26 July 2007

Playing the Piano by Ear

About 1947 or 1948 (around 60 years ago) when I was in second or third grade, we went from South Jersey up to Long Island to visit my father's youngest sister, Lillian; her husband, Uncle Mike; and my cousins.

I remember their house was much nicer than ours, Uncle Mike was a lawyer. The house had a stone facade and a very interesting (to me) doorbell button, with the image of a crescent moon on it. The house was on the small side, however, and we had to sleep on beds in the basement.

After a lovely dinner and boring (to me) adult conversation, we headed down to the basement to get ready for bed. In the basement near my parent's bed was a floor lamp, the main source of light in that part of the basement, and an old upright piano.

As we got ready for bed, my dad remarked, "Uncle Mike plays the piano by ear."

The next evening when we were in the basement with Uncle Mike tickling the ivories, I watched him very closely with increasing disappointment as his head, let alone his ear, never got close to the piano!


Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

...an early disappointment that doubtless predisposed you toward skepticism against other beliefs, even such empirically supported ones as fan death!

Jeffery Hodges

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Doc Rock said...

No, actually it was a good education that predisposed me not to believe a bubbameinster like fan death.