Paul Ramunni had been doing people’s taxes for 40 years and he knew it wasn’t something that made them happy. So when one day, he woke up with a strong urge to play the accordion again—an instrument that had embarrassed him as a 10-year-old —he didn’t fight it. Music would probably make people happier than a tax bill. He quickly began collecting more and more of them, and with each accordion, he also collected a special story about the person it had once belonged to.
Now, Ramunni, who also repairs and restores accordions, has over 700 different kinds in his private museum in Canaan, Connecticut, where he gives personalized tours and even plays for his patrons. He believes that in a world that is becoming increasingly divided, the accordion is a way to connect with each other again, and to be happy.