Right To Remain Silent #14582

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The Story

This old piano sits by itself in the living room of a vacant house in a ghost town. I doubt even the most playful spooks will play it anymore. The front door of the house was hanging wide open to the weathering breezes. Most of the windows were broken out to add to the decline. The house sat empty but for this heavy wooden piano. Abandoned, it was probably just too heavy to be taken away by the movers on the last day this place was occupied.

I think the old piano will be in that living room until both it and the house eventually return to nature together somewhere down the road to ruin. This was a waiting room of another kind, one where only time and decay reside. Most of the paint on the walls was peeling away in long hanging strips. The old funky carpet smelled like a dump in the rain. Outside, all that could be heard were summer birds in the trees and an occasional car going past on the main road far away.

An abandoned and vacant house with a grungy old piano, one of many houses there in this small ghost town. For most visitors, there really isn’t much there. But lying under the surface, there are tissue-thin memories floating about and a few visible remnants of the many who have lived there. We are left to guess and cipher the best we can.

I had carefully walked up the rotted porch steps and walked through the empty place. The piano offered an interesting story to tell. The crackled and bubbled varnish hide of the piano contrasted against the dusty dirt of the floor. Papers were scattered around the floor, adrift. One was a book of sheet music, so I picked up the open songbook and put it in the rightful place paired with the piano. It just happened to be open to a song by Jobim called Meditation, which seems fitting for this image. I set up the tripod facing this old brown hulk, fiddled the camera till things looked pretty right, and took this shot using the light coming in through the broken windows.

If you’d enjoy seeing more forever lost pianos, Broken Ballad #14851 might be just the ticket. Or, try Last Refrain #13507 for the close-in character of a ruined grungy keyboard.

Location: near Worthington, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Picture and text © Andrew Dierks

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