Guido Deiro |
Last Days, Part 3
Loma Linda Sanitarium
Guido's health continued to decline, and finally during the end of 1949 he had a nervious breakdown probably due to overwork and exhaustion. He could no longer stay at the rented house near Bert Rovere's ranch, as he needed continous care, so he was admitted to a nearby hospital resort: the Loma Linda Sanitarium, a quiet hospital and health resort about sixty miles east of Los Angeles, surrounded by citrus groves and founded in 1905 by the Seventh Day Adventists. He stayed there a few weeks and then returned to Bert Rovere's ranch.
During this time one young man and accordion student, James Haney, was retained to look after Guido. He also looked after Guido Jr. when he visited his father, and even took the lad hiking in the mountains above Lake Elsinore.
Naturally accordionists throughout the United States were very concerned, and Accordion World magazine published an article titled "Guido Deiro Combats Serious Illness" in the January 1950 issue.
Artist rendition of Loma Linda Sanitarium.
From the Archives of the A.K. Smiley Library, Redlands, California
From the Archives of the San Bernardino County Museum
Sun room at the Loma Linda Sanitarium.
The author, Patricia Donovan, described the greatness of Guido not only by his great virtuosity and showmanship; but also by his generosity and kindliness: "His friends . . . wish him a speedy and full recover. His deeds of generosity and kindliness have always been evidenced and his friends think of him as a very human person. His career has been a glorious one and it is hoped that he will be able to continue to exert his artistry and influence on behalf of the accordion."
However, Guido's condition declined, both physically, emotionally, and financially. He had substantial hospital and doctor's bills to pay; but no income or savings to draw from. He wondered how would he pay his bills incurred during his time at the Loma Linda Sanitarium?