the harp is literally a dream come true for Patti Hood
How I came to play the harp and the story of my harp
by Patti Hood
Many years ago, I started to have a desire, no, a need to play
the harp. I would even dream about it at night. My fingers
ached to touch and play a harp. Back then you couldn't
rent them and they were so very expensive to buy. I was
only a waitress at the time. I looked for one and one-half years
to find a harp to rent.
One night I had a dream. I dreamed that Harpo Marx was TALKING
to me. He told me that he would teach me to play the harp
on the harp that he played.
About two months later I was waiting on a customer, he asked
me what I REALLY wanted to do with my life. I told him
about my passion to play the harp. He told me he knew a
woman who owned two harps and had also been a teacher.
He said he would introduce me to her and see if she would take
me on as a pupil and rent me her other harp. Turns out
that she had no intention of taking on any pupils any more
or renting the other harp. But when she met me she immediately
The harp she rented me is a 1926 Lyon & Healy. I studied
with her for 10 years. She was quite elderly. At the end
of the 10 year period, she told me she was giving me the
harp! And then she told me a story. She said to me, "You
know, Harpo played your harp!" I couldn't respond. I was
so stunned. I couldn't even move. Then she went on to explain
about a show (and I was in such shock that I don't remember
exactly which) that had something to do with the MGM movies,
which she had played the harp in. She was in the orchestra
pit and had the pedals set for a glissando. Harpo lept off
the stage, pushed her over on her bench, and played the glissando
on my harp, gave her a big kiss, then ran back up on the
stage. She is long gone now, but I wish I could ask her
what show that was for.
So I told her about the dream I had about Harpo about two months
before I met her. She was an amazing person and I will
always love her.