A Steinway piano (PHOTO BY DANIEL ACKER / BLOOMBERG)
The Sherman Clay piano store in downtown Seattle is expected to close when the last piano is sold or at the end of September, whichever comes first. Earlier in August, I wrote an editorial notebook mourning the loss of the city’s only Steinway dealer and about the downtown Seattle store, which has been selling pianos at 4th and Pine since the 1920s.
You also shared your memories. Here are edited excerpts from the stories you shared with us.
From Zach Hyder:
“Back in college I befriended one of the sales associates during a UW student reception. We kept in touch for a few years, and when I was back in Seattle visiting one summer I dropped by the store to say hi right as it was closing. As they locked up I’ll never forget he said to me, ‘So go for it. Store is yours.’ I asked him which one he thought I should try. He pointed to this one particular Steinway concert grand. ‘That one,’ he said with a big smile on his face. It was incredible. It was like driving a Ferrari for someone who’d only ever been behind the wheel of a Volkswagen. Bach, Grieg, Chopin, Beethoven. I played for close to an hour while we chatted and told stories about our favorite composers and concerts we’d seen. We talked about what made Steinway’s so unique. For a moment, it felt like Carnegie Hall. It was an amazing experience — and I’ve never forgotten his kindness for letting a young kid have that momentary access to one of the world’s finest instruments.”
From William “Bruno” Santo, store manager from 1974 to 1982: