Friday, August 10, 2007


BELLINGHAM, WA (AP)--Mike McQuaide, Bellingham outdoor writer guy, helped Jud Sherwood, noted Bellingham jazz drummer, moved two pianos on Thursday and in the process pulled what feels like half his fricking ribcage muscles.

"This should help me out a great deal on Sunday's Nooksack Omnium road race (," said the youthful-looking McQuaide who has a birthday in less than two weeks and who wouldn't mind it too terribly much if a cyclocross bike showed up birthday morning on his front porch. "Reese Hill, North and South Pass Hill--yeah, these stabbing pains in my sides whenever I breathe should help me greatly on those killer climbs."

The piano pickup and delivery (and muscle damage) was instigated by Sherwood who, as part of his Jazz Project (, runs a program wherein donated and recycled pianos are lent to players in need. McQuaide's 8-year-old son Baker was the lucky recipient of one such piano, with the added bonus being that McQuaide, who's birthday is in less than two weeks (did I mention that already?), had the opportunity to drive a big, scary truck up and down narrow, vintage neighborhood alleys and help pull 400-pound pianos up steep grassy lawns.

"I'm not one to make a big deal about my birthday," McQuaide said. "I mean, it's only a number. But as we're talking about it, that Redline Conquest ( looks like a really nice bike."

Sherwood's piano program is true winner and helps place pianos with folks who need them. The only cost is to have them tuned. When the piano recipients are done with them, the pianos are put back in the piano pool and someone else gets to use it.

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