Every pianist should try and play the organ. It's character building
Chris, I actually did a bit, in college, come to think of it. We piano majors had to take up a second instrument for a few semesters. And I was so obsessed with the piano, that I figured if chose the organ, I wouldn't lose any precious piano practice time by actually having to learn something new.
It was a great plan til I tried using the pedal! So I do have some inkling of the added dimension of skill you organists have.
Which reminds me. When I was just out of school and needed work, I met a guy who who worked for a very fine organ builder, here in Los Angeles. He used to pay me to go around with him from church to church, sit at the organ, and play one note at a time, so he could tune. So I guess you could say I ended up playing the organ—professionally.
OK—the name of that organ builder miraculously just came to my mind. His name is Manuel Rosales. This was in the 70's. I just googled his name, and what do I see—he ended up building the organ at Disney Hall! Holy cow. I worked for the best
A few times, I not only helped him tune, but also went to Rosales's home, where he had hundreds of small organ parts laid out on tables where a crew of us had to clean and glue various little valves and things. Geez, if I had just stuck around, I could have had my name on the Disney organ.
And there you have it—my complete repertoire of organ stories.
Update: Rosales was the boss, but my friend (the apprentice) who tuned was Richard Bond. I just google his name and see that he's doing very well too. He talks about his days servicing organs in L.A. in this article. I can't believe he doesn't mention me