Mr. Stienway

Mr. Steinway


The old, bruised and dented piano looked much like any nearly one hundred year old person. It lived in the corner of VA rehabilitation center along with a number of wounded vets. Before he was wounded, Rubin had been a carpenter. Deciding to refinish the piano was as much for him as it was for the piano. He told people that in the beginning neither he nor the piano was worth a nickel and that he couldn’t believe he owed his new life to refinishing an old piano.

John, an older resident, was unable to speak because of a traumatic brain injury. John had watched the piano slowly being refinished from a wheel chair. Everyone noticed that John never took his eyes off the piano. One day Rubin decided to wheel John up to the piano so that he could touch it. John smiled and began clapping his hands. Much to everyone’s surprise John began to play. He played for hours. The longer he played the clearer it became: John had been a concert pianist. It took two more years for John to find his voice. He told friends that had he not found the piano and his music, he never would have found his voice. John loves to tell people, “I play for those less fortunate than myself.”

Regardless of appearances, each of us is a very special instrument. Each of us is important and valuable. We are never too old or beat up to make a difference.


Bob Luckin ©

September 21st 2013