Nadine Hoover, a blind woman who would come to be known as Baybie, sang for years in front of Bloomingdale's in N.Y.C. She sang with another blind woman, her best friend and sidekick for life, Ginger. Nadine was tragically blinded at birth by an alcoholic doctor who put the wrong solution in her eyes. Before moving from the "Heart" land, as a young woman she would be molested and then sterilized.This decision was made by her insensitive caregivers. Idiots! Then like so many of our less fortunate citizens did back then, she moved to the big city and found acceptance.
I discovered her in a documentary called "A Lady Named Baybie" on PBS edited by my cousin Steven Wechsler. I knew at once that her story would be a great marriage with a melody I had no lyrics for. Soon after finishing the song I was fortunate enough to meet her on the street one day and told her about the song. She was excited and couldn't wait to hear it, so we made plans to meet on East 3rd Street where she lived, a street she shared with the Hell's Angels who looked after her and Ginger.
When we met at her place I immediately began to teach her how to operate my JVC cassette player. I ended up giving it to her so she could listen to the song whenever she wanted to.
A month or two later her small place was broken into and the boom box was stolen. Damn.
I moved to Nashville for a while, then came back to N.Y.C. and became a street vendor for 4 years. We lost touch. Shame on me that I didn't look her up to see if she had lost the copy of my song in the robbery. She really loved this song.
According to a recent biography she died at the age of 96, almost 30 years after we met. She touched so many people with her loving nature and her positive energy, but I think it was her lack of self-pity that moved those who knew her best. My heartfelt thanks go out to my cousin Jessica and her husband Steven Wechsler for bringing this wonderful story to my attention.
Rest in peace Baybie and your faithful friend Ginger.
My father gifted me the best line in the song:
"From a world ever dark she turned on a light in my heart."
See http://schubart.com/, Bill Schubart's website for more information on Baybie, and search on amazon.com for his book, titled I Am Baybie.