Though one thief or more stole Tim Baley's Yamaha keyboard from the Sizzler sometime May 19, they didn't steal his passion for performing or believing in the goodness of others.
Baley, 50 years old and diagnosed with "mild retardation" and cerebral palsy, plays his keyboard at the North Carson Street restaurant for tips. His artwork is for sale in the restaurant as well.
Rosemary Baley, Tim's mother, received an anonymous donation from a local company for $500, $150 from a mobile home park where Tim performs, and several other donations. It was enough to buy a new Yamaha Portable Grand, GGX500 from Costco. The cost, $579, included a bench.
"It just surprised me out of my skull," Rosemary said of the donations.
"Maytan Music donated a keyboard for Tim to use and he only had to use it a couple of days. We are really grateful to those people. Playing for Tim is not just his living, it's his livelihood. This is what he lives for."
Sizzler general manager Henry Laird said a customer came in May 21 to say she'd last seen the keyboard about 7:30 p.m. May 19. Laird said that when he closed the store at 9 p.m., the keyboard wasn't on its stand near the front door. It didn't alarm him, he said, because Baley often took the keyboard for other gigs elsewhere.
"So in that hour and a half it was taken," he said. "It wasn't until Tuesday afternoon when Tim came in that we realized it was gone."
Tim Baley said it makes him feel great to be able to play again, and to get help from people who care.
"I hope whoever stole it realizes they need to be punished and go to jail," Tim Baley said.
"I'm going to watch this keyboard like a hawk so no numskull will get it. We're going to keep it with us and lock it up so nobody can get to it. Only those who need to."
Rosemary said Tim absolutely loves the new keyboard and has already gotten used to playing it.
"Comments from the people have been good. They say it sounds better than his old one, which was seven years old," Rosemary said.
The Baley's are moving to Ohio at the end of June. Tim will perform a farewell concert at 3 p.m. June 21 at the Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall, 511 W. King St. For information on Tim Baley, go to http://timbaley.com.
IF YOU GO
What: Tim Baley's farewell concert
When: 3 p.m. June 21
Where: Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall, 511 W. King St.
ON THE NET
For information on Tim Baley, go to http://timbaley.com.