The Day the Show Didn't Go On

Ron Kroenke and Sharon O'Donnell i i

Ron Kroenke (left) told his story to his friend Sharon O'Donnell in Omaha, Neb. StoryCorps hide caption

itoggle caption StoryCorps
Ron Kroenke and Sharon O'Donnell

Ron Kroenke (left) told his story to his friend Sharon O'Donnell in Omaha, Neb.

StoryCorps

Something was amiss one December day when Ron Kroenke came to tune a piano at a nursing home near Omaha, Neb.

"A group gathered around in chairs and they were all wearing their nice Christmas clothing," Kroenke says. "I thought, well, how nice. They have no idea that I'm going to bore them to sleep with my tuning."

Kroenke went to work, smiling at the nursing home crowd.

"A few of them were looking at me like, what in the world is he doing? One lady was just glaring at me," he says.

Another lady, named Rose, gave him sympathetic looks.

The activity director came in and announced that, because the piano was being tuned, a concert that had been scheduled that day would be postponed until the following month.

"About a third of the people looked highly disappointed, and they were murmuring to each other, trying to tell each other what had happened," Kroenke says.

One woman barked: "Haven't you ever heard if isn't broke, don't fix it?" She stormed off.

Kroenke had scooted out of Rose's view because she looked so hurt. Suddenly, she touched Kroenke's arm, startling him.

"She was very close to me and she told me very sincerely, 'I've been sitting here the whole time and I've been watching what you do and I can tell that you're the kind of person who would never walk away from this piano until everything was just so.'

"That was a moment where someone did just the right thing, just out of the blue and it did mean something to me."

Produced for Morning Edition by Katie Simon. The senior producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo.

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