In which I introduce a real-life story for the amusement of my friends. Or: I try to avoid a lawsuit and still make my friends snort milk out their noses.
On 17 August 1999 I received a $1620 judgement in Hennepin County Conciliation Court against Dave Hexom for the consignment sale of my piano. I have yet to collect a penny. He continues to owe me this money in spite of a legal obligation to pay. This makes him a piano thief.
The following story is true to the very best of my knowledge. If Dave Hexom ever satisfies the debt that he owes me I will add that information to this story. I make no statement whatsoever about Dave Hexom except what is legally documented - he took custody of my piano and, by his lack of response, refuses to honor his part of our written contract and the court judgement to do so. The information in this story are the facts as I know them.
1973 to 1983 - Piano
Let me be perfectly clear. I hate playing the piano. My parents made me take lessons for 10 years, from second grade until I graduated from high school. Through brute intellectual force I learned enough to play pretty much any piano music that Schmidt Music sells. That is, I can hack my way through most of it. You see, I have no musical talent whatsoever. And even less love for music.
My grandmother was a gifted pianist who never had a lesson in her life. One of her biggest regrets is that she never learned to read music. I'll never understand the problem - she could play by ear. My parents wished that they could play the piano. Apparently it was easier to make the children take lessons rather than to put in the time themselves to learn to play. Go figure.
My parents divorced. They gave the piano to me and my sister. After all, neither one of them knew how to play.
This is a lesson for all of you parents. Force your children into lessons and you may end up a minor player in a bitter web saga.
I bought my house in May of 1989. My sister was still in college on the five-year plan. She didn't have room for a piano in the party house. After college she hoped to move out of Minnesota. With her blessing, I conscripted a coupla guys from work, my dad, and some friends to move the piano from Dad's basement into my new living room. I bought beer and made tacos. Some taco goo got on the carpet. You can still see the spot. The good news is that everyone left with their back intact.
The piano sat in my living room for nearly ten years. I played it at least once a year whether it needed it or not. My parakeet, Mr. Peabody, LOVED it when I played. He would fly over and give the piano his COMPLETE attention as long as I played. The piano didn't get tuned as often as it probably should have. Jim Tolck came to tune it once. His card folds up into a grand piano and he lives with a conure.
Spring, 1998 -
Deciding to Sell
Guilt about tuning the piano, or the lack thereof, eventually got me thinking that I might sell the piano. I called my sister since the piano is half hers. She didn't want to lug it around the country with her and wasn't interested in having me keep the piano for her to take it "some day". Dad said that if I didn't play the piano, I should go right ahead and sell it. He also said that his new piano was perfectly fine and he did not want to trade for mine. Even if mine was nicer. I didn't ask mom her opinion about selling. I think that she still believes I will be glad someday for all of those hellish lessons.
When I began dreaming of a couch in place of the piano I knew that I was getting close to a decision. When I realized that I could BUY a couch with the money from selling the piano there was no going back. I set out sell the piano.