Chapter 12
From Not Everyone Can Claim An Uncle Tom by Grace & Peter Ireland (2002)

Trio of children with a bike Uncle Tom playing the Piano

When I was young I had to get up at 6.30am and do my piano practice. At about 7.15 I had to go to the cow yard, get the milk, deliver Tom's morning coffee, feed the chooks, have breakfast, and then John, Ruth and I rode our pushbikes about 5kms to school along a bumpy, gravely road.

At one stage I remember Tommy coming back to the house for his morning coffee.

On about the fourth consecutive morning he was making his coffee when my mother came into the kitchen. Tom gave Mum a rev about the horrible coffee she'd started buying.

On investigation, Tom had been making his morning coffee on Gravox!

I didn't like it when Tom came inside for his morning coffee because it meant I had to do longer piano practice. As well as that, he always shouted at me because I played too loudly. "Keep it down Bub," he'd yell.

After Peter and I were married we shifted the piano into town.

Tom decided to have one last play on it before it was moved. After it was loaded onto the ute, Tom sat there playing away and wouldn't stop. We ended up driving into town with him playing all the way!!

Ros and Tony Balston now own the famous piano.

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