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The Gold Piano

T. Rees Shapiro, who wrote the Dec. 13 Local Life feature on Preble Earle Donoho, a child prodigy, passes along some afterthoughts from his reporting:

One of the more enjoyable tasks of researching obituaries is digging through the archives. You never know what interesting tidbit you might find.
I was looking up old clips for this week's Local Life about Preble Earle Donoho, 79, a piano prodigy turned Washington Star printer who died Oct. 19, and ran into this story in a July 11, 1937 copy of the Washington Post:

One of young Preble's aspirations was to play the "gold piano that sat in the White House from 1903 to 1938. Many other young piano enthusiasts also desired to play it, including a girl named Grace Goodhue. Little Grace was on a tour of the White House when she became so entranced by the sight of the gilded piano that she sat down and started to play it.

A guard rushed over and quickly "No! No-ed" her.

Later, the first thing she did when she moved into the White House as Mrs. Calvin Coolidge was play that piano.

By Matt Schudel  |  December 13, 2009; 6:16 AM ET
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