Cute name, huh? It’s the name of my childhood piano teacher from
. Nat Glatt (I had to address him as Mr. Glatt, but when I referred to him otherwise, it always came out as the melodious sounding one-syllable "NatGlatt") came to my house every week to hear my horrible piano playing. The piano was beautiful however. A Wurlitzer ‘living room grand’ in the turreted alcove of my grandparent’s apartment on the first floor of the house we shared with them. The piano was bought in Jersey City by my grandfather and presented to my mother on her 16th birthday (1942) in that same apartment. My mother, to my knowledge, barely played it, but can still play “I love coffee, I love tea” if she’s in the mood. Newark
|Wurlitzer living room grand piano, in of all places, my living room.|
I loved that piano but, as most kids of age 10 or so, didn’t want to practice. I used the excuse that I couldn’t practice because I had
right after school, and after that, in the evenings, my grandparents were in the living room watching tv, so how could I practice? Come to think of it, that’s a pretty good reason. I guess I could have made more of an effort on the weekends, but nah. Hebrew School
Nat Glatt as far as I was concerned though, was renown in all the Jewish piano-playing homes in Jersey City for his great knowledge of Broadway show tunes. I still have the enormous book of ‘show tunes’ piano music that Nat Glatt said was used by weddings bands of the era. That book I loved!! Words and music for all the hit Broadway and pop tunes of the 1960’s—‘Blame it on the boss nova’, 'Mame,' 'Sunrise, Sunset,' etc. It’s the reason I knew all the lyrics to these songs, though all my friends were listening to the Beatles by then. I still have the book and had put reinforcements on all 470+ pages!! I certainly had time to lick reinforcements, but didn't find the time to practice the piano.
|We only had to pay $10, not the $75 that's printed!!|
|Nat Glatt's instructions penned in|
I think it was Aunt Jane’s accompaniment that got me as far as it did with playing the piano. I was done with the instrument by age 13, though I'm still a show tune nerd. My mother presented the piano to me as my college graduation gift, big pink bow and all wrapped around it, and I taught myself a couple of Scott Joplin rags on it right after that. It had a place of honor in my first home after Broccoli Rob and I got married and it’s still with me, here in the living room of my condo, kinda hidden behind the couch. Years go by without a note being played on it’s very-out-of tune keyboard. A few weeks ago, after seeing “Saving Mr. Banks, a movie about P.L. Travers and the making of the movie “Mary Poppins,” I came home and immediately opened my 1964 easy piano book to “Spoonful of Sugar” and played. Those few left-handed chords came back to me natch. Nat Glatt would be proud.
|Just a buck!|