SIGHTLESS MAN TUNED OUR PIANO

268

-By Orv Alveshere-

INTENTLY WATCHING A TALENTED PROFESSIONAL
We’d unhitched horses.  A car drove into our yard at noon.
The driver asked us “If our piano was out of tune?
There’s a piano tuner in my car.  He tunes with his ears.
He is for hire and he has been tuning for many years.”
When he came to our door, he was holding the chauffeur’s arm.
When he spoke, he spoke quietly with humor, wit and charm.
He set his tuning tools near him, sorted, spaced and strewn.
We watched a sightless man who was putting our piano back in tune.

ALTERNATE METHOD OF ‘SEEING’
We were his youthful students and on that day he would teach.
We sat ready to fetch any tool, just out of reach.
While he was ‘seeing’ with his fingers, he unlatched the front board.
He moved it with his toe.  He turned back and struck a chord.
He inserted a stopper to quiet a harmonic string.
He tapped octave keys.  He listened for a fine-tuned ring.
We learned something valuable about skill that afternoon;
While we were watching a sightless man doing a fine tune

‘SEEING’ WITH HIS FINGERS/NOW HEAR THIS
“How can you find the right string, and possibly find the right key?”
We three young lads thought it was truly a case of ‘must-see’.
Mother admonished, “You must limit your questions, boys;
Stop the interference and keep down any extra noise.”
“Oh no Ma’am,” he answered, “These boys are asking with respect.
I can explain, it has to do with tone and sound effect.”
We enjoyed a most memorable learning afternoon.
Watching an old brown Steinway piano regain it’s tune.

MEMORIZED SOUNDS, DIMENSIONS AND DISTANCES
“I can’t see, I memorized the location of every key.
I carefully tighten the strings until the tones agree.”
A tall man, he stood instead of using the piano bench.
He adjusted all strings for tone with a ratchet wrench.
“Inside, all of those hammers are connected to each key.
Sharps are narrow keys, whole notes are covered with ivory.”
We learned a lesson in life…perhaps forgotten too soon.
While watching skilled sightless man…putting life back in tune.

                        © Copyright 1995, rewrite 11-2008, all rights reserved

Orv Alveshere, an award-winning writer of humorous cowboy poetry and stories, “grew up hanging on a horse.” He writes about his lifetime of adventures.

Orv’s Cowboy Poetry tells of the days of life on the ranch in Midwest America when horses were used for transportation, field work, Sunday-go-to-meetings, and more. Read cowboy poetry from our beloved Orv Alveshere who recalls the days and memories from his past growing up farming on the prairies of North Dakota. Revel in the glory days of the true cowboy. Take steps back into the history of rural farm life, when horses were the centerpiece of the ranch and instrumental in the survival of the families that built America.