Of all the front yards in all the world…

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 9, 2011

By David Vitrano


LAPLACE – The Rue Des Jardins Civic Association had a playful gathering recently, and it all centered around the piano of member Greg Maurin’s grandmother.

The piano had been sitting in association founder Jane Montz DesRoches’ garage since she moved back to LaPlace several years ago. Wanting to get the space in her garage back, she concocted a clever way of getting rid of the piano, which could no longer be played.

She and some of the other association members decided to dress up like characters from the movie “Casablanca,” stage a little scene to be photographed and then leave the piano on her front lawn for anyone who wanted to haul it away.

Originally scheduled for the Saturday before Mardi Gras, the event was cancelled because of rain, and the piano was finally hauled out onto the lawn at the end of October.

Unfortunately, some of the enthusiasm for the project waned as the time passed, so only DesRoches, who portrayed Ilsa, and Wilson Placide, who portrayed Sam, came out in costume.

Placide, an Army veteran who was stationed in Italy from 1956 to 1958, offered some authenticity to the event.

“I passed through Casablanca and Tripoli,” said Placide.

And even though the piano could no longer be played, the song “As Time Goes By” wafted through the autumn air courtesy of a CD player.

According to DesRoches, she did have to wait for too much time to go to get rid of the piano.

Someone picked it up the next day.