Beethoven’s Unknownth #13943

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The Story

Here sits an old grand piano in a mostly abandoned and totally empty high school auditorium. The 88 pearly white keys are now down to 87 for some reason or another, the missing key leaving a gap-toothed grin. There’s no joker like an old joker, especially one missing some teeth. It’s a great effect.

The finish sure ain’t what it used to be and there’s no chance at all of achieving a shine again. That ship has sailed as it has for many senior citizens, musical or not. There was a thin and finely sifted dirty dust over everything in this room, including the piano keyboard. Music students with feather dusters have long since graduated and gone on to pianos of their own, presumably.

Through time, the piano bench somehow disappeared. Now the resident spooks have no place to sit for playing dirges on Saturday night.

Is it haunted? What do you think?

This well-worn Keith Richards of keyboards surely stands apart as a weathered survivor. Believe it or not, it’s been sitting in this auditorium since 1917 when both the piano and the high school were brand new. The place closed in 1980 and the piano is still there at over 100 years old, so one missing key ain’t too bad. Although this is an inanimate object, imagine, your total life spent in one room and an empty high school auditorium to boot.

The piano had wheels that still actually rolled and I slowly spun it completely around to make this picture. I wanted the piano keyboard facing me with the room and rows of seats behind. Risky business it was, one of the legs was wobbly and only sorta-maybe attached. It was a delicate maneuver with more than a few creaks. Thankfully, the thing didn’t hit the floor or land on my toes! And so the shot was made…

Go to The Unassembled #13945 for a look at the whole auditorium done in wide-angle. It’s surprisingly colorful.

Location: Shenandoah, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks

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