Tak' the high road

May 19, 2006

On the same day that the FBI was digging up a horse farm in Michigan in renewed hopes of finding the body of James Hoffa, another mystery dig came to light in Scotland, where a volunteer crew that went to the top of Britain's highest mountain to collect litter found a piano buried in the stony slope.

Sometimes it's the seekers who command admiration, as with the tireless G-men, and sometimes it's the hiders. Here was a grand musical instrument buried on a high mountain summit because, well, why not?

No one has been searching for this piano. Apparently no one missed it. Yet someone decided that piano belonged on the 4,000-foot-high peak of Ben Nevis, and then took the trouble to put it there.

Some think the culprit might be Kenny Campbell, who carried a piano to the top in 1971, but he says he brought that one back down. Maybe, he told The Scotsman, what the volunteers found was actually an organ he carried up that same year, and left behind after playing "Scotland the Brave" on it. There are reasons to doubt that, though.

Some mysteries are best left unsolved; Jimmy Hoffa's isn't one of them. But as for the piano in the mountain, who is not inspired by such dogged foolishness, such elaborate pointlessness? We'd hate to hear some prosaic explanation, because we'd hate to have this tale brought back down to earth.

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