"Very close to when I came to America in 1971 [from Finland] I lived on 96th st. on the West Side of Manhattan in a very small studio. When I moved in, the lady living in the apartment had half stripped the piano - it was half black and half brown - and she said do you want the piano, and I said yes. What choice did I have? I had to strip the whole piano, and it took me very very long time to do it properly. But I loved it.
There was a little foyer in the apartment and I put the piano there. I did have it tuned then because I was still single and had a little money. I played a little bit but I was never a real piano player - but I always had a piano [growing up] so it felt like home.
When I was a little girl in Finland my mother took money from the savings my parents had set aside for me and bought a grand piano behind my father's back. It filled up the whole kitchen. He was furious, but he ended up being the one who played most often!
Then when I came to Brooklyn the piano came with me. I had it again fixed and tuned, but then I had a child and for a very long time I have not had a chance to do it, because every time I want to fix the piano something else comes up that is more important that has to be doing with money and my son. I was a nurse - I worked for Mt. Sinai for 41 years. The piano fell into disrepair over the years, especially as my son and his friends enthusiastically "played" on it - but I always kept the outside well oiled. And now, it is very hard, but I have to let it go because I need to move to a smaller apartment."
[Lea tears up a bit when I play "Fly Me to the Moon" - I can tell how many special memories were made with this instrument. Inquire ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to adopt this piano.]