Ohio man hauls truckload of pianos north

Posted: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

JUNEAU (AP) -- When Robert Siegfried decided to haul a piano from Ohio to Alaska for his nephew's daughters, he didn't want to waste the space in his old moving truck. So he brought four pianos.

Siegfried arrived in Juneau last week from Cincinnati after six days on the Alaska Highway.

His nephew, Douglas Ward has two daughters who are ''about piano-playing age,'' Siegfried said.

Siegfried collects and repairs pianos and calls himself a hug fan of his great-nieces, Sommer, 3, and Raven, 1. But one piano was not enough.

''I figured I'd take a truckload,'' he said. ''If you're going to drive a truck, you might as well fill it up.''

In addition to the player piano he brought for his relatives, Siegfried packed a Wurlitzer electric piano and a couple of standard uprights. All told, they tip the scales at some 1,300 pounds.

Siegfried hopes to sell the other pianos, but plans to give the proceeds to his church back home.

Already, Capital Records owner Robert Cohen has put the Wurlitzer on display in his store.

''Wurlitzer was the first company to perfect what's now known as the electric piano,'' said Cohen, a pianist who teaches and jams with local groups. ''I'm actually quite tempted to buy it.''

The other pianos continue to sit in the back of the road-grime-covered moving truck near the Juneau waterfront.

Siegfried said he's planning to stay in Juneau ''until I can get rid of the damn pianos.''

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