1904 Lester "Upright Grand"

    Mom always confiscated all the dimes from the loose change around our house when I was young. Little did I know she was saving them to buy my first piano! (Not the one in the picture on the piano page.) $200 in dimes went a lot further in the early '60's than it does today! I really didn't have much interest in my lessons and Mom had to make me practice. So I didn't make very good progress.

    When I graduated from high school I traded my piano along with some graduation money for an ornately carved 1904 Lester upright piano. Boy was that thing heavy! Poor Dad dreaded it every time we moved. When my fiancée asked for my hand in marriage, my father jokingly told him there was one condition – that the piano went with me! I still have it (and the husband) after more than 25 years. The piano still has its original finish which is in very good condition. (Husband's condition is still pretty good too!)

    For quite a few years after I married, I played very little and got pretty rusty. But there came a time when our church found itself without a pianist for our night services and the pianist for the morning services was planning to move. The church was really in a predicament, but I wouldn't even consider playing. I hadn't played in so long that I couldn't get through the simplest song. Besides, I was so timid that I wouldn't even play for my grandparents when I was young.

    Well, one night as we prepared to sing without a pianist, the Pastor (my father-in-law), called very softly to me from the pulpit, "Come on up here and play for us" What!? I didn't want to be disrespectful but I slouched down in the pew and gently shook my head. I couldn't play! He hesitated a moment, then a little louder said "Come on...come try." My heart cried out "No, I can't" as I slouched even lower shaking my head. But then the third time he lovingly but firmly in a loud voice for all to hear called my name and said "Come on up here and play the piano for us." I saw he wasn't going to take "No" for an answer. My heart beat so fast that I thought I would die as I made my way up the rostrum thinking, "I'll just have to show them how bad it is." It really was bad too!

    For about the first year that I played, I would have to take a nerve pill every time I went to church! Ha! Only a small flower arrangement stood between the congregation and me. From the waist up I looked fine – but from there down I was shaking so bad I couldn't keep my foot on the pedal! By the Lord's grace I played for the church more than fifteen years - until Hurricane Katrina changed all of our lives.

   "My grace is sufficient for thee."  

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