When Cache Valley piano technician Anson Everitt heard a video of a girl playing an out-of-tune piano in the Sunshine Terrace dining hall, only one thought came to mind: Sour milk.
“Because I’ve tasted it,” Everitt said, laughing. “There’s not much you can do with sour milk.”
So Everitt took an old Lester Spinet piano he had been given, fixed the keys “one at a time” and then moved it into the Logan retirement community with his wife in late January.
“We just brought it; we didn’t ask anybody,” he said.
Cindy Jones, administrator of Sunshine Terrace, said she was happy the retirement community got a new piano installed, despite not knowing about it until after it happened.
“I think it’s great,” Jones said. “We love donations, and we’re fortunate to be in a community that treats us very well.”
Jennifer Birchell, music therapist at Sunshine Terrace, told The Herald Journal that the out-of-tune grand piano they had before was donated to them broken.
“We weren’t sure what to do with it since it was a donation that was brought in and set up and in terrible condition,” she said. “It has been tuned. It just will not stay in tune, ever.”
Birchell said another piano technician came in and estimated it would cost thousands of dollars to fix the grand piano.
Everitt probably wouldn’t have known about the out-of-tune piano or installed a new one had it not been for Josh Paulsen, who first brought the piano to the public’s attention.
Paulsen, whose kids go to Sunshine Terrace several times a year to perform music, has long known about the old instrument in the corner of the dining hall.
“We know that piano’s terrible,” Paulsen said.
He thought the piano was so amusing, he recently shot video of his 13-year-old daughter, Jane, playing it.
“I was thinking, ‘Aw man, this is totally the worst piano in the world!’” Jane said.
Paulsen then uploaded the video of his daughter to Facebook.
“Folks, we need to do something about the piano at Sunshine Terrace Care Center,” he wrote.
Paulsen got in touch with a friend, who knew Everitt and recommended he install a new piano at Sunshine Terrace.
It didn’t take long for that to happen, as Paulsen noted on Facebook.
“Folks, we did it! (well, Anson Everitt did it),” he wrote. “Twenty-four hours later and Sunshine Terrace has a beautiful sounding piano for their dining room.”
Paulsen’s daughter, Jane, said she is excited over the fact that Sunshine Terrace finally has a working piano.
“I feel like a lot of people at Sunshine Terrace probably appreciate that and think, ‘Oh, now music is actually going to sound really nice,’” she said.
The old piano still sits in the Sunshine Terrace dining hall, but Everitt hopes residents enjoy the new one he gave them.
“I just want people to be happy … and music does help, there’s no argument against that,” he said. “And it’s good when it’s in-tune music.”
Everitt said he feels a lot of love for the residents of Sunshine Terrace who have “lived this much life and kept on keeping on.”