My Name is Sally Gordon and I have known Tim Scott for 45 years. We met in the last semester of high school. My school, Mayfield, was all girls and we were doing a play that needed people to fill a few male roles. The boys from Loyola High School in Los Angeles were invited and they descended upon us with obvious enthusiasm.
Most of them had been in plays before but there were some shy hangers-on and one of those was Tim Scott. We became friends pretty quickly and when we both found ourselves at Santa Clara University the next year, we became even better friends. Neither one of us had any use for curfews and we got up to a lot of mischief, I must say. There was nothing romantic going on at that time but we loved hanging out and talking.
I left Santa Clara in the middle of my sophomore year but Tim stayed on. He went to Nantes, France, for his junior year and came back to enroll at Cal Berkeley. I came home from Boston and did the same. This time it was love, friendship and a deep commitment to each other. But, as the times predicted, we never married. In 1977 we welcomed our son, Gabriel.
In the mean time, Tim had taken over his brother's music rental business in San Francisco. Studio Instrument Rentals under Tim's direction was destined to be a very successful enterprise. There were three rehearsal studios and loads of band gear. He took the orders for shows, recording sessions, got there on time and always got it right or could make it right before the sound check.
It was the era of Santana, Journey, The Doobie Brothers, The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills Nash and Young, Bill Graham building his empire and jazz artists like Herbie Hancock. Sony recording was across the the street on Folsom and Fourth and we helped Sarah Vaughn record her last album there. She rehearsed at S.I.R. and walked across the street to make the master tracks. The Police, Joan Baez and everyone whose name you might recognize from that era, if they performed in San Francisco, called SIR and Tim and wonderful people like Nigel Gilchrist to make it happen.
Tim was at the helm for about 20 years and made many many friends. He was tour boss for two of Carlos Santana's tours and also went on the road with Herbie Hancock on the famous Monster Tour. He watched Sheila Escovedo grow up. She gave Gabe his first drum lessons at six. He still has those drumsticks.
In the late 1990's Tim left S.I.R. He went to work with his lifelong friend, Brian Bell, in Tacoma, Washington. Brian began to notice that Tim’s behavior was a little atypical for him but when he left Tacoma and returned to the Napa Valley we did not notice the little things that would later reveal themselves as symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease with Lewy Bodies.
As time went on and I closed my restaurant where Tim had been helping me keep body and soul together, my husband Steve and I noticed Tim's behavior was odd. So did Gabe. He lost his car and began wandering around town every day on his bike. We couldn't grasp why he was not looking for a job despite some good leads. Eventually he ran out of money and came to live with us while renting out his house for income. After a year and a half, he moved back into his house but was not able to keep a roommate situation together. He nearly lost his home in the downturn, just getting out in time with the help of a family friend in real estate.
He then began to drift. And, lastly, his speech became impaired. It was a terrible thing to experience. This once vital man was starting to deteriorate right before our eyes. And he was aware of it.
By the time we took him to the U.C. Davis Alzheimer's Research Center, he was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s with Lewy Bodies.
After trying to take care of Tim on our own for about 18 months, it became dangerous for him to stay at home and we have recently placed him at Pine Ridge Health Center in San Rafael, California. Given the parameters for people with no long term care insurance in our healthcare system, it was our only option. And, yes, it is awful for him. He is still relatively high functioning for his diagnosis. If we can get him into a memory care home there is a good chance he will be less stressed and therefore healthier.
I am writing this letter but Gabriel has taken up the cause of his father's care. I am here for both Tim and Gabe and we all owe a tremendous debt to Steve Gordon, my husband, who filled out every piece of official paper Tim needed.
The money we hope to raise will get Tim better care and nearer to us so that we can make what is left of his life happier and of a better quality. We would like to move him to a private nursing home in Napa but they range from $3,000 - $5,000 per month IF there is a place available. We have put him on a few waiting lists hoping that people who have known and loved him, or people who have experienced a loved one living with Alzheimer's, will help.
The prognosis for his disease is death. We don't know when that will come but want to have him back in his own community with his family and friends.
The Tibetans say you practice your death every day by the way you live.
Live and give generously. If you cannot afford to, all healing, loving thoughts are certainly welcome.
Sally McFadden Gordon
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