Phoebe Babo on the piano/Dancing in a wheelchair

A few weeks ago I stopped by my mom’s rest home. About 15 elderly ladies were sitting around listening to another elderly lady play the piano. She was terrific. Five Foot two, Ain’t She Sweet, Bye-bye Blues — the ’20s and ’30s songs we used to play in high school, accompanied by ukulele and washtub bass.

I called Phoebe and asked her if she’d be interested in having me and my box bass and my brother Bob and his banjo sit in with her. Sure, she said. Well, yesterday Bob and I showed up and I gotta say we clicked. Everybody was happy. My mom was moving her hands and feet in rhythm to the music. One of the ladies, Jane, knows the words to just about every song, and she sang along with me. I ended up with a blister on my string-plucking finger. Towards the end of the session, Bob got his banjo going, and the joint was rockin’. Two of the caregivers were dancing. At the end of the song, Phoebe said, “One more time, boys!” It was so much fun!

Phoebe is 91 years old, born in 1918. She has 18 gigs a month at a rest home-type places, and since she no longer drives, she takes whistle-stop wheels buses to get around the county. We’re going to play with her again in a couple of weeks and we’ll shoot a video.

Five foot two,
eyes of blue,
but oh what those 5 foot can do,
has anybody seen my gal?

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

3 Responses to Phoebe Babo on the piano/Dancing in a wheelchair

  1. Hey, sounds great. My mom's at the Redwoods in Mill Valley by the high school. Think you could do a show there and let me know in advance so I could tell my mom to expect you?

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