I thought everyone would be amused by these stories. The first one happened years ago when the American harpist Joan Ceo was studying with Sylvia Meyer in Washington D.C. Joan said that Sylvia called her one night and said “Get over to (such-and-such) address before 10 tomorrow morning. There are two elderly sisters there that told me that they were putting their harp out on the curb on trash day!” Joan went to the address, and sure enough, there was a gold 23 sitting on the curb, along with barrels of trash! It was in terrible condition, but she took it and sent it immediately to Lyon & Healy, who completely rebuilt it. Joan had that harp her entire career until she sold it to me shortly before she died. She called it her Junk Harp. It was her gig harp for probably 50 years.
The second story happened about 2 months ago. I got a call from someone who said that she had a “broken” harp that she wanted to sell. She was not far from Boston, so I drove out to look at it. It was a very old Lyon & Healy semi-grand with a straight soundboard and a broken neck. Her husband told me how they had acquired it. He and his wife had a garbage and junk removal business, and about 15 years ago, he had put a dumpster outside of a house that the family was clearing out. When he went back to get the now full dumpster, laying on top was the harp! He said to me “I saw the tiger maple on the body and thought, I just can’t leave this thing here.” So he dove into the dumpster and retrieved the harp! He kept it all those years thinking that some day he would get it fixed. But now he and his wife were getting ready to retire, and I think they just decided that they had to clear out a lot of the stuff they had collected over the years. So now I have it! Anybody else know of any odd harp acquisition stories?