Judy Olson: My first choice was Paul Perry | TheUnion.com

Judy Olson: My first choice was Paul Perry

In April of 2014, I donated my mother’s piano to Hospitality House to be used and enjoyed by the guests and many others. When I decided to plan a special presentation, I knew that I wanted someone very special to be the one to christen the piano with its first tune. And, of course, my first choice was Paul Perry, not only because he was well known in the community but also because he was an extraordinary person and musician.

However, I was concerned that he may not be interested enough or have the time to take part in a “lesser” event. Well, I need not have worried. He was very willing to participate.

A local tuner graciously donated his services but because the piano was quite old (circa 1930s) and had not been tuned for several years, he was not sure if it could be properly tuned. He called to say that he did the best he could, but felt that the piano was not “up to par” and that a professional would not be very pleased with how it sounded.

Paul played his beautiful version of a Gershwin tune and then turned to me and said, “This piano sounds just wonderful!”

We were surprised and, of course, so very pleased.

His passing is a great loss to so many, but at the same time, we are left with the great legacy of a very special and talented person, who left his mark on this community and beyond, and was happy to be a part of all kinds of events, big and small. We are very blessed, indeed.

Judy Olson, Hospitality House volunteer

Grass Valley

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