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The Pollan Family Piano!

Brigham Larson Pianos

I am 71 years old and just retired after 48 years as a nurse/nurse practitioner in the Newborn ICU. My husband and i have 5 grown children and 11 grandchildren. We live in the the beautiful city of Alpine, Utah.
Hi, my name is Charlene. I would like to introduce you to my antique piano. I have often wondered what my piano was doing when as a pre-teen I yearned for a piano. By then this piano was already 50 years old. Being produced in 1903 by the esteemed Estey Piano company in the Bronx it made its debut in the middle of the ragtime music craze. Surely it’s owners tried the keys out with the likes of Maple Leaf Rag, one of the most popular tunes of the time, written by Scott Joplin. During the War to end all Wars did someone play It’ a Long Way to Tippararee or did it sit idle until the Jazz era or the Roaring 20’s? Sometimes I imagine it being played in some smokey, Speak easy during Prohibition or being sold for pennies on the dollar during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Of course, I have no way of knowing who owned and played my piano in those days. But when The Wizard of Oz was filmed, someone surely learned to play Over the Rainbow on it as I did 70 years later. That’s the same era that Bing Crosby crooned “The Way You Look Tonight” still as popular as ever and a favorite on the piano. The 1940’s brought us WWII and the Big Band Era with a plethora of patriotic songs. I think Scott Joplin would have liked the fast paced Boogie Woogie Bugal Boy, had he not died at the age of only 49. In 1960, when my piano was 50 years old, there was a “Whole Lotta Shaken Goin On”, Followed closely in the next decade by Elvis’ Blue Suede Shows, the Temptations and the Beatles. I am certain someone would have tried “Hey Jude” or “Yesterday” I still didn’t have a piano by this time. My single mother was working two jobs to raise us 3 kids and buying a piano or paying for lessons was out of the question. BUT. My best friend , who was the luckiest girl I knew, had a piano and her mother let me play it anytime I wanted. Daily I rode my skate board (yes! we had skate boards but they were made with the wheels of my skates and some two by fours, and they were used as transportation, not to do tricks on) to her house, not so much to see her but to play her piano! The old piano had been donated to a school by the 60’s. It was probably relegated to a corner of a music room judging by the names and graffiti that were carved into the cabinet. Maybe it accompanied some school Christmas concerts? By the time my neighbor rescued it, like a forgotten dog at the pound, it was full of cobwebs, dust and leaves. There it sat, unplayed, in her house until she was getting ready to move. She offered it to me, “For Free” if I would clean her home and ready it for sale. Let me tell you, “I payed dearly for that piano”. As a single mom of 4 girls herself, the cleaning of her home was quite an undertaking. BUT I HAD A PIANO AT LAST. That was in 1975. The piano was 65 years old, a mess, but it was mine. Over the next year, I restored it myself to the best of my 24 year old ability. There were no YouTube videos back then, I visited the library and piano stores for guidance. Thank goodness someone told me to number all of the pieces inside before removing them. That would have been quite a jigsaw puzzle putting it back together!. My husband and I wood puttied the graffiti and refinished the cabinet and I even ordered a new Estey Piano Company decal for the front. A guy at the piano store showed me how to apply it. We put it together and had it tuned and have been using it ever since. Thats 49 years ago. My piano is 117 years old now. Our 5 children have all taken lessons on it. One of our daughters loved the piano as much as I did and is now a piano teacher of 48 students. I have dabbled at lessons a few times but with 5 children and a full time job as a nurse, life got in the way of lessons. We have moved it 10 times over the years. We have played everything from Simon and Garfunckle to New Age music of Yanni, and gathered around it for Baby it’s Cold Outside every Christmas. I just retired, yesterday, officially after a 48 year, beloved career as a nurse and Nurse Practitioner in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit in Provo. I am back in piano lessons. My daughter is my teacher. She lives in Hawaii and we ZOOM lessons every Wednesday. That way I get to see her pretty face weekly. I’m a slow learner at 71, but I make up for it by practicing at least 2 hours every day. I figure there really is NO TIME like the present and I need to make up for lost time. I’d love to have a new piano. A new piano would make a fitting retirement present. But, then what would I do with my treasured friend? There is no room in my house for 2 pianos. The only sensible thing to do is have it restored so that it sounds new. I know Brigham Larson Pianos can do just that. Therefore, I am entering your contest. I hope that you will pick my Estey piano for restoration. It just might have another 117 years left in it! Thank you for your consideration, Charlene Pollan

  • YEAR 1900-1910
  • MAKE 117 Years of Melodies: Newborn ICU Nurse’s Retirement Wish to Restore Her Treasured Antique Piano That Has Played Through Generations & Milestones!
  • FINISH Mahogany
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