Surprise! We got a piano! A VINTAGE PIANO! More importantly, a fix-it-up piano. But a FREE piano. And a family piano.
Once upon a time, a family by the name of Holloway lived in Maine. In 1914 they bought a lovely upright piano. But, eventually they decided to make a move outwest. So the piano was shipped from Maine to California via the Panama Canal. I'm sure it was played and loved, and then handed down to the next generation. In the 1950's, the Holloway family attended a fair (or something of the sort), where a gentleman convinced them that the best thing to do with their piano was to "modernize" it. Apparently that meant to take away from the original exterior, add new pieces, and put an interesting grey wood finish vinyl upon the piano. Cool right? Apparently the Holloway's daughter didn't think so. She felt like the vinyl especially was a horrid addition, so she ripped and tore at it, but just couldn't get it all off. This left the piano in quite the pathetic, dilapitated state.
But the piano remained in the family. The Holloway girl grew up and got married to a nice Italian-American man by the name of Vaccarello. The piano came with her, and when their first daughter grew up and got married (to a nice man from Utah by the name of Snow), she inherited the piano. Her children learned to play on it--one even broke the mirror that was attached to the front (although whether that was an original piece or part of the "modernization" process, I don't know). But eventually, she grew tired of it. After all, it was a bit of an eye sore, and they could afford a nicer one. So she gave away the piano to a family they attended church with that was in need of a piano. But this family moved and couldn't take the piano with them, and they gave the piano away to another family in need. That family had the piano for a little awhile, and then they too gave it up another family. This happened a few more times, until finally the piano ended up in someone's garage.
One day, the Snows visited some friends from church. Mr. Snow noticed something in the neighbor's garage, and decided to investiage further. He eventually called his wife over to the neighbor's and exclaimed, "Carrie, isn't this our old piano?!" Indeed it was their poor, old piano. Carrie was delighted to have come across this family heirloom in a friend's garage. She told the current owners that if they ever felt the need to get rid of the piano, to let her know, because she had some grown children she felt might appreciate it. A few days later in church, the piano owner approached her to say that, actually, they were considering giving away the piano. Carrie was excited--but nervous. Would any of her children actually want such an ugly, ugly piano?
A little before Christmas, Carrie gathered her family together before they all left their separate ways for the Christmas season. She approached her daughter-in-law, a little hesitant, asking if she would be interested in having a piano. "Of course!" gasped the daughter-in-law, for she had been hoping for a piano of her own for oh-so-long. Carrie related the story of the piano (with the help of her mother) to this newest member of the family, along with the disclaimer that the piano was "as ugly as sin."
"Oh, I don't mind at all!" said the young lady, "as long as it plays, it works for me!" The daughter-in-law thought that the heritage and history of the piano was an added bonus as well. And so, eventually, the piano made its way to her and her husbands little apartment. And with much rearranging of furniture to fit it in, the piano found itself a new home.