My first piano lesson was with Mrs. Highland who was right across the street. We lived in La Canada then.
I was just turning nine, which I later found out to be a late age to start for exceptional kids. She was kind, patient and nurturing of my talent. I was fully engrossed in my lessons, did not want them to end. Like a sponge, I was ready to absorb everything, needing to know everything in one lesson, how to count, how to phrase, learn about the different composers. I often found it difficult to leave on time while the next students were waiting at the door.
She had a beautiful living room with a grand piano while I went home to practice on our old Wurlitzer upright with the missing F sharp key. My dad had also brought home an LP record by Leonard Pennario of famous piano classics that further whetted my appetite.