97-year-old says he was kicked out of retirement home for playing music

Jim Farrel KPIX

NAPA, Calif. -- A 97-year-old North Bay man with a talent for music said he was evicted from the retirement center in Napa where he lived. On Friday, an anonymous person helped him find a new home, reported CBS affiliate KPIX.

"I was born May 26, 1917," said Jim Farrell as he was tuning his ukulele. Farrell was not ready for such a life changer: he was without a home.

"I found out a couple weeks ago that he was being evicted," said Carol Elridge, Farrell's caretaker.

Farrell used to live at Redwood Retirement in Napa, but he had some issues with the bosses there.

"Management continually suppressed my talents," Farrell told KPIX 5.

 

The musician said it's because he played too much music. "Management would stop me and say these words: 'Go back to your room!' Like a kid," Farrell recalled. "No more."

"He goes, 'I'm not sure my heart can take this,'" Elridge said. She used to work at Redwood Retirement and met Farrell there.

Elridge is frustrated her former employer left Farrell without a plan. "You just don't put a 97-year-old on the street," she said.

Farrell spent the past three nights at a homeless shelter.

"Here's this frail man and he's got his head held up high going in the doors of this shelter and knowing that this is not the place I ever expected him to ever be," Elridge said.

With the help of an anonymous donor, Farrell was able to move into Piner's Nursing Home in Napa on Friday.

Friends are raising money to help Farrell stay at his new home.

Calls to Redwood Retirement on Friday were not returned.

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