Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sitting Pretty

After three long years, the piano bench cushion -- and the pillow made from my initial attempt -- are finished. I picked them up from the upholsterer’s shop today. I couldn’t be happier with them.

Back in the early 1970’s, my great-grandfather decided to buy pianos for his piano-playing granddaughters who didn’t already have one. They came with only one very tight piano string attached – they had to be American-made. So my mother went shopping and picked out a nice little spinet made by the Everett Piano Company. I don’t know if he ever knew that within a year or so the company was bought by Yamaha…

Some of my fondest childhood memories surround this instrument. My mom learned to play the piano at a young age. I was about 6 or so when she got this piano, and I remember being amazed on the day it arrived when she just sat down and started playing. I’d never seen her do anything remotely like this and suddenly she was making the most amazing sounds. She was drawn to it when she was stressed or just needed to clear her mind – she seemed to be able to play just about anything, but she mostly loved hymns. I always admired how she could play without looking at the music much and while holding a conversation. Later, both my sister and I learned to play it, and just about drove our brother crazy with our constant practicing.

Back in the day, it had a thin elastic-edged cushion stretched over it made of green silky fabric with gold lamé stitching. It didn’t last long, because of the pointy edges on the bench and the wiggly rear-ends that were always scooting back and forth on it. Once, when fighting over who was going to play, we managed to snap off one of the legs. My dad repaired it, and so far, it’s held up. I think the upholsterer’s idea to use Velcro straps was spot on – this cushion should last a good long time. If nothing else, I’m not as fidgety as I used to be.

Now the piano is in our house, although I still think of it as Mom’s Piano. I don’t play it as much as I did as a kid, but I do love having it around – just seeing it there in the corner is comforting, bringing back warm memories. And now, with its new cushion, the bench is just a little more comfortable -- and comforting -- too.


“You Are Too Beautiful” by Rodgers & Hart


  1. Aw, Steven. Great post, great video. Love it.

  2. Beautiful bench, and lovely stuff about your mom.

  3. What a beautiful post! Your mom would be so proud. Thanks for sharing.

  4. YOU are too beautiful. LOVE.


  5. It's beautiful, Steven. And it was nice to hear you play the piano :)

  6. Lovely bit of writing there, Steven. :)