The piano, a homeless man and the son he lost

When pianos were placed around St. Paul a few years ago as a public arts project, organizers never got a response like the similar project in Sarasota, Fla.

Homeless ex-Marine Donald Gould, 51, stopped at the piano outside Clasico Café and Bar and played the appropriate song.

It’s not a warm-and-fuzzy story, however.

“I had a wife pass away on me in ‘98 and I had a son and I was kind of heavy into the pill thing,” he told WFLA in Tampa. “They took our child away from us, and my wife took a handful of morphine pills and died. She just went to sleep. I couldn’t keep it together and eventually social services got tired of it and they terminated my parental rights. Everyday it’s painful. There’s not a day that’s gone by since they took him from me that I haven’t thought about him. He turned 18 last August 24th. I wish he would come and find me.”

Gould hopes his son will see the video and the two can be reunited.

He’s a drug addict and a drunk but some bar owners in the area are hoping the popularity of his video might lead to some help.

Gould, who is originally from Michigan, had wanted to teach music for a living.

“I took music theory and ear training, and I had to learn how to play every instrument from the piccolo down to the tuba,” Gould told WWSB. “I can write parts like a handbook.”