All I needed to do now, was to convince my children that it would be worth "borrowing" $300 from our savings towards a future trip to Disneyland to buy the organ. They were unimpressed with the idea. I finally convinced Amy and Wendy to go with me to check out the organ -- just to "look" at it. Well, they came along, arms folded, unsure of the wisdom of this purchase vs the potential future fun of going to Disneyland at the end of the year. The elderly man who owned the organ told us all about it; the girls remained unconvinced. Then he offered to allow them to "test" the organ themselves; they sat down, and played a duet of "heart and soul." Moments later, it was all over; we were the proud owners of a console organ. (I will spare you the details of all I learned about how [not] to move an organ.)
So now, we have this beautiful console organ sitting in our living room. We have managed to play the National Anthem, Take me out to the ball game, a few hymns, and other classics. Kathy wants to be able to play the song from Swiss Family Robinson for the girls, and I envision myself playing Phantom of the Opera. I have been able to figure out what the two keyboards, the bass pedals, and most of the top two rows of switches and levers do -- at least functionally -- but I am clueless on some of the other controls. Fortunately, the organ can also be controlled by a computer through a MIDI interface, so I know I can make it work that way. I am sure that there are books or places to get started learning, and I will start researching these shortly.