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Just in time for Valentine’s Day: I meet my Blind Date Grand Piano in El Cerrito! (6 part video) and Coda

After a scenic Amtrak ride home from my Bay area teaching location, I won’t dare divulge the final chapter of a suspense-filled adventure that culminated in my meeting a blind date grand piano up close and personal. I’ll let the video in 6 parts plus CODA, tell the story.

The backdrop surrounding my phone interview with this instrument, etc. is detailed in:

This “reality” inspired production, on location in El Cerrito, initially omitted one electrifying segment. Mid-way in the saga, the piano’s dampers were not working properly from C below middle C straight down to the lowest A.

This was a bit of a shocker, and played out laboriously in reams of video frames. In this particular footage, the mover, Greg, found himself belly up, beneath the grand, jiggling the the pedal rods, and then tweaking the action from an upright position at the piano bench. It went back and forth, up and down, in and out… if you know what I mean. Tension was building.

Finally, the seller, Buscaino, who happens to be a technician, instructed the mover by phone to “pull the action.” It was at this juncture, a minute-by-minute drama.

After the mover and I together removed the blocks adjacent to the keyboard, the action was exposed and brought forward.

Fortunately, the damper problem was the result of a minor hitch. The pitman dowel was dislodged from its corresponding hole in the wooden railing that controls the dampers. Once re-connected, the sustain pedal problem was immediately resolved.

This pedal related footage was so compelling that I added it as a Coda to the video production. We’ll call it an “outtake.” (My first priority, however, was to get the six segments up and running before Valentine’s Day melted into the Day after.. at least on this Coast.)


Aside from the damper snag, events flowed smoothly from beginning to end.


Cast of Characters:

The Blind Date:

Paul Buscaino, Arroyo Grande-based seller/piano tech: (And “tuner to the stars”)

Greg Hood, Pismo Beach-based piano mover, who’ll schlep as far as Santa Barbara, and who knows where else!

Guilio Colombo, El Cerrito neighbor who assisted in the piano move at the last leg of its journey:

Jerry Raz, Bay area tuner, who examined my blind date the day after we met

Yours truly, a loved starved pianist, who hoped my “blind date” would not disappoint me.








THE ONE SNAG mid-story


PS I forgot to mention that my beloved has a set of IVORY keys.

More pics of my beauty:

6 thoughts on “Just in time for Valentine’s Day: I meet my Blind Date Grand Piano in El Cerrito! (6 part video) and Coda”

    1. Thanks, Veronica. Yes, this is a very special piano, and I believe in my heart that the “older instruments” of reputable builders, can be so amazingly beautiful. 1929 had to be a good year for Baldwin, and the workmanship alone is very conspicuous. I lucked out, despite my not having touched this instrument until I met it on Sunday. And so I am relieved and elated.

      I will see and play it each week when I journey to El Cerrito.. can’t wait for my next Amtrak ride up there.



  1. What a lovely post……….I had to chuckle at your title. There have been many times that I was happier at the piano than worrying about a man. Glad you found a “new love” may there be no hidden problems!??!!! 🙂


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