Yup, family memories at the holidays (can really mess with your mind)
Reading through a history of Steinway pianos some time ago I ran across a reference to one of my former piano teachers as a Steinway artist (She was a Steinway artist sometime in the early 1960s, if I recall. Rhea Sadowsky (Morton), 1915-2012). I had never known this until reading that book. Then, remembering my first month of piano lessons with her, sometime near the holiday season, left me with that withering feeling of amazement that my mother and I remained on friendly terms as long as we did.
It was actually my older brother, who, as an industrious high school student, did some backyard construction for Mrs. Morton, as I called her, and happened to see and overhear her playing the piano. He knew that I was in-between piano teachers, and I remember his remarking to mom that “this lady played forty-five minutes straight without music,” and that mom “had to get her to give me lessons.”
The part of the deal I most obsessed about at the tender age of eleven was that my mother (Virginia), fifth-grade teacher, who taught in the classroom just next to my fifth-grade class (taught by Mrs. Gash!) had to attend my lessons. Ugh. Even at that age I had this instinctive
dread of two highly motivated, and opinionated it turned out, women hovering over my piano lessons, each, with increasing intensity, telling me what to do. Worlds colliding, as George Costanza would say.
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