I tuned for a fascinating gentleman named John Zanni.  He is 91 years old and his father, also named John Zanni, worked in Ivoryton, Connecticut for a company called Comstock, Cheney & Co, which merged with Pratt Read & Co in December of 1936.  He worked on action parts and keys…for 50 years!!  John, the son (91) (who, coincidentally was a steelworker for 34 years for USS) said that his father started at Comstock Cheney in the late 1800’s.  I took a few pictures to document this wonderful conversation – there’s so much one can learn from a nonagenarian!!

This is a book that John showed me about Comstock, Cheney & Co. where his dad worked.


THIS is a fascinating account of the company history from when the building was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Here a screen shot I took thanks to Google (HERE) depicting John Zanni in 1954 commemorating 50 years of service (which means he would’ve actually started working there in 1904!)

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Here’s the plaque awarded John at the conclusion of his 50 years at Comstock, Cheney/Pratt, Read & Co.:


Here is a picture of John Zanni’s (son) piano that was purchased somewhere around 1950 (he was very pleased to find out that it has a Pratt, Read & Co. action!):


This is the Janssen Piano Company Creed as posted on the inside of the lid.  They took such pride in their work and took it so personally!  Love that….


And last but not least this is a picture of John and Erma Zanni (again, the son of John Zanni) at their 60th anniversary about 10 years ago:


John spoke with such love for his wife, Erma…he said he met her when he got off the ship (he was in the Navy) in like Oakland, CA.  The first thing he said to her when they met was, “I think I’m falling in love…will you dance with me?”   He recounted this story to me with such a peaceful, reflective glimmer in his eyes and said “That was the beginning of a real life of pleasure….”.  Erma passed away in 2008 at the age of 89.  They have 1 daughter (Jackie) 3 grandchildren as well as 8 great grandchildren, whom I hope to meet one day after Jackie inherits the piano…

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