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It’s hard to sell a piano these days. It’s even harder to contemplate junking one.

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John Ficarra was the editor of Mad magazine from 1985 to 2018.

It took all of 90 seconds for two workers to load my old Baldwin upright piano onto a dolly, roll it out my front door and position it on the liftgate of their truck.

“You’d be surprised how many people cry when we do this,” said one of the men as he worked the controls to bring the piano up into the truck.

Actually, I wouldn’t. As he spoke, I was fighting back a tear.

I bought the piano in 1982. I had just rented my first apartment. At $2,500, the Baldwin was the single largest purchase I had ever made.

It hasn’t been the best of times for pianos. A fixture in middle-class homes throughout much of the 20th century — as a source of entertainment and a status symbol — pianos have gradually fallen out of favor. They’re bulky and expensive to maintain properly. Sales in the United States peaked in 1910, when nearly 365,000 were sold, and even in 1980 they were still a healthy 228,000. But by 2020, only 20,870 were sold. It’s hard to compete with inexpensive electronic keyboards that come with........

© Washington Post

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