I played in high school for a piano recital; Malaguena. I loved this piece as it featured some selections that were played quite boldly. Now, I don't even know if I can read this music to make it sound like anything!
I had much better luck today playing this sonatina. I remember the fun part was the fingering as I mentioned above. I used to play these pieces over and over again in my head years ago.
Also found in my piano bench was my old piano notebook with my teacher's notes. She wrote quite illegible, didn't she? Do you make out the $3.00 price per weekly lesson; unheard of now days. Mrs. Hertz lived in a stately, old two story home. I remember her dining room with Wedgewood Queensware dinnerware. In her conservatory/sun room where I waited for my lesson to begin, it was filled with intellectual literature to read. No tabloid magazines allowed! Her husband, Dr. Hertz, was the head of the music department at the college. My teacher was a very special person who really wanted her students to excell.
This really doesn't have anything to do with music, but I found this watercolor in my piano bench; it's been there for years and years. It was painted by my 7th or 8th grade classmate, Ellen Sogge. If I recall, her father was a professor at the college when he went on sabbitical to Africa and he took his family with him. (I just goggled this and found out he went to Malawi; all those years I thought they were in Kenya). I met Ellen when her family returned to our small town as we had classes together at Morgan Junior High. Our English teacher was so taken with Ellen's adventures in Africa that she and her family took a trip to Kenya the next year. The teacher was Miss Anna Shuck. I'll never forget her as she was the type of teacher who wore black dresses and was very strict. The odd thing I remember most vividly is the support hosiery she wore. She would tell us how she sent the "runned" hose to Frederick & Nelson Department store in Seattle to be rewoven. Imagine that today! (do people even use the word hosiery?) She lived with her sister and mother. Neither she nor her sister were ever married. Miss Shuck won a raffle with the local Catholic church which was a trip to Hawaii. Instead of going to Hawaii, she used those funds for the Kenyan trip. I often wondered what happened to Ellen. I believe her brother graduated from Harvard and went on to marry a girl from the east coast.
Do you remember seeing those stuffed animal cats that are all curled up and sleeping? Well, here is Lilly all curled up and sleeping today. I love this cat so much...
I hope you have enjoyed this look back into my youth, music, hometown, long lost friends, and of course, Lilly My Cat. Today I'm linking to Amy's Five on Friday party. I'd love to hear about your week.
With my best wishes,