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Nesconset woman finally finds home for her piano

Nesconset resident Jeannie Watson with the Spinet piano

Nesconset resident Jeannie Watson with the Spinet piano that she had been unable to give away until now. Credit: David L. Pokress

Happy endings are rare, but at last Jeannie Watson’s long-rejected piano has found a home.

For a year and a half, the Nesconset woman put up notices online for someone to take her 60-year-old Spinet for free with no success. A story about how difficult it is to give away pianos these days recently appeared in Newsday with her instrument on the cover.

Once prized as a cultural status symbol in the 1900s, pianos have lost some of their appeal in modern times with mass media access to music and the advent of cheaper and smaller electronic versions. Schools and charities often decline gratis pianos because they have more than they can use already. Owners sometimes end up paying to have them hauled away, or dragged to the curb to be junked.

The reprieve for Watson’s piano came when a woman from Copiague contacted her on Facebook. She wanted it.

The woman who contacted Watson, Eileen Harrington Ombres, a 68-year-old retired financial services employee, says she wanted to learn to play when growing up, but never got the chance.

“I almost bought a piano a few years ago, but it cost $600 and I decided against it,” she says. “It was an investment and I thought, 'What if I don’t like it?'”

Realizing she could have a free instrument with only moving and tuning expenses, she contacted Watson via Facebook to ask if it was still available. It was.

“What do you call that?” Harrington Ombres says. “Serendipity?”

Afterward, she called East Islip-based piano mover and restorer Frank Davis to deliver it to her home. He returned this week to tune it and bring her a piano stool. She plans to start taking lessons soon.

“I’m getting ready to rock and roll,” she says.

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