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The Lyons Family Piano!

The Lyons Family Piano!

My name is Melissa Lyons and I want to tell you a story about love, and a piano. This love story began for two ordinary people, Evan Terry and Joan Call while attending college at Brigham Young University. While America battled with the uncertainty and fear of war, my grandmother and grandfather fell in love. They were married on June 8, 1942 right before Evan was sent to war. Love letters, time and space separated them, but as soon as Evan’s service was complete, he came home to his young bride to start their lives together. In 1947 he purchased a towering red-brick, historic Queen Ann home in downtown Salt Lake City. With that purchase came lots of antique furniture, as well as the focal point of what used to be a ballroom, the piano. No one knows the origin story of the piano, but like all great love stories, it’s not the beginning, but everything after, that makes is truly romantic. Evan and Joan had four children; Evan Jr, Linda, Paul and Richard. And they raised those children and lived the rest of their lives, including 71 years of marriage, in that same towering red-brick home with the piano that stood at the center of it all. The piano was used throughout the years for lessons. Not only for their children, but for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. My memories are full of the joy that piano brought. From Christmas nativities, Thanksgivings, Easters and recitals, there was all manner of music. Our family loved music and being together, and every single Sunday we would gather around their warm love, and that welcoming piano. Evan and Joan both lived almost 100 beautiful years, and passed away not long after each other. Every item in their home was given to the people who loved them most. But no one was in a position to take the piano. It meant so much to me, and I wanted to keep it in the family, so I held onto it until my father, their youngest son Richard, could renovate his house, designating a special place for it. He wanted to continue the legacy of music with his bride, their children and grandchildren. The piano is getting older and older and is in desperate need of renovation. I Looked into getting it done, as a surprise for my father, but the expensive left it out of reach. Then I heard about this wonderful opportunity and thought I would try my luck at giving this piano, and my grandparents love story, a happy ending. But in fact, if we win this contest, it wouldn’t be an end, but another wonderful beginning benefitting Evan and Joan’s four children, their spouses, 15 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren who are deeply connected to the love and life of this family piano.
The Piano started it's life around 1903. It was bought at some point by the owners of a towering red-brick historic Queen Ann home and left there for when my grandparents bought the home in 1947. It has been lovingly in our family since! That is an astounding 77 years! This wonderful piano has been thoroughly loved and played by all our family over those 77 years. We are a close-knit family who get together often and love to share our deep love of music and this piano has always been in the center of it all. I can't imagine my life without this piano. It has been in my life for my whole life, and the memories and inspiration from it are endless. I remember watching my older cousins learning and playing on the piano and couldn't wait until it was my turn to play for the family. I would walk down to my Grandparents home to practice on this piano when I did start taking lessons and my grandma would always encourage me to practice well. My cousin would play The Entertainer and my sisters, and I would dance around the living room. Us cousins would take turns playing the Heart and Soul duet and see who could play the best different variations of both parts. I remember gathering around the piano on regular Sunday nights with my family, feeling such love while singing songs together. Or listening to the piano being played while us young kids would stoke the fire in the fireplace with all the mail our grandpa would let us burn. I especially remember holidays filled with all kinds of music and fun to go along with the piano. My father and some cousins played the violin, my mother would play the guitar, there was a pump organ we would all try our hands at, and occasionally we would pull out my grandpa's old military trumpet which always brought laughs. I also remember really funny small memories about the piano. My Grandma had a little white ceramic nativity scene on the top of the piano every year for Christmas. My dad would always change out the baby Jesus with a toy troll with tall hair and see how long it would take for my grandma to realize it, get mad at him and change it back to the baby Jesus, just for him to do it all over again. I would listen to their grandfather clock chime and would try to find that key on the piano. I know all my aunts, uncles, parents, cousins and siblings all have their own wonderful memories of our beloved Evan and Joan and this family piano. It would be our dream to be able to continue the legacy of music our Grandparents instilled in us through this piano, for many years to come. But unfortunately this piano is falling into disrepair because of its age and use despite best efforts to keep it tuned, polished and fixed. It needs a full renovation and so we would love the opportunity to continue to create new memories and inspire the love of music in our children and children to come with this very loved family piano, if we were picked for the renovation. I have more pictures and a video of the piano being played I was not able to attach if you would like them.

  • YEAR 1900-1910
  • MAKE Kimball
  • SERIAL NUMBER 131663 year 1903 or 1904
  • FINISH Maybe Cherry or Mahogany, I'm not exactly sure. Refer to the pictures.
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