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#2055395 - 03/27/13 11:20 PM The Piano at Ballarat  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,855
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Plowboy  Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,855
SoCal
Last Saturday we stopped off at Ballarat, Calif., just outside Death Valley National Park, on the way to a strenuous but terrific hike of Porter and Sentinel Peaks.

Ballarat is a ghost town, founded in 1896 at the base of the Panamint Mountains. It sort of petered out in 1917. Its most famous resident was Seldom Seen Slim, the last of the old time prospectors who passed away in 1968.

It had a saloon. The saloon is now run by the one resident, who sells cokes and beers. You can shoot his black powder rifle for $2. I wouldn't show up there with a Obama sticker on my bumper, if I was you. When we were there they were discussing the procedure for making ammonia nitrate flour.

Anyway, on the porch of the old saloon, under a roof, is an old upright. My guess is it's at least 100 years old. It hasn't been maintained since at least 1917 is my best guess. Nobody knows how long it has set on the porch, but Panamint Valley is pretty dry.

I gave it a try with Bach's Prelude in C Major. It actually worked! Sort of. While all the keys produced a "tone", most of the keys had to be pulled back up with a thumb before they could be played again. It sort of slowed down the prelude.

I didn't try the pedals.

It was kind of cool to play what I consider a historical instrument. Back in the day, that saloon must have been pretty lively with thirsty miners. It must have been an interesting crew of players that preceded me on that instrument. I wonder who they were and what stories they'd tell.

I wonder how many of them got plugged? I looked around but didn't see a "Don't Shoot the Piano Player" sign. You can see the piano on the right of the porch:
[Linked Image]


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
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#2055504 - 03/28/13 07:05 AM Re: The Piano at Ballarat [Re: Plowboy]  
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,807
wouter79 Offline
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wouter79  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,807
Wow nice, great weather too smile Thanks for posting. Maybe you can bring a bit of teflon spray next time to fix the hanging keys wink


[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
#2055508 - 03/28/13 07:33 AM Re: The Piano at Ballarat [Re: Plowboy]  
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,261
LarryShone Offline
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LarryShone  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,261
England
Poor thing needs some TLC and a good home!


If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.
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#2055646 - 03/28/13 11:49 AM Re: The Piano at Ballarat [Re: Plowboy]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,137
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,137
Lexington, Kentucky
Fun story and pic. smile


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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#2055718 - 03/28/13 02:17 PM Re: The Piano at Ballarat [Re: Plowboy]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,364
jotur Offline
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jotur  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,364
Santa Fe, NM
That would have been fun to play - well, try to play, as it seems smile I'd love to have a gig in a place like that! Great photo - thanks for posting.

Cathh


Cathy
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Practice like you are the worst; play like you are the best - anonymous
#2055969 - 03/29/13 12:34 AM Re: The Piano at Ballarat [Re: Plowboy]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,855
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Plowboy  Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,855
SoCal
Thanks for the kind words. It's a cool piano.

Oh, Ballarat had one other famous resident: Charlie Manson.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
#2056471 - 03/29/13 08:12 PM Re: The Piano at Ballarat [Re: Plowboy]  
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 823
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member
Amaruk  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 823
New England, USA
Great story Plowboy! Like all old pianos, this piano looks like it is in excellent shape! smile


My piano channel on YouTube: Link

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