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The Norton Family Piano!

Brigham Larson Pianos

My mom started teaching me piano lessons when I was five years old. All of the kids in our family were required to learn the piano and at least one other instrument of our choosing. We practiced every morning before school, leaving the piano open for our mom's paying student's lessons after school. I always enjoyed playing the piano (not necessarily practicing), even from a young age. But when my little sister, Callie, got good enough for us to play duets together, that's when the fun really started! We absolutely loved playing together! It was our very favorite pasttime! Then tragedy struck. At only 28 years old, my little sister, my best friend, and my duet partner, was diagnosed with a cancer so rare there wasn't a treatment for it. She only lived 8 1/2 months after her diagnosis. Her last time in the hospital, before she went home to the family farm to "go to sleep", she was trying to tell us something, but was so weak we couldn't hear her even with our ear up to her mouth. I took a notebook and marker from my purse and handed it to her to write out what she was trying to say. When she handed it back, it wasn't words that she had written, but a sketch she had drawn. It was an outline of a piano with two stick figures sitting side by side on the piano bench. Next to it she had written, "Here's where I'll be." I will forever be grateful that my mom taught us to play the piano and forced us to practice even when we didn't want to. Callie and I both worked at the piano until we got to a place where we could play such fun, vigorous music together. It will forever be one of the highlights of my life! I cannot wait until she and I can sit side by side in Heaven and play together for the rest of forever!
My dad grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My mom grew up on our family farm in South Jordan, Utah. They met at BYU and married in the Fall of 1973. After they married, they moved back to Tulsa, Oklahoma to start their life together. Having lived her entire life (except for her time at BYU) on the family farm, my mom was horribly homesick. The summer of 1974 my parents were garage saleing when something caught their eye - a gorgeous upright grand piano. My mom wanted it, of course, but they absolutely did not have the $200 to purchase it. So they left it there. My dad, knowing how homesick my mom was, went back and bought the piano - using their grocery money for the month to purchase it. He and his best friend moved it into their apartment where it was waiting for my mom when she got home from work. They had to eat popcorn and ramen noodles for the month. When my parents moved back to the family farm from Oklahoma, the piano came with them. The difference in climate taking a serious toll on the piano. It was on this piano where I (and my siblings) learned to play. I have practiced on and played THIS piano since I was 5 years old. I'm turning 45 this year. When my grandma won a baby grand piano on the Price Is Right (that's a whole other story!!), she gave it to my mom, saying there was no need for a piano that nice to sit in her house when she couldn't play it. So the baby grand was moved to my mom's house. I asked my mom what she was going to do with the upright grand. She said she didn't know. I told her without hesitation, "I want it!" She pointed out that I already had a piano (a hand-me-down from I can't even remember where). I reminded her that it was THAT piano that I had played since I was 5 years old. I reminded her that it was THAT piano that Callie and I had learned to play duets on. I reminded her that it was THAT piano that I had played throughout my life. She gave me the piano. Throughout the years piano tuner after piano tuner counseled me to get rid of it and get something newer, but I have refused. They don't make them like this anymore! Besides, never again will there be a piano that holds the love, memories, sacrifice, and happpiness that this piano does. Now I play this piano while my children (and often their friends too) gather around and sing songs. It is the center of our home and truly one of my best friends! I can't express what it would mean to me to have this piano rebuilt so that it can stand the test of time! I hope I have several more decades of life left in me and it would make my heart so happy to have this piano with me through them all! Further, I want this piano to be in such a condition that my children and grandchildren can enjoy it for decades to come!

  • YEAR 1900-1910
  • MAKE From Eating Popcorn & Ramen to Afford the Piano, To Tragically Losing a Sister, This Family Wants to Restore Their Sentimental Piano!
  • FINISH Walnut
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