Allyson Johnson

Pieces of my Mind

Car Spotting 2015 (Los Altos TOWN CRIER Sept 2, 2015)

Pagani1 When I was a kid, September was exciting, almost like Christmas, because that was when the Big Three automakers would reveal the new models for the upcoming year.

Previous to the announcement date, there would be mystery and skullduggery, as the new models were trailered to dealerships shrouded in black drapery to maintain suspense while car buffs and rival carmakers would do their best to sneak photos of the new cars before their debut dates.secret1

The Big Reveal came with fanfare and hoopla. The new cars sported chrome and optional vinyl roofs, fancy rocket-ship hood ornaments, candy colors and exotic attributes like “dynaflow,” “swept-wing” and “push-button drive.” Once the new models were officially available, I eagerly scanned the road, hoping to actually see one. The high point of my youthful car spotting was a Chevy Corvette, turquoise and white, which roared down the highway past us one day to my awe and wonder.corvette1

Then cars dulled down. The new models dribbled out over months rather than in a couple of September weeks. The exteriors reverted to one color, chrome was expensive and heavy, vinyl roofs proved not durable, swept-wing fins were hazardous to pedestrians when backing up and rocket-ship hood ornaments the same when going forward. Candy-colored paint contained lead and tended to go chalky on exposure to sun. My interest waned.

But recently the excitement has returned. One of the side effects of the Google/Apple/Facebook explosion is that there are a certain number of folks around our neighborhood who have more money than they know what to do with. And if you are an American male with lots of extra funds, inevitably some of that extra seems likely to be invested in The Car. Not just any car, but a Head-Turner, a Statement, Bling-on-Wheels. Spotting one of these exotic vehicles adds zing to the most ordinary auto outing.

The sporty Mustang has reappeared in bright primary colors; Corvette ditto. I have grown adept at identifying a Tesla, in its various models, a Bentley, a Maserati and a Ferrari. I have driven past the McLaren dealership on El Camino Real and peered in the windows, but I’ve never seen one on the road. showroomPA1

The prize of my car-spotting collection appeared one sunny Saturday afternoon driving home from the beach on sluggish Highway 17. I heard a roar behind me, and there it was. Black, low to the ground, with an Italian name, sexy curved fenders and strange aileron flaps that rose and fell as the car braked in traffic. Comparing this sports car to a Corvette would be like comparing Sophia Loren to Taylor Swift.

Because we were both inching along, it was not difficult to read the name on the rear. A quick thumbing of my smartphone revealed that I was looking at a Pagani Huayra, an Italian sports car with a 720-horsepower engine and a top speed of 231 mph. It is named after Wayra Tata, “God of the Winds” in the Inca Empire. It costs roughly $1.3 million.

I felt a little alarmed. If someone is going to be driving a $1.3 million car on public highways, shouldn’t he or she have outriders as are provided for trucks carrying oversize loads? “Caution: Hyper-expensive car ahead! Pass with care!” In the stop-and-go beach traffic, what if some unfortunate accountant or schoolteacher or retiree bumper-kissed this black bombshell? There goes the monthly mortgage payment!

My enthusiasm for car spotting has cooled a bit. Even if I do see a McLaren on the road, it will seem like a poor substitute for the God of the Winds.

The question I hope someone is able to answer for me: If you build a $1.3 million car, do you have to satisfy U.S. highway crash-testing requirements in order to drive it on the road? And who gets to pick up the pieces?

corvette2 Pagani3

Hidden Treasures: the Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos


Maybe you have wanted to take your kids to the National Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport in Virginia or the San Diego Museum of Flight down in Balboa Park.  Maybe you have been daunted by the distance, or the cost.  You can give them a good taste of the experience by taking them to Northern California’s Hiller Aviation Museum, just off the Bayshore Freeway in San Carlos, California.

20150819_115401docI had driven past this museum many times, but given the name I had assumed it would be all about helicopters. But when my ex-helicopter pilot brother was visiting recently with his young son, we decided to give it a look.  There are indeed helicopters, but so much more, including full-size models of early flying machines, a giant unmanned glider whose wings span the length of the football-field-sized museum, the cockpit of a 737, a walk-in exhibit of the full front fuselage of one of the first 747s, hands-on flight simulators, a widescreen Google Earth projection from which you can zoom in from outer space to your own front yard, and, on Wednesdays in the summer, your choice of goodies from a half-dozen food trucks in the parking lot. 20150819_125934doc

In summer the museum also hosts a series of summer camps, so you might see a gaggle of ten-year-olds testing their experimental paper airplanes in the back patio, or a parade of backpack- toting sub-teens getting their introduction to flight simulation software in the Flight Lab.  As much fun to watch as to do!

20150819_115608docThe museum includes some special exhibits about early women aviators, Chinese-American aviation pioneer Feng Ru, and others you may not have heard of.

And of course there is a gift shop, stuffed with all sorts of magical flight related toys, model kits, and fluttering gizmos.  And the docents are enthusiastic volunteers with a lot of knowledge they are eager to share about the aircraft exhibits, some based on their own experiences of helping to build or fly the aircraft.

Admission is only $15 for adults, $10 for Youth and Seniors – you can get a coupon from their website for a $1 discount on Sundays.

Go ahead and indulge your inner daVinci, Wright, Lindberg, Earhart, or Yeager!




My Solar Clothes Dryer (Los Altos TOWN CRIER, August 5, 2015

Solar clothes dryer

My cousin periodically sends me Internet nostalgia with comments along the lines of “Are you old enough to remember this?” One of her recent items struck me as newly useful in our energy-conservation-conscious times:

The Basic Rules for Clotheslines: (If you don’t even know what clotheslines are, a quick look on Google or Wikipedia will clarify.)

1. You had to hang the socks by the toes … not the top.

2. You hung pants by the bottom/cuffs … not the waistbands.

3. You had to wash the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes – walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.

4. Wash day on a Monday! Never hang clothes on the weekend, or on Sunday, for heaven’s sake!

5. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so that you could hide your “unmentionables” in the middle (perverts and busybodies, y’know!)

6. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothespins, but shared one of the clothespins with the next washed item.

7. Clothes off of the line before dinnertime, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.

My cousin claims not to have used a clothesline since she first discovered dryers at the laundromat. For me, my clothesline is an integral part of my Saturday routine. It is very soothing to take the laundry outside and pin up or hang the clothes. It gets me outside, makes me bend and stretch, and saves at least one dryer cycle.

I don’t follow all of the rules above. Contrary to Rule 1, I always hang socks by the tops, paired with a single clothespin. I’d never heard of Rule 3 – I guess my mother assumed that the occasional rain would keep the line fairly clean. And for a working woman, Saturday, not Monday, is wash day.

Rule 2 has been made pretty obsolete with the advent of permanent press and spandex. When I was a child, my mother and I struggled on laundry day with pants stretchers that you put down the legs of trousers and expanded as much as you could so that the trousers – especially jeans – would dry with fewer wrinkles. Now all I have to do is hang the pants by the waistband with the fly zipped and they will dry flat.

Because I own a limited number of clothespins, I have to challenge myself to use as few pins as possible, as Rule 6 above suggests. (That’s about as much challenge as I can stand on a Saturday morning.) And I do hang sheets on the outside line, but only because that’s where they fit best on my umbrella-style clothesline. (See solar clothes dryer in privacy mode below.)

Permanent press and Kleenex have also put an end to the sprinkler bottle, used to dampen pillowcases, dishtowels and handkerchiefs so that they could be ironed more easily. My older brother made ours at Boy Scout camp – an RC Cola bottle painted green, with a decoupage flower on the side and a sprinkler top secured by a cork stopper. (I’m sure my brother will curl up and die now that I have revealed he is a decoupage maven.) Ironing now is only for the linen napkins if company is coming.

But despite some improvements in textile technology, I’m still enthusiastic about my small-ecological-footprint, resource-efficient, cost-effective, reusable, easily repaired combination low-impact aerobic exercise device/solar clothes dryer, available in retractable, parallel and umbrella versions from most online or offline housewares providers. Let me encourage you – take wash day back to the future! Solar dryer- privacy mode

The Death Knell of Suburbia (Los Altos Town Crier, July 1, 2015)

Photo by C Birnbaum

Photo by C Birnbaum


The orchards are gone. The single-story ranch house is seen as a waste of valuable land and air space. An eight-lane freeway thunders past the bridle paths in Los Altos Hills. But nothing has signaled the death of surburbia more definitely than the announcement last month that Sunset, the “Magazine of Western Living” is abandoning its spacious, rambling, garden-focused headquarters in Menlo Park and relocating to an urban shopping/restaurant hub in Oakland.

When my family moved to Los Altos in the late 50’s, we knew nothing about suburban life. My parents had been raised in a city, relocated to a smallish county seat in the mid-South, living in a succession of small homes. Then we found ourselves in Los Altos, on nearly an acre of land which included sixteen assorted fruit trees, three assorted nut trees, plus a grapevine and a mint patch, a separate outbuilding (part garage, part workshop, part toolshed) and a creek in the back.

Sunset, May 1993

Sunset, May 1993

Sunset became my parents’ bible. My father learned about composting, about roto-tilling, and about hulling walnuts and protecting almonds from squirrels, and about grilling steaks and salmon and trout on an outdoor grill. My mother learned how to dry apricots, can peaches, make plum jam, and put together a block party or a kid’s Christmas craft workshop. For years my parents saved every issue, just in case they needed a recipe for fig chutney or how-to instructions for making a picnic table or a lawn chair. I even appeared in a sidebar about making party banners, back before you could buy banners for every occasion in the hardware store.

Sunset August 1976 -That's me at upper right!

Sunset August 1976 -That’s me at upper right!

Of course, when I brought my young family back to Los Altos in the 80’s, we immediately subscribed to Sunset. I noticed a change. There were fewer articles about how to make things, and more articles about where to buy things. The recipes used more exotic ingredients like fenugreek and sumac and grapeseed oil, and less of the things you might grow in your own yard. A wine section had been added. The travel section listed more resort hotels and fewer family camping spots.

According to the announcement of Sunset’s move to Oakland (San Jose Mercury News, June 3, 2015) “the new headquarters… underscores the shift in western lifestyles in recent years…. Rooted for decades in suburbia and the suburban lifestyle…, the magazine now is following the trend of young tech workers, empty nesters and others who increasingly seek larger cities for their homes.” Per Sunset editor-in-chief Peggy Northrop “ we are joining the trend that our readers have started.”

Sunset July 2015 - pay to play!

Sunset July 2015 – pay to play!

I didn’t go to the last Sunset Celebration, the annual food/wine/garden/home décor party that has been hosted for decades at the Menlo Park headquarters. I didn’t want to say good-bye to the showcase gardens, which had been one of the places we always used to take out-of-state visitors to convince them that we really were living in Paradise. The property “is deemed to be a prime spot for development of first-class office buildings.”

I wonder if they will install a tombstone, or at least a memorial plaque: “Suburbia – born in the Valley of Heart’s Delight, 1950; died in Silicon Valley, 2015. And so goes the dream.


Sunset June 1976 – Campfire Cooking

Sunset July 2015 - Almond Torte with grilled figs

Sunset July 2015 – Almond Torte with grilled figs

Freeway Free in New Mexico: the Turquoise Trail

turq-pics_056-995x269New Mexico Highway 14 – the Turquoise Trail – parallels  I-25, the main road between Santa Fe and Albuquerque.  I-25 despite boasting  three lanes of (light) traffic each way is not  a freeway, as it alternates creatively decorated overpasses with intermittent cross traffic.  If you want to travel a beautiful bypass full of surprises, choose the Turquoise Trail.

The name is  a marketing ploy to attract tourists.  There are no opportunities to mine for turquoise, and not very many of the Indian arts and silversmithing shops that are so ubiquitous around Santa Fe’s main plaza. “Turquoise” is mainly the color of the overpasses feeding toward the Interstate 10-15 miles west.

What you will find is beautiful rolling open country dotted with sage, pinon pine, and juniper, punctuated by red rock escarpments stretching off into the purple distance where mountains lump up against the horizon.

The_band-565x292And there is amazing and amusing roadside art, first in dribs and drabs, e.g.  lifesize mustangs cut out of sheet metal and painted bright colors, interspersed with mustang-sized sheet metal origami cranes.  Then cresting into a tsunami of eccentricity in the  artist colony of Madrid (pronounced with the accent on the first syllable – rhymes with Hagrid) – a rather dilapidated settlement of old buildings, bright paint, tie-dye and macramé warped out of the 1960’s into a colder, blander 21st century.

We had a deadline to meet in Albuquerque, so we did not stop even to take pictures.  But one day I want to trek the Turquoise Trail again, and maybe spend some serious time lolly-gagging in a weathered rocking chair behind the wind chimes and macramé plant holders on one of those slightly skewed porches looking out at the passing parade.

Freeway Free in Santa Fe


If you are in Santa Fe, stay at the La Fonda. Why not? It has all the historic charm of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, or the El Tovar at the rim of the Grand Canyon. It is not located in a national park, so it went through some hard times before being lovingly restored to splendid 1920’s level grandeur. And it is MUCH more affordable than the Ahwahnee with all the wonderful hand-hewn timber, eccentric architecture (there are at least three different ways to get to any given room), interesting restaurant menus and wonderful service.P1020698web


IMG_0471webOnce you are there on the square, take a city tour. Why not? It will give you an overview of what you can walk to or drive to, some historical background, some pretty corny jokes, and an interesting group of fellow tourist to exchange home town data with. It’s a pleasantly slow ramp-up to the day, and you can hop on a trolley right outside the La Fonda. It will take you through the art scene street (see above), some excellent outdoor sculpture, and leave you with lots of ideas on how to spend your NEXT trip to Santa Fe. (Museum Hill?  A whole day we didn’t have to spend this time!)


Once you have finished your city tour, you will want lunch. There you are on the plaza/. Try the Famous Plaza Cafe – lots of history on the plaza, pressed tin ceiling, friendly and fast service, and killer fish tacos.P1020721web


Now it’s time for the museums. The New Mexico History Museum  is a GEM according to AAA’s road guide, and rightfully so. With admission you also get to explore the Palace of the Governors, one of the few surviving real adobe buildings in Santa Fe (the others are brick coated with stucco in imitation) and probably one of the few single-story palaces in the world.  And if you have read Willa Cather’s “Death Comes to the Archbishop” (and I hope you have, as a prep for your Santa Fe visit) you will find portraits of ALL the main characters hanging in the Museum or the Palace – instantly recognizable.


P1020741webOn your way back to La Fonda, be sure to explore inside the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi which faces the square. Again, if you have read “DCttAB” you cannot fail to be moved by the statue of the austere Archbishop Lamy who reformed and re-energized the New Mexico church mission, and by the little wooden Madonna, regally gowned by the devout needlewomen of the Santa Fe diocese, who is the core of Catholic tradition in the area, paraded around the square in her finery once eacy year.


You’ve walked a lot. Time to relax at the pool in the La Fonda central courtyard. It’s shielded from wind and sun and kept at a perfect temperature.P1020734web


Once you are dry and dressed, present yourself at the Bell Tower Bar at the very top of the LaFonda, with a 360 degree view of the square,the town, the mountains, and the clouds. Everyone up here is in a good mood – what nicer place could there be to strike up a conversation with the folks around the firepit or cocktail table?

And if you have not filled yourself up on appetizers at the Bell Tower, finish off your Santa Fe day at La Plazuela, the restaurant in the former courtyard (now roofed with a skylight) around the fountain at the center of La Fonda. There are other restaurants in town which boast Michelin stars, but none that can boast more atmosphere or history. I recommend the pork tamales.


The evening is up to you.

Freeway Free in New Mexico: The Town that Wasn’t There

The view from the road to Nowhere

The view from the road to Nowhere

The road to Los Alamos is paved now, and there are comforting stone barriers separating the driver from the precipitous drops edging the switchbacks as you climb from the valley of the Santa Fe River.  There are even scenic viewpoints provided so that you can look out over the valley of the Rio Grande as it carves its way toward El Paso.  It’s a long way from those days in the early 1940’s when the town was as isolated and exotic as Narnia, its only entrance through an inconspicuous door of an old adobe on the Plaza in Santa Fe.

In those days the inhabitants of Los Alamos were divided, like Narnia, into two very different groups, but unlike Narnia, they were putatively on the same side.  The town had been created by the US Military, and its routine labor and its decidedly non-routine security were provided by the Army.  But its purpose was to probe areas of science that had never been explored – to create the weapon that would end World War II, killing hundred of thousands of people, but by doing so save a million other lives which would have been lost through hand-to-hand combat, disease, ritual suicide, and other causes in a drawn-out battle for Japan.


Dwarf meets Elf, with Man in the middle

Perhaps the uneasy alliance was more like that of Elves and Dwarves in the battle against the Dark Lord of Mordor. Certainly there was an elfin quality about Robert Oppenheimer, the leader of the scientists, and a foursquare dwarvish solidity about his military counterpart, General Leslie Groves.   And there were ordinary people at Los Alamos, too; there were cleaning women and secretaries and nurses and teachers, who played their roles without ever quite knowing what was going on.

Now the town looks quite ordinary.  There is a struggling downtown area with some small shops and restaurants, and a new shopping mall.  There is an excellent sandwich shop, Daniel’s Café (sharing space with Mary’s Gelato) .  I recommend the Tuna Melt.

If you want room for gelato, split the sandwich!

If you want room for gelato, split the sandwich!

There is a high school which had been originally funded by the Atomic Energy Commission and still gets 22% of its funding from the FEderal Government.  Since the principal employer in Los Alamos is still the Laboratory, it is not surprising that the sons and daughters of physicists have gained national recognition for their school’s academic program.

And there is a wonderful museum, the Bradbury Science Museum, which tells the story of the Manhattan Project from the point of view of all three groups who worked there, as well as revealing as much as can be told about the lab’s current activities

For more about Los Alamos and the Mahattan Project, you can’t go wrong reading Day of Trinity by Lansing Lamont, and then watching “The Day After Trinity”, a  fine documentary about Robert Oppenheimer.  And when you walk the sidewalks of  the Town that Wasn’t There, you’ll hear history echoing in your footsteps.

Freeway Free in New Mexico – Willa Cather Country



On our first day in New Mexico we arrived in Albuquerque and drove north to wherewe would rendezvous with friends.  I was grateful that I had prepared for our trip by re-reading Willa Cather’s “Death Comes for the Archbishop.  She gave me the words to describe what I was seeing:  “In other places the sky is the roof of the world.  Here the earth is somply the floor of the sky.” As we drove through the austere landscape that sky stretched over and around us in an immense blue expanse, shrinking the distant mountains and mesas to the size of doll furniture.

The countryside was austere, but not barren.  There were pinon pines twisting along the ridges, cottonwood tries lining the dry washes where water had flowed and would flow again.  The six-lane highway was punctuated by over-crossings decorated with southwestern motifs: thunderbirds, stampeding mustangs, desert tortoises, road runners.  The roads themselves led off to a couple of barns, or a boarded up gas station, or a billboard advertising Native American Jewelry – 5 miles west.



We arrived at our hotel just the other side of nowhere (that is, fourteen miles north of Santa Fe), a comfortable and bland Homewood Suites just next to the Buffalo Thunder Resort Hotel and Casino, where we had dinner on the outside patio as the sun went down, the moon rose, and the artificial luminarias lit up the pseudo-adobe battlements.



Drought Intolerance (Los Altos Town Crier, June 4, 2015)

P1020796webDrought intolerance

Four years into it, almost everyone but the Santa Clara Valley Water District is admitting that our drought is a reality that won’t go away. (Hello, SCVWD? Still insist on building those catch basins in San Antonio Preserve and McKelvey for flood protection?) Walking, jogging, and biking around my Los Altos neighborhood, you can see a number of different landscape solutions our neighbors have reached in order to cope with water scarcity . These include:

Total Denial: The lawn is green and trimmed, shrubs are pruned, flowers are blooming. “This is my lawn and my flowers and I’m jolly well going to keep them going – it’s bound to rain someday!”

Good Citizen: the lawn is trimmed but browning, flowers are going to seed instead of being pruned. “Brown is the new Green!”

Cottage Gardener: the yard has no lawn instead flagstone paths lead to a bench or wrought iron table and chairs, surrounded by, lots of roses, hydrangeas, and other blooming flowers and shrubs. “It’s all on drip irrigation, get off my case!”

P1020804webPractical Productivity: The lawn has been replaced by raised beds sowed with vegetables, herbs, snail-repelling marigolds, and cutting flowers,   surrounded by gravel paths and bark mulch. “If I can’t eat it, smell it, or put it in a vase, I’m not watering it!”

Concrete and Conifer (good for corner lots): A large tree in front of the house (usually evergreen, but sometime oak) with a layer of weed-stifling leaves or needles underneath, provides the focal point of the landscaping. A circular driveway takes up the rest of what would be lawn. Some shrubs fill in the corners. “High function, low maintenance – what’s not to like?”

Maybe Sleeping Beauty is in there?

Maybe Sleeping Beauty is in there?

Concealment: A new picket fence bordered with shrubs conceals the yard. Is there lawn behind it, or dried ground? “Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies.”

Desert shrubs, bubbling fountain, recycled water?

Desert shrubs, bubbling fountain, recycled water?

Smugness: (prevalent with newer houses with either Mission-style or Modern architecture) Instead of lawn, lots of gravel in geometric designs, bark mulch, feather grass, sage, California natives and usually a “water feature” (with recycled water, of course) just to rub it in how much water they are saving on the rest of the landscaping. “We saw it coming and you didn’t! Nyah nyah nyah!”

Anachronistic: The traditional Los Altos ranchhouse, but the lawn has been replaced with bark mulch and gravel as with the Mission/Modern landscape. “So it doesn’t match the ranch-suburban look, it’s not going to be featured in Sunset, but it keeps the water bill down.”

50’s Los Altos throwback: a wide border of overgrown juniper shrubs, with a spread of English Ivy instead of lawn. “Everything old is new again!”

Is it real?

Is it real?

Embracing the inevitable (Suburban traditional): It looks like a luxuriant lawn, but a closer look reveals artificial turf. “I can have my cake and eat it too!”

Weeds, schmeeds! It's ornamental grass!

Weeds, schmeeds! It’s ornamental grass!

Embracing the inevitable (Pioneer traditional): A border around the former lawn has been mowed, but the central portion has been allowed to revert to waist-high horsetail grass and star thistle. “Weeds, shmeeds, I say it’s ornamental grass, and I say the heck with it!”

A Familiar Icon Pops Up


I was walking to my car parked on a side street downtown when my eye fell on an old familiar acquaintance from my early childhood.. It was the Steinway logo over the door of the new Steinway and Sons showroom, recently added to the local merchant roster.S&Slogo

I have been intimate with the Steinway logo ever since my mother inherited a beautiful mahogany Steinway grand (model M) from her step-father, who had owned the Steinway dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The piano had been personally autographed by the then-president of Steinway and Sons, Theodore Steinway.  (According to family lore, this was because Mrs. Daynes wanted to prevent her husband’s selling the piano right out of her living room, as he had been known to do.) We had to buy a new house in order to accommodate the piano, as it refused to fit in our compact living room. (I gained a new sister at about the time the piano arrived, which probably influenced the move also.)

As a child the piano was my fort, my cave, my favorite retreat. I was quite familiar with all the small nooks and crannies visible only from the underside, so imagine my glee when one day I poked a toy into one of my accustomed hiding places and found something else hidden there. I bounced out from under the piano caroling “Mommy! Mommy! I found money hidden in the piano!” My mother turned white, then red. She had been entrusted with some cash from a school fund-raiser and had thought she had found the perfect hiding place. Her security had lasted only about forty minutes.

Later I was not on such good terms with the Steinway. My parents felt that with such an instrument in the family, someone must learn to play it, and the choice settled on me. I suspect my older brother, whose long fingers were much better suited to the task than my short stubby ones, simply made himself scarce at any time when the subject of piano lessons was mentioned. I wasn’t as agile, so I was sentenced to a weekly pilgrimage to the home of Mrs. Knox, a few blocks away, plus daily practice.

It wasn’t so bad at first, learning scales and simple tunes which I could memorize and play back without having to practice very much. But then we got to two hands, and the need for coordination overwhelmed my ability to fake being able to read the music. By the time I was ten I was weeping at the keyboard, and Mrs. Knox regretfully told my mother that as I seemed to have neither talent nor inclination to practice, I had better stop taking lessons.

Fortunately, that little sister I mentioned was just getting to the age where she invited comparisons to Shirley Temple, and she loved to perform. I gratefully handed over the practice time to her.

The Steinway is still in Mom’s living room, not used much now that my sister is married and away. But I do have three long-fingered grand-children, each of whom has embarked on piano lessons. I’m hoping the Steinway will be a family member for a long time to come.PianoSignature

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