In my latest novel, Brought To You By The Color Drab, the character, Stan Crosslin, is a blind piano tuner. At one point in the novel, Race learns more about this man who has become his employer. He is at Wingate Hill Farm in Kentucky talking to Albert Embry about Stan.
At one point, Race stumbled into a question he’d been wanting to ask. “Albert, did you know Stan before he…” But he got flustered and couldn’t finish.
“Before the accident?” Albert completed the thought easily. “No I didn’t.” He spread fresh straw on the floor of one of the stalls while Race watched. “Wish I had. And you’re probably wondering how he happened to know all of us here in Kentucky.”
Race nodded. It was exactly what he was wondering.
“It was Laura actually. She felt our community needed a local piano tuner—which was true—so she wrote to the Emil Fries School of Piano Technology in Vancouver, asking for applicants and Stan answered our petition. We were exactly what he needed during those early years of his healing.”
The training school mentioned here is an actual school for the blind. It was started in 1949 by a man named Emil Fries who himself was a piano tuner. While he attended law school, piano tuning provided Emil’s income.
Once he realized he loved teaching more than law, he devoted his life to teaching the blind. The original name of the school was the Emil Fries Piano Hospital and Training Center. Through the years, students from around the globe have graduated from the school.
In 1966, Emil formed a nonprofit corporation to ensure that the Piano Hospital would continue to fulfill its purpose in the future.
Times have changed, and obviously there are many more opportunities for the blind and sight impaired.
Stan Crosslin’s occupation, and his need for a driver to take him to appointments, set the stage for dramatic changes in Race’s life.
Click the link below to download and read the first 2 chapters of Brought To You By The Color Drab.