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Century-old Bethany piano caps residents luncheon trip to Spring Creek Country Club
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Bethany Manor residents in Ripon surround a century-old Wurlitzer Baby Grand Piano now in their main lobby for all to enjoy before going on their annual luncheon outing at the Spring Creek Country Club. There were 46 in all planning to enjoy a Christmas season lunch together. - photo by GLENN KAHL

RIPON — Vanessa Stagi made an impact on the residents of the Bethany Manor Apartments in Ripon with the donation of her family’s 100-year-old Wurlitzer Baby Grand Piano that now sets beneath a central chandelier in the main lobby of the Ripon facility.

The donor said she feels the piano is finally showcased in an area where it can fully display its beauty for so many senior citizens and staff members to enjoy.  Nearly 50 of the residents took note of the new addition as they left for a Christmas luncheon at Spring Creek Country Club – many of them piano players.

“The piano will always be very special to me.  I will never forget the Christmas Eve at 5 years old having my dad give me a beautifully wrapped gift to open.  Inside was an exact miniature replica of my baby grand.  He then told me that I was to receive the life-size baby grand the next day – Christmas Day,” Stagi said.

The piano has had three different owners over the past century, adding that each of the owners truly loved the piano and were proud of the piece in their homes.

“All three owners kept the piano in mint condition, whatever it took to keep it looking and sounding its best – a status symbol in the early years,” she added.

Stagi asked that the lid be kept propped open at all times so the gold workings and the craftsmanship can be displayed.  The most important reason beyond its presentation is to keep moisture from setting in on the backs of the keys.

“If this happens, the keys will swell and the piano will be ruined forever.  So it is imperative to keep the top propped open at all times,” she said.