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Before Joyful Pianos

by Sam Walker 14 days ago in 70s music

(for Simeon ten Holt)


There were four people. Eric, Isabelle, Money and Joe Sunrise. All of them had grown up. Eric was a Seacoast Guy like a fishing boat. Isabelle was familiar with the beautiful city. Money had a way with knowing zones. Money could remember the details. He knew what to say about what he remembered. As for Joe Sunrise, he was bright as a sailing day.

Here’s Eric on Eric: Eric? I was a fishing boat made up of old parts. My motor was a low-power boat motor with the battery sunk in standing water. All around, I loved piano music.

Here’s Money on Isabelle: Her dress was a beyond-elegant wallpaper dress. Her name may as well have been Isabelle Courageous, or Isabelle Steadfast. She was as devoted to piano music as the sun is to waking up God’s scene.

Here’s Money on Money: I had an eye for detail, it’s true. I could spot wood grain on metal. But the thing is, I kept the detail to myself unless the detail would somehow help out the piano music.

Here’s Money, Isabelle, and Eric on Joe Sunrise: Joe Sunrise was so Bright!


It was a good thing they all knew each other. Digging Night was marked in everybody’s calendar. What were they digging? That’s easy, they were digging a hole in the Conifer Forest. It would be roughly bigger than the size of four friends seated at four grand pianos.

Their Idea was to make a hole for piano playing. They would cover it with the thinnest plywood cover: a plywood cover painted green. Absolutely first on their list of hopes was to play the piano. Many blocks below that ideal was the wish to find an Audience.

After many hours of Hardwork-laden Grass-digging, the team had dug up enough room to tuck the pianos into the four corners of uncovered mud. Isabelle, Eric, and Money descended. They made themselves comfortable on benches placed behind the Pianos. Meanwhile, arms reached up, Joe Sunrise secured the plywood rectangle above their heads. He had painted it earlier, in the daytime. Joe Sunrise’s plywood roof was beyond bright. Even hidden in the forest, the luminance of Sunrise’s board had a chance of catching someone's eye. Once the roof was in place, only a sliver of sky lit the piano keys. None of the pianists could see their feet. There was a short silence in which the piano friends could hear the forest. And some rustling. And even some traffic sounds from road-going cars.

Joe Sunrise found his piano and he put his hands right above the keys. Eric, Isabelle, Money, and Joe looked at eachother.

Everybody: Let’s Play!

...And there was a tremendous, endless Piano swell across dozens of busy piano fingers. Strong! From the beginning, there was no end in sight. Eric, Isabelle, Money and Joe Sunrise played through the night.


With no reason to quit playing, the four held their pianos midair for a whole week. Resounding! So be it. And not even the plywood could hide the success of the Piano Hole from the piano players.

“You see all those feet above us? You know, through our skylight? Never have I seen such a dense patch of firmly tapping feet!” Bragged Eric.

“Yeah! I can barely hang on to this piano playing. I am beside myself! Piano Plywood World!” Replied Isabelle. Her eyes were full of movie-ending tears.

But! Money could see past the moment. He saw the Piano Hole’s siding getting more slouched. He heard the pianos beginning to fatigue. He felt his fingers getting oak-tree fatigued. Money could see the details. His group had to begin to look for a way out. They had to look past the pianos, past the plywood, and past the dozens of weeklong tapping feet. Money stopped playing his piano. He said, “We’ve got to make our way out of here! Look.. Our Piano Hole, the plywood, our playing, the Audience with their feet tapping.. Everything has worked out! Let’s move before this week turns sour!”

Like track-and-field, the four pianists shot out of the Piano Hole. Goodbye Plywood. And then the Audience cleared out in hit-the-deck fashion. Probably because the piano music stopped so suddenly that a piano music-less scene was mistaken for fireworks. Our piano music players were on the run.


These pianists. They ran past the Conifer Forest. They ran past town. They ran past the city. Out of breath, after the concert, they found themselves at the edge.

Everyone: It is the beginning of the prairie!

They were all laughing like a high school choir. Their Piano Hole performance had been an uproar. From the sunset, Joe Sunrise reasoned that nighttime was just getting started. Each of our characters wouldn’t stop kicking up rocks. They were so enthusiastic. Eric had no hopes of a good night’s sleep! Celebration drove them further and further out of the picture. Even the airport was miles away. It looked like a Christmas ornament. That’s how far out the Celebration had gone. Pictures, commemorations and speeches were thrown carelessly through the air. Sentimental trophies resounded like a made-up-of-words echo: echoing the music they had played in the Piano Hole. Our performers, stuck in crescendo, hotwired an abandoned car. They drove back into town.


Eric, Isabelle, Joe Sunrise, and Money sat in front of the Up-All-Hours Diner. Isabelle and Joe were sharing a basket of french fries. Money was watching the remaining half of his chocolate cake slice fall to the ground. Dawn was breaking overhead. Our pianists were at the beginning of another day. Joe Sunrise, face full of bright, said “What we’ll do is record the four us reflecting on the ‘Piano Hole’ week. We could go on about it for a year! We’ll use microphones and talk.”

Everyone: Sure, it looks like we’ll have the time!

70s music
Sam Walker
Sam Walker
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