upper waypoint

Jeff Hawley: My Piano and Me

Save ArticleSave Article
Failed to save article

Please try again

Do you have any dreams you’ve long given up on? Jeff Hawley reminds us to keep those dreams alive.

The immortal words spoken to Sam Dooley have always been a part of my DNA. Play it again Sam.

And, after a 50 year layoff, I chose to play it again.

The piano that is.


A few years ago, I purchased an electronic keyboard; soon after it arrived at my doorstep, I began taking lessons.

Things went well with my playing. Throughout my 2 years of pounding away, I memorized some 8 or 9 songs. My wife agrees it is time to graduate and “Craigslist” the electronic keyboard and search for a real piano; one without an on/off switch.

For the last 2 months, I was on a mission to find the perfect baby grand. 6 visits, 6 stories behind the original piano purchase, and nights of tossing and turning waiting for the lightning bolt to hit: “Jeff, look no further, I am your forever piano.”

Halfway through my journey, I visited one home. I love their piano. I began playing it. A married couple, my age, selling it, downsizing, moving back East to be near children. They bought the piano 10 years ago. The owner’s wife took a few lessons and never played it again.

When I began playing “Fly Me to The Moon,” she began crying. Was my playing that bad?

No. She felt a deep pain. Dreams of a passion no longer on the horizon; a missed opportunity in her estimation.

In a few minutes, her husband finished his call early and came down to join us. He was delighted with the music filling their entire house, something he had not experienced in a while.
In the end, I did not buy their piano.

But I did learn one thing from my visit that day, a lesson in the form of some stranger’s tears, do not let these years slip by. Follow the music. Keep playing.

With a Perspective, I’m Jeff Hawley.

Jeff Hawley is retired and a former Berkeley resident.

lower waypoint
next waypoint