In the suburbs of Ballwin on Monday morning, Laurie Bowen shed a few tears as she watched movers load her Baldwin Hamilton piano on to a truck.
Her husband gave her the piano for her 45th birthday, said Bowen, 54, at a time when she had hoped to rekindle her musicianship. Bowen had played the piano from age 5 to 18, playing classical, ragtime and covers of Elvis Presley and Billy Joel for her siblings and friends.
But as an adult, with a full-time job at Enterprise and a young son at home, it was difficult to find the time to practice.
“I always wanted to play again, but with time I realized it wasn’t going to happen,” she said. “I thought, that piano really needs to go somewhere nice.”
Bowen knew what it was like to be a young piano student without an instrument at home. She studied for years before her parents bought one.
“It’s like going to school and learning math — and then not doing math again for another week,” Bowen said. “It’s hard to take the lessons you learned and remember them.”
Bowen wrote a note to Amani that was delivered with the piano, along with a copy of her Billy Joel songbook.
“I’m really happy that someone who truly wants it is getting it,” she said. “I hope I can hear her play someday.”