In a Working Man’s Key

In a Working Man's KeyBefore my first appointment today, I went over to a church here in our City to play the organ for their early Sunday morning Service.  I was asked about a month ago if I’d be available and I agreed.  After having agreed to it, I realized I hadn’t played an organ for well over a year and considered myself far out of practice.  Several weeks ago I stopped over to their church and practiced for about a half hour.  I repeated those half hour practices several more times and pretty much figured it was as good as it gets.

Having arrived early, my anxieties wore off a bit after running thru a few of the more un-familiar pieces as well as meeting with their pastor just to make sure everything was in line with what he wanted played.  After getting thru the prelude, and a long piece thereafter, my comfort level with their historically old pipe organ began to grow.

I was relieved to find there weren’t very many noticeable mistakes made . The pedalboard must’ve been designed for someone with far shorter and narrower feet than mine.  Once in a while when thinking I was pressing just one pedal key with my foot, I could hear I had pressed down on two.  I’m sure if I had to play over there every Sunday, I would grow accustomed to its reduced size.  All in all, it was a good Service and I’m confident the congregation appreciated hearing their pipe organ being played.  My real estate appointments kept me busy well after 1:00 pm, and when finished, I changed my clothes and again donned my worker’s outfit, and drove off to a project I’ve been plugging away at since before Spring.

My project today was to get a four paneled door stripped of about seven layers of paint.  The door is probably nearing 100 years old, and certainly showed its age by the those of layers of paint which represented many color styles of different periods.  I knew it was going to be a bugger to get stripped just by looking at it, but I remained determined.

After about five hours of near non-stop stripping, I finally got the real wood exposed.  There’s a little touching up to do, but for the most part it’s ready for a light sanding and a couple coats of varnish.  Getting a good look at it before I left, I’ve decided I like four paneled doors the best.  They have that look of a “diminished elegance”.  One of the things I noticed while working on that door, was my hearing some of the music I had played at church. It was playing so much in my mind to where I was actually listening to it.  Of course I wasn’t hearing the entire songs from beginning to end because sometimes they’d jump back and forth from one to another.  Let’s say it was sort of a like hearing music being played in a working man’s key.

Joe Chodur

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