ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A beloved community piano in St. Pete was smashed to pieces last week, but a local art company made sure it was replaced.
"They do a double-take, they go, 'what is this?'" said Chance Ryan, with Lucid Vending. "It takes them by surprise and that's an element I love to see."
Lucid Vending is a community-driven, artistic vending machine company based in St. Petersburg. Their machines carry a revolving supply of locally sourced art, crafts, engaging games and vintage items.
Ryan says they recently discovered someone had smashed the piano out of commission. The last piano pieces were in the middle of St. Pete's Grand Central District.
"It’s my life. Everything that’s in life is right here in this piano. If I’m sad, it’s sad. If I’m happy, it’s in a good mood," said Tony Castellano, a piano player.
Castellano believes the piano found smashed under I-275 was invaluable.
Luckily, within a few days after the destruction, Lucid Vending had it replaced.
"Local businesses and people who live here, we realize now, they feel strongly about it, so we hope that people kind of keep a lookout for it, keep an eye out for it and don’t destroy it," Ryan said.
Having the piano back is a welcoming encore for Jason Edwards.
"I was never taught how to play it, how to use my fingers, nothing like that. I cannot read a music chart," he said.
And now he is a fan favorite for those passing by.
"We know he’s very passionate about this piano, he’s actually a pretty decent player, he makes his own music," Ryan said. "I hope he acts as a guardian towards this piano during times when we can’t always look after it."