Memory Lane: The Piano Movers

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy moving the piano across the rope bridge in  Swiss Miss | Laurel and hardy, Piano, Swiss miss

When my folks acquired Aunt Florence’s piano, my father hired me and two of my friends to help him collect it. We were high school kids! We could do anything! Gary was on the wrestling team, Ronnie was in vo-tech learning to be a plumber, and I was in judo–I played many matches against grown men and did just fine. But there’s a big, big difference between a successful foot sweep and moving a piano.

It was like it was nailed to the floor. We couldn’t budge it, couldn’t left it an inch. Then Uncle Jimmy came home, and he and my father picked up the piano like it was an empty cardboard box, carried it out of the house, and loaded it into the U-Haul in a matter of minutes.

What a humbling experience that was! These men weren’t Olympic weight lifters. Just two ordinary, healthy, grown-up men. Either one of them was stronger than the three of us. Oh, the embarrassment. As you can see, I’ve never forgotten it.

I think we learned a lesson.

Memory Lane: Moving the Piano

Moving A Piano High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy

When I was in my late teens, my family acquired Aunt Florence’s piano, which meant my father had to rent a U-Haul trailer. He also hired me and two of my friends, Ronnie and Gary, to tote the piano. Ronnie in particular was a very strong young man, and I was a pretty good specimen, myself. Move a piano? Piece of cake!

So there’s the piano, and the three Young Turks flex their muscles, grip the piano mightily… and nothing happens. Grunt, groan, grit teeth. Who nailed the piano to the floor? Now we’re sweating. Freakin’ thing won’t budge.

Finally my father and Uncle Jimmy gently motioned us out of the way, picked up the piano like it was a picnic basket, and put it in the trailer. Oh, the mortification of it all. Who would’ve ever thought healthy grown men would be stronger than self-enamored 17-year-olds? Like, just because you can carry a tune doesn’t mean you can carry the piano.

Ah, well, live and learn.