Shortly after we moved into our house in Grass Valley, my mother acquired a piano. I do not know who had owned it before we did or how much mother had agreed to pay for it. This was 1934 and the heart of the depression, so the price could not have been very much, but however little it was, it was a lot of money for us. I found out later that it took her several years to pay off, a few dollars at a time.
As soon as this instrument was in our living room, my oldest sister Grace started taking lessons. There was no money for music lessons, so mother traded eggs and other produce for the lessons. The next year, Mary started lessons and then it was my turn. I was never very good as a pianist, maybe because by that time, Mother was tired of making sure we practiced or because we didn’t have enough eggs. Whatever the reason my lessons were short-lived. But Grace and Mary excelled. Grace eventually ended up playing for the DeMoss Dance Band. They played on Saturday nights all over the county.