About Me

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Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Gift

Enjoy the following post by pharmacist, mystery writer, friend Don Weiss.
I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving with those you love!   Pam
                                                                     Steinway & Sons      

                                                       The Gift

Today, with your indulgence, I would like to wax philosophic. When you’re in your sixties, I believe it’s your God given right—so here goes.

Even in my state of hiatus from labor (sounds better than being out of work) I have many blessings to be thankful for. I have a wonderful wife, two terrific step-children and a lovely daughter-in-law. With the exception of a few age-related problems, my heath is good and I’ve been given the ability to play the piano. Nothing beats sitting down at my 102-year-old Steinway grand and that feeling of peace and contentment that washes over me when I play something by Chopin or Debussy. 

Have you ever considered the miracle that is the piano? In the hands of an artist it is capable of producing a wide variety of tones and sound with such nuance and finesse. The debt I owe to my teachers, Tanya Royshteyn (who gave me the fundamentals), and Judith Burganger (who gave me the music), cannot be re-paid.

The ancestor of the piano was an instrument called the Pantalon; an invention by a man called Pantaleon Hebenstreit from Leipzig. It was essentially a hammered dulcimer with a double sound board. It was six feet long and had 200 strings arranged as singles, pairs and triplets. It was capable of a full chromatic scale and had over five octaves, and most important of all, it could produce loud and soft tones unlike the organ or the harpsichord. The father of the modern piano was the Italian, Bartolomeo Cristofori, who developed the precursor to the modern hammer mechanism found in every piano.

It was Mozart who adopted the piano as an instrument for performance, and the German manufacturer, Steinway, who made it accessible to everyone. Modern artists like Artur Rubenstein, Claudio Arau, Vladislav Richter and Vladamir Horowitz  brought it to life. The great black pianists like Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, Scot Joplin and Eubie Blake took it to an entirely new level with Ragtime and Jazz.

I can trace my own instrument to the day it left the Steinway factory in New York, and in its 102 year old life, I’m only its third owner. The molds used to form the case are still in use at Steinway and the metal plate was forged in Steinway’s own foundry. The ebony keys are original. Most of the action is original as are all of the hinges, and pedals. The heart of the instrument, the sound board, was in perfect shape when I found it.

Osteo-arthritis in my little fingers prevents me from playing powerful octaves or performing great leaps like I used to or tackling more demanding works, but I still play slower, quieter, pieces with the same satisfaction and pleasure. It’s seen me through a whole host of dark days. That’s what I call a blessing.