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An organist was practicing one day in a great church in Europe. As he was playing, a man came up to the organ and asked if he could play.

The organist looked at him and thought to himself. "I shouldn’t let this man play, just look at him, he is unshaven, his clothes are soiled, he looks like a down and out." So he told the man no.

But the unkempt stranger asked again and again. Finally the organist let him play, thinking he couldn’t play very long, for what does a down and out know about organs.

The down and out’s fingers danced over the keyboard in a way the organist hadn’t heard in his lifetime. The stranger played on and on. The organist was spellbound.

When the stranger got up to leave, the organist could not contain himself and said, "Who are you - what is your name??"

As the down-and-out slowly walked away, he turned and said over his shoulder, "My name is Felix Mendelssohn."

The organist gasped. He said to himself, "I almost did not let the master play."

The organist had almost let his prejudice get the better of him – and would have missed out on one of the most awesome moments of his playing career.

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