Monday, June 1, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 10: Elmer's Tune

"We came home to the Hendon House—a brand new house with very little furniture. Neither of us brought much to our marriage in the way of furniture. But from the start, the Hendon House had a piano—a parlor grand Mason-Hamlin, one of the finest pianos ever made. My insistence got us that piano, before we bought any other furniture. It goes to show that I am not very practical sometimes. But I still think it was a good idea to buy it. Eleanor is a talented musician, and she deserved a fine instrument to play…."

"In 1985, when we built the house we live in today, the first new piece of furniture we bought for it was a new grand piano….By then, I had learned to play a little, too. There were a couple of pieces I could play quite well. One was 'The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise.' A friend who heard me play it once said, 'Elmer, I have never heard a person play so well with such a limited repertoire.'

Elmer's piano playing came in handy during the course of his political career, as shown in this clipping from the Minneapolis Tribune, September 20, 1960 during his candidacy for governor.

Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society, Elmer L. Andersen Papers, 146.c.15.2f

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