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CARL KOLOGIE: Piano move takes 8

by on November 10, 2013 1:49 AM

Remember the old joke about how many people does it take to replace a burned-out ceiling light bulb?

The answer is four — one to hold the light bulb and three to turn the ladder.

Well, I thought of that story this week when it took eight to move a piano from my garage to a friend’s house.

Believe me, it was a really heavy piano.

It was one of those uprights, and I really don’t know how old it was but I do know it was in the family for more than 50 years.

In fact, it came from East Run, which is near Purchase Line High School, and we purchased it from the late John Farnsworth, who was a genius at restoring pianos.

Farnsworth, a family friend, had purchased the old East Run School House, a one-room building, that he used to restore old pianos, and he was nationally recognized for this work.

In fact, Disney World, after conducting a nationwide search, had purchased a piano from Farnsworth that was placed in the lobby of the new — at that time — Royal Floridian Hotel, according to a July 30, 1988, story in the Gazette.

The story stated that Farnsworth had purchased a 9-foot concert grand from Grove City College. The piano was in a Louis XVI art case with rosewood keys and panels and carvings done in gold leaf. Farnsworth also restored pianos for the Smithsonian Institution and opera houses throughout the country, as well.

The instrument we moved didn’t have any history behind it, as far as I know, but it did have a lot of weight.

I recall that we had purchased the piano from Farnsworth and had been in our family home on East Pike and later in the First Ward.

A cousin in Greensburg asked if I would take her piano, as she was moving to Florida, so I got a crew together to move that piano, a spinet that was half the size of the upright, to Indiana.

My neighbor had a daughter who wanted to take piano lessons, so I gave them the upright and replaced it with the spinet in my dining room.

When the neighbors did some remodeling recently, they moved the upright into the garage and that prompted the next move — from the garage on Chestnut Street to the house in Sunset Acres.

It wasn’t so bad when Scott Winters backed up his truck, with a small trailer, to the garage. Five others — John Ogden, Dennis Smith, Scott Cunningham, Eric Ebeling and myself — easily loaded it and tied in down. Oh, Cunningham just happened to be in the neighborhood, so he was readily recruited to join in on the fun that was in store at our final destination.

Our entourage drove across town and pulled into a driveway in Sunset Acres where we asked the question, “Where does it go?”

The homeowner pointed up to a front porch that was only accessible by what looked to be 50 sprawling steep steps (actually, there were only about 20).

There was a collective sigh and mumblings that we could never get it up there.

Just then we called another friend in the neighborhood, Billy Kopchick, and there was also a visiting relative in the house we were delivering to, so he also lent a hand. Now we had eight.

Well, it took a while — and plenty of grunting and groaning — but the piano finally found a resting spot in the front room of the house. And we all emerged unscathed, as far as I know.

Carl Kologie is a columnist for The Indiana Gazette.
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