Dear Rick and Jon,
This note is overdue, as I’d intended writing you sooner about the 1900 Steinway Model A grand piano. I cannot tell you what having this instrument and playing on something so fine has meant to me. It is, by far, the best gift I’ve ever received in my life, and the joy I have in it is probably sinful. Is it permissible to love an inanimate object? If not, we are both in trouble. The piano is our Golden Calf. It is also a most perfect, gorgeous thing and even improves the quality of mistakes. But it is also extraordinary what beautiful sounds it is capable of producing even when played amateurishly. What a revelation that has been. Richard told some of our friends, “Mary Evelyn is happier now than she’s been since she retired.” It is so.
We have set up the humidifier in the room and are as solicitous of the piano as if it were a beloved child, which in a way it is. Hundreds of music makers could, no doubt, play your piano better, but none could love or appreciate it more. Thank you, thank you so very much for the loving, extraordinary skill and craftsmanship you brought to its restoration. You have created a thing of beauty in which you can take enormous pride. Long may you flourish and continue your noble calling.
Mary Evelyn B. and Richard M.
Dear Mr. Schaeffer,
I must really apologize for this long delay in writing you about the pianos but I think you understand that we left Washington in such a rush and left for Africa right after. We had a marvelous trip and now we are finally back and trying to get settled down and I must write this brief word now without delay.
I do want to tell you how perfectly delighted my mother and I are with the work that you did on our Steinways. I can truly say that it is beyond anything that I ever dreamed could be accomplished – both the appearance of the instrument and the tone and touch. As you know I had talked to a number of experts especially about my Steinway and the possibility of lightening up the touch – some of these in New York and they all were most discouraging about this. So I had really almost given up and decided to sell the piano. Now here you and your colleagues have literally brought it back to life and the touch is just beautiful now and of course the case just like new. And as for my mother’s old Steinway – well truly, we just look at it and marvel that it is the same instrument – it looks just like a new concert Steinway now and is a real joy to play on.
We must thank you too for the tremendous effort you put forth there at the last moment to get the pianos ready for the movers. This was indeed the most considerate of you and meant so very much to us. You really put your hearts into this work and the way the pianos look and sound are a real testimony to your artistry and devotion. We shall always be more than grateful to you for all you have done in giving us back our instruments and giving us such deep satisfaction.
Again thanking you most sincerely and wishing you continued success in your work.
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