Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"An Investment"...

So Monday I left the blessed Casablanca earlier than I wanted to for Memorial Day,  But i was on the hunt for a piano! The music director for Pirates of Penzance sent me a message telling me about an Estate sale auction where they would be selling several pianos much like the ones I was looking for. I give to you the Pretty "Priddy" House!
Built in 1914 by a prominent Oil Tycoon here in Wichita Falls. I must say I felt bad for the grand old house, fir this auction they tore the place apart, selling light fixtures flooring, brick pavers ( A church is tearing down this house to build a parking lot.... STUPID) Well I got there early to get a good piano, but while  I was getting my bidding number the auctioneer breezed through the 13 spinet pianos there were selling for $25 each.  I was Furious!  But alas...
I turned to craigs list, and found a piano in a neighboring town of Burkburnett Tx. This piano sounded amazing! a Wurlitzer piano, with a warranty, for $100! I called the man gave him my name and said Id be there  around 10 am today.  Well I then enlisted the help of my best friend Mitchell to go and help me get it.   Well  Tuesday gets here, and 10am rolls around... and no Mitchell?!  I call and he's helping his dad, we finally left around noon. We go and get a trailer to put the piano on and that was a job in itself, the light connection didnt work, the license plate was dated 2000, and the pin that holds the latch was missing. None the less Mitchell hooked it up, I used a steel rod and bailing wire to keep the ball latch locked.  but before we left I said "Wheres the spare?" Mitchell "Oh its somewhere...who knows, lets go" and away we go to Burk.
When we arrived at the place, the piano was being kept in the kitchen,  as I walked up to it the man started changing his story. The first thing I noticed is one key was broken on the "low" end, the man said "Oh we were playing it one last time last night and got a little carried away..."  I started quizzing him about how much it would cost to fix, and got him to knock $25 off ($75).  I noted how old it looked and he said "Oh yes its a 1948 model"  and I said "And it still has a warrenty?!"  to which the man says "Had my boy, had ... it ran out in 1959" ...  Again I complained and another $10 was knocked off ($65)  We were wheeling the piano out he door and the owner dropped it! and a a good 4 inch piece of the wooden veneer broke off  I shot the man a look and another $20 WAS TAKEN OFF ($45). Last but not least,  the piano bench was broken too... and THAT cost him another $10 ($35)   and thats what I paid for it $35!
This is where the real adventure begins.!
We huff and Puff and finally get the piano on the trailer,  and head back to Iowa Park. its during the car ride I turn to Mitchell and say " If you think im going to load and reload that piano tomorrow...you're out of your damn mind!"  So we decided to deliver the piano to the C.H.&R.  We get maybe 2 miles down the 30 mile "Road to Casablanca" (sounds like a Bob Hope and Bing Crosby movie doesn't it) when the tire tread blows.

Now my parents house with a car port is 5 miles away and Mitchell's friend who owns a barn is 12... naturally he drives the 12 miles to this place going 30MPH on a bare tire...Oy vay!  when we arrive at this friends house he informs us that the barn is full, but we can park it out in his feild until we can get a spare...A SPARE WHICH WE DID NOT HAVE! So Mitchell reassures me we can find one tomorrow, but I inform him of the 70% rain chance we have tonight. He honeslty though I was going to leave my piano out there like this...and hope for the best.
Oh Helllll NO!   So we drive back to my parents house, I ask my dad to borrow my mothers truck and one of his trailers. And away we go BACK to the feild to get the piano. We huff and puff and load again.... and Away we go to the Casablanca, WITH A SPARE, and the piano tied down.  Well when we left town I had just over a 4th of a tank and by the time we got to the lake it was more like a 16th...  but once we finally rolled up to the Casablanca (this quick pick up had turned into an ALL DAY deal)  we unhook the trailer and push it up through the Drive-In
(I really like this picture)
The we push it around to the back patio and prepare to unload it for the last time... we push and huff and puffed for 20 minuets both of us tired, hot, and worn out we FINALLY get it in the house.
It fits just like I thought it would,   I know I had previously wanted a bar right there, but I look at this piano as a more constructive, investment.  I can't wait until June 19th i'm sure all my friends will be playing on it for us! Mitchell gave it the first play, a song fitting for the day because with 'Amazing Grace' we had finally delivered this piano to the Casablanca.

This Area is quickly becoming the Casablanca movie tribute of the house!  I showed you the look alike hanging lamp in the movie in my last post, well now I have the piano. Chris over at "Im Not Old Im Vintage"

and I have traded Planters, I admired this little swastika plater from the 1930's she had (meaning a symbol of good luck, not Nazi power)   BUT since the Nazi are the main conflict in the Movie Casablanca, it has earned a spot on top of the piano.
Last and not least (it could quite possibly be my favorite part of the whole piano is the name brand...
Wurlitzer Organs were used in ALL the major movie palaces and theaters in the early part of the century, So I think its fitting this 1948 Wurlitzer has found a home at the Casablanca, home to the worlds smallest Drive -In theater... can you say movie accompaniment?!

-Mick-

9 comments:

Vintage Christine said...

Ahhh, the little planter looks so cute but kinda lonely. Of course I would immediately fill the entire top with "stuff" since my motto is "NO EMPTY SPACES!" I love how you got that guy to keep dropping his price (like he dropped the piano) and it really does look perfect in its little spot. Great tale, Mick!!!

kVk and The Shop Time Forgot said...

I SO wanna come to your party! Your effort and energy is amazing, keep up the good work :)

Leah said...

You seem to never run out of room at the casablanca! How cool that you have a piano, too. It fits perfectly.

I think you'd love a visit to my town. I'm 10 minutes from the old Wurlitzer factory & about an hour from the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz museum and 2 hours from Corning,NY-original home of PYREX :)

Vonlipi said...

Oh Mick you have such wild adventures!

I laughed hard and long on that one. It was just like a silent movie!

You made my day!

Linda said...

Mick I love the piano and the story is priceless! It looks great and I love the planter you got from Vintage Christine!

Amber Von Felts said...

Wow, what a triumphant struggle! I'm so glad that old piano found a home with you. It will surely be loved for the rest of its days!

Chickens in the Basement said...

Good job! Having to buy a piano is above and beyond committed to the Pirates of Penzance! You're a nice guy!

Amy said...

oh cool about the piano - great buy but sorry about all the huffing and puffing you had to do to get it. I use to play the piano in my younger days, wish i'd kept up with it too...

Miss CherryBubbles said...

Oh, the capers you have, Mick! I think Bob & Bing would approve ;) But, gee, what a great piano and for an amazing price too! Looks great in The Casablanca :)