RE FAYARD NICHOLAS LOS ANGELES CELEBRATION
I know you are all waiting on pins and needles for the date of the Fayard Nicholas Los Angeles Celebration. It was originally scheduled for February 28th, but it is now being set for around May to tie in with National Tap Dance Day.
We plan on announcing the date and a venue next week.
The planning committee for the celebration includes Katherine Hopkins Nicholas, Tony Nicholas, Chester Whitmore, Arlene Kennedy, Paula Broussard, Chloe Arnold, Mary Jean Valente, Joyce Maddox, Angela Winston, and myself. We are working hard on having a truly joyful event that honors this man's extraordinary life.
Many of you have been asking about the family... Katherine (Fayard's widow) and Tony (Fayard's son) are doing wonderfully, considering. They each have such a life spirit, it is truly inspiring.
Stay tuned for further announcements and more good news.
(These are the words I spoke at Fayard Nicholas' funeral, February 3, 2006)
Some Loving Words
Fayard Nicholas was one of the greatest dancers, entertainers, humanitarians, and people, I've ever known. I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. And, I never heard anyone say a bad word about him. He was universally loved by all.
He had an indefatigable spirit that buoyed him throughout his life. I never once saw him without that twinkle in his eye and a laugh just moments away from his lips.
He and his little brother, Harold, absolutely changed the face of dancing through their skill, artistry, and creativity. There is no doubt in my mind about that.
I first met Fayard in 1987 when I was doing research on my book, TAP! I had been warned that he had arthritic hips and didn't walk well, so I had prepared myself mentally (and emotionally) to see this tap legend hobble into the room. Our meeting was scheduled at The Motion Picture Country Home's library. I got there a little early and nervously awaited. Then, flash!, the glass door swung wide open, and in came a'struttin' Fayard Nicholas, not crippled at all, but full of pep vim and verve all that style and class I knew from his movies. There was that famous smile, and then the hands shot out as he said, "Hey Now!" I will never forget that moment.
After our first meeting, as happened with every one who met him, we had become friends. He just had that about him. He welcomed you right into his heart, and once you met him you were no longer a stranger.
I had the joy of not only interviewing Fayard, but also dancing together with him onstage throughout the years, and I always made it a point to wiggle my way next to him for the inevitable finale - Shim Sham, so I could study those hands and that style right at his side, hoping to absorb just an ounce of what he had!
Many years ago, when Fayard's Barbara passed, I began hearing him talk of a woman, a friend of many years, Katherine Hopkins. After some time, I realized a fondness was growing between them. I wondered, "Who is this person?" A little suspicious, I must confess, but only out of my abject love and protection of this man. Finally, I pinned him down, "Who is this woman?!" and he said, "Katherine? Katie... she used to perform with the Wiere Brothers." I said, "Katie? Katie Zerby"? "Yeah, that's her". I was thrilled! Katie had been my dancing teacher when I was 11 (she was 12)! I knew what a jewel he had found then and there. Katie was simply a most lovely, warm-hearted, deeply compassionate, caring, and (not to mention stunningly gorgeous) woman. Fayard had my full approval on this one!
We all know now how lucky Fayard was to have found Katherine. Her love for him was something we all envy and wish we had in our lives. She took total care of him these past years... and it was always her pleasure to do so.
Anyone who saw them together would always say the same thing, "They're like high school sweethearts!" Indeed, they were -- always hugging, and kissing and cooing. No wonder we were all envious!
Katherine and I have had many long talks since our reunion, and I once said to her, "Wow, if anyone wants to be prejudiced, you've got a triple whammy situation going on here: You've got the black and white thing, the short-tall thing, and the older man- younger woman thing!" We laughed, and then a thoughtful look would come over her as she said, "Yeah, hopefully we can change people by just being ourselves together." I knew just what she meant; for no matter what people thought at the get go, and oftentimes you could see it in their eyes, you also saw those eyes soften into love and understanding after just moments in Fayard and Katherine's presence - because what they saw there was no longer color, or age, or size, they saw LOVE.
* * * * * *
Before closing, there is one more thing I would like to say - and that is that Fayard was our link back to "The Golden Era" - that magic time we "fans" all read about - a time when tremendous entertainers performed nightly in front of dressed crowds - Broadway, The Cotton Club - Fayard was our living "link." We touched him and we were there with him seeing it all through his eyes. And the great thing was, that he was a "fan" too, just like us, and took the same relish in meeting those stars back then as we got meeting him now. And, oh, how he loved to tell us stories of those days - he never seemed to tire of it. And oh how we loved to hear them, over and over again, each time hearing some new jewel of a memory!
Fayard will always be with us -- his laughter, his twinkling eyes, his beautiful heart, his courage, his energy, his life enthusiasm, his extraordinary talent -- all of these attributes of Fayard will be there for us, in our hearts and memories, and will help us through our little troubles, and give us a smile when we need it and even when we don't.
Fayard Nicholas started out as my idol, and then he became my friend, and then "family," but always he remained my idol... for all he was.
"Hey now! Hey now"
January 24, 2006 11:44pm
To all the Friends and Fans of Fayard Nicholas,
Our friend, our legend, our hero, our idol, our humanitarian - Fayard Nicholas - passed away peacefully at home tonight at 8:20pm (PST), January 24, 2006. He was surrounded by friends and his loving wife, Katherine Hopkins Nicholas. He went out with a perfect beautiful vision as to where he was going next. He was totally peaceful and he had his eyes cast on Katherine when he took his last breath on this plain.
Fayard was brought home from the hospital last week. Countless friends and family came by to spend time, chat, watch Nicholas Brothers' clips, sing, laugh, share stories, and just "be" with one of our favorite people on the planet earth.
I just got off the phone with Fayard's son, Tony, and he said to me it was as though all the great legends of tap dance were calling out to Fayard, "Hey! Fayard! We can't start the show up here with out you!" Harold Nicholas, Gregory Hines, Eleanor Powell, Cholly Atkins, Honi Coles, Gene Kelly, Paul Kennedy, John Bubbles, Fred Astaire, Ann Miller, Hal Leroy, Peg Leg Bates... and all of them, they're all there, and yelling down to earth... "Fayard! We can't start the show! You're putting Heaven on hold! What are you waiting for? Get up there!"
Tony went on to say, he imagined that once his dad got up there will all the rest of them, he looked around and said, "My goodness! This is wonderful! I hope to tell you! Everything is copasetic!"
Tony finished by saying, "Now he's there and they can start the show!
Tony and Katherine wanted to make sure to let you know that the family can't begin to tell you how much it's all meant. Your support... all of you from every part of the globe. Every donation that you made, large and small, every penny helped.
I know how it helped. I know that it helped get Katherine and Fayard out of debt. I know that it got them on top of their bills. I know that it allowed Katherine the release of worrying about money. She knew that she could do everything possible for her husband, and she did. Everything humanly possible was done for him.
Once they left the hospital, medical expenses were unbelievable, but your donations made it possible for Katherine to bring her husband home for his last days. Your donations made it possible for her and Fayard to get out of the hospital environment, and to be in the peace of their own apartment.
Be assured that there will be a "Celebration" of Fayard's life coming up. I will let you know when I have the details. We can join together and laugh and shout and sing and dance this man's praises. I, for one, will be there with my shoes on!
Now, may I personally thank you all for what you have done. You have come together as one family, one voice, helping this beloved man and his wife in their hour of need. You have made my heart swell.
And now, everything is copasetic.
P.S. Yes, I will keep the fund open for a bit longer, if you would still like to make a contribution towards the outstanding hospital bills and some cushion for Katherine's future, while she gets back on her feet in these weeks and months to come.
January 19, 2006
Dear Friends of Fayard Nicholas,
There is so much to catch you up on, and I'll do my best.
With the work of friends and family, Fayard was moved back into St. Joseph's Hospital and into a wonderful single bed room. This room overlooks the mountains, and is bright and cheery. We have been concentrating on keeping him in this room.
About ten days ago, the doctors explained to Katherine that it was time to make a decision about life support. As both Katherine and Fayard had made their wishes known prior to this, Katherine knew the answer. So at this time, the life support was removed, and a morphine drip attached to keep him comfortable. The doctor explained that it was a matter of hours or days.
Fayard is still holding strong. Today, Katherine was asked to make her next decision, whether to move Fayard to another facility again, another floor, or take him home and involve Hospice.
When I got off the phone with her one hour ago, she had decided on home Hospice.
Fayard seems to refuse to go anywhere at this point, and is holding strong.
They took off the trak today, and he is breathing on his own. He only has the morphine. So Katherine actually likes the idea of having him home with 24 hour nursing care, of course. (Way too stressful to take full responsibility of this on her own).
So it looks like this may be the next step. If she brings him home, it will be tomorrow, and now we'll need to start thinking about raising a lot more money to help cover those nurses expenses; I am trying to sort out what that might be per day/week, etc.
I hope you understand why I have not written sooner. This is such a private time for the family. When the doctor said it was just a matter of days... Katherine asked me not to send out a public message yet.
And since it now seems that this "matter of days" is a complete unknown... it was time to send you all a notification that Fayard is holding strong... yet... who knows what may happen!
Thank you again,
January 4, 2006
Dear Friends of Fayard Nicholas,
Well, there's good news and not so good news. The good news is that Fayard was released from the hospital last week and moved to a rehabilitation home. The not so good news is that Fayard was released from the hospital... well you get the picture.
I have been on a vacation and away from Los Angeles since December 25, and have been in close contact with his wife, Katherine, his son, Tony, and close friends of mine who have visited Fayard in my absence. None of them are happy with this move and the family is iin the midst of trying to get Fayard moved to a better facility.
Last week, Fayard actually spoke for the first time in quite awhile. He shared some touching words of love with his wife, and they were able to tell each other how much they love and miss one another. This gave us all tremendous hope. However, since this move, Fayard has not spoken as much, and not at all the past few days.
Prior to that, on Christmas day, Fayard had a wonderful visit from his son and granddaughters, "The Nicholas Sisters", who performed one of The Nicholas Brother's routines right in the hospital -- "Lucky Numbers".
We are trying desperately to ensure that Fayard is comfortable and getting the best care possible.
Thank you all again for your love, loving thoughts, and also to those of you who have made financial contributions.
I was asked recently if there was enough money now, and I would say that it is still important to bring in more funds for this couple, and I wouldn't suggest slowing down for any reason. I feel certain that this help has brought incalculable relief to the Nicholases and will continue to do so during this time.
In addition to Fayard and Katherine and the entire family, I am most moved by the community of Fayard Nicholas! Thank you again for your love and for helping to spread the word.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The most amazing experience today. I went to visit Fayard for the first time since his cranial surgery. He has been "sleeping" since then. But today when I went in to visit with two of my dear friends, Fayard opened his eyes several times and looked right at me. I couldn't believe it -- it really was like a miracle. I could tell it was extremely difficult to do, but he did it! Though he is still paralyzed on his left side, he smiled on the right side. It was just the most beautiful thing. His lips moved like crazy when I came in, but, of course, he still can't talk with the trach in place. My friends and I played music on our ukueleles and sang, and he "conducted" with his right hand. His beautiful Nichoals Brothers' hand waving in the air in time to our songs. It was one of the most moving experiences I have ever had.
Please keep those wishes coming. He is an amazing man.
It has been some time since I have written to you about our dear one, Fayard Nicholas. He had been in ICU for over a week. I just didn't know what to write to you all.
But late last night I received this wonderful message on my answering machine from Fayard's wife, Katherine:
"Our darling moved out of ICU yesterday. He's opening his eyes a LOT! and he's moving his lips as if he's trying to speak (but, of course, as long as he has this "trache" nothings going to come out). And he kisses me! And tonight when a friend left he waved goodbye and then as I started to leave, I said "good night" and he waved with his right hand again! It's little baby steps, but he is improving!"
So, clearly, this man is a real fighter and has no intention of going anywhere by home at this point. And all of your wishes from around the globe are being reached!
I have to tell you, that five years ago when I had my accident (some of you may remember this - when I broke my neck in five places and suffered a cervical cord injury), the doctors were very pessimistic about my recovery (http://swingshiftontap.com/hospital/hospital.html). But it was the support, the calls, the emails, the cards, the flowers, and the visits that kept me buoyed up. So I feel that I know just what is going on in Fayard's mind and heart at this point in time.
Never stop sending you thoughts out there!
I am also happy to tell you that so much help has come in. And the help continues to pour in. Each week I sit with Katherine with one or two other people and we open each of your cards and read them out loud. The reason we have some more people is that we felt that your sentiments needed more "witnesses" - they are soooo beautiful! (I'm thinking now that I need to make some kind of scrapbook with them all and bring them to the hospital when Fayard can read again).
There was a great article in last Sunday's New York Times, which explained the Nicholas' situation, and this brought in even more support. (You can read it HERE.)
The beautiful thing is that now they don't have to worry about finances for at least six months - shall we shoot for a lifetime?
Thank you again for keeping those "support wheels" going. I can never explain to you how touched Katherine is by your communications -- it has really helped keep her going. Don't stop all of your good work and good thoughts.
December 7, 2005, 3:14pm
Fayard made it through the first day post surgery. Phew. On December 6th, the doctors did a CAT Scan, and the results were good. The fluid draining continues to go well. His vitals were good. They are planning on to resume feeding him through a tube today.
Katherine is exhausted, but holding on.
December 6, 2005, 1:37pm
Dear Friends of Fayard & Katherine,
Please, one and all put your good wishes out there however you do it.
Fayard took a turn for the worse over the weekend and had an operation yesterday, which has left him in ICU. He is being sedated for anywhere from 1-3 days. And for the time being, there is really nothing that we know or can tell you. As far as we know, he is not suffering. I saw him for some brief minutes, and it just looks like he is sleeping, albeit hooked up to all manner of machines. There is a breathing tube supporting him, there is a drainage tube coming out of his head to keep the fluid pressure off his brain, etc. For anyone who knows the vitality of this man, this image is an inexplicable nightmare. The doctors won't say anything except, "Wait and see."
I went back to Katherine's apartment last night with two of her dearest friends, Beryl Davis and Richard Fox, and we sat and opened a stack of your letters and donations. I know I will never be able to express to you how much these mean to her at this time. She kept saying over and over again last night, "It's a miracle." "It's like Christmas." "I can't believe it." "It's amazing." And the real truth of the matter -- "This man is so loved." For those who have seen the movie "It's A Wonderful Life," imagine the last scene, and you've pretty much got it.
Again last night, we counted the checks, the cash, and the Trader Joe's cards; again we paid the bills.
I do want to thank you all - because of you they are now debt free. All bills are up to date, and all debt is gone. There is even a two-month cushion in the bank. I have heard that there is still more on the way.
Please don't stop sending donations or helping to raise it. Whatever happens this cushion is so very needed by them.
If you want to know all the details of how to help, go to our Fayard Fund webpage: http://rustyfrank.com/fayardnicholas.asp
Again, thank you all for your actions in holding this couple in your arms through this nightmare of a time. I am weakened and saddened by his strife, but I am so very heartened by your love and generosity on all counts.
Katherine wished me especially to express her deep gratitude to each of you. She is stunned and can still barely understand that she and her precious husband are out of debt and have some money in the bank. I can't quite explain it to you, but she is so full of love for each of you, just know this.
Katherine is a rock for Fayard, but she is going through the most awful trial watching her loved one go through this horror. Yesterday she was positively ashen. She is so utterly distressed and keeps praying that he comes through this without suffering.
Continue sending your wishes and thoughts and prayers, again, however you do this.
I will let you know when I know anything further.
My very best to you,
November 30, 2005, 3:40pm
Dear Friends of Fayard & Katherine Nicholas,
It's been one week since dance-legend Fayard Nicholas, of The Nicholas Brothers, suffered a stroke which left him hospitalized at St. Joseph's Medical Centre in Burbank, California.
Since this time, I began a fund-raising campaign to help this wonderful man in his hour of need.
The response has been overwhelming.
And it's still coming in.
Fayard Nicholas webpage added to my site: http://rustyfrank.com/fayardnicholas.asp
Go there for ongoing updates and ways you can help. Forward the link to all you know who might care.
For the past week, emails, cards, Trader Joe gift cards, checks, and cash have been pouring in. I have been spending every spare minute, pushing aside my normal routine, trying to keep up. So, first, please accept my apologies for not answering every one of your emails, and also for not thanking you individually for your donations.
Here is an update:
Fayard is doing really well, considering he suffered a stroke one week ago and was still recovering from his colon surgery last month. The stroke was on the right side, and so his speech and brain function were unaffected, even though he is still paralyzed on his left side. He is getting stronger and stronger each day, but, of course, this is very slow. He is already in physical therapy. The great news is that for three days he has been able to eat apple sauce, and they are confident that the feeding tube can removed very soon. He is still really "with it", and able to communicate (though labored). He sits in a wheel chair for several hours each day. So, just send all your positive thoughts on continued recovery!
Yes! We are doing great. I've contacted everyone on my Tap and Swing Dance email lists, and all of you have forwarded them to your lists. Doantions small and large have come through this. I have called all my buddies, including the ever-generous Hugh Hefner. Hef made a wonderful contribution that really helped put a dent in their debt.
THEY'RE OUT OF THE RED
Thanks to all of your generous donations, Fayard and his wife, Katherine, are now up-to-date on all their bills! I took Katherine out to dinner on Monday night at a beautiful restaurant (just to get her out of the hospital) - there was jazz playing, and everything - and she was in heaven. After, we went back to her apartment and got all the bills sorted. We got all your checks ready for deposit, and wrote checks that covered ALL the bills. I even dropped off the threatening bill from the Water and Power department, so they still have power! Because of lack of income, they had been using credit cards for survival the past few months, so now we just have to get rid of that; but I am confident, with all the donations still coming in, those will be history within a week or two. This will really help to get their cost of living down!
MONTLY SUPPORT FUND:
http://rustyfrank.com/fayardnicholas.asp I have now set up a fund to help them with their on-going needs. You can go to my website and subscribe to the plan that works for you. The choices are: $5, $10, $15, $18 ("Chai", Jewish for "Life"), $25, $50, $75, or $100 a month. The money will go directly into their bank account. We already have four people signed up!
I have been contacting many different organizations, such as the Actor's Fund, to see if they can offer on-going assistance, and that is going very well. I'll keep you informed
YES! They have it!
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL FUNDRAISERS
I have been notified by dance friends all over, and I mean ALL over, that fundraisers have happened or are in the works to raise more money for our Fayard Fund. In my opinion, we can't raise too much money! Imagine, they could actually go out to dinner once in a while, and maybe take in a show. At 91, Fayard should be able to just relax and enjoy himself!
KATHERINE NICHOLAS UPDATE
Katherine is amazing! A real angel. We should all be so lucky to have a loving person like her in our lives even for one day. She continues to astound me with all her love and creative ideas on how to get Fayard on the mend. She sits by his side day and night, rarely even going home to sleep (she sleeps in a chair besides his bed). Of course, she is overwhelmed by everything. This is the second time she has gone through this hospital thing with Fayard in one month! She says over and over again how stunned she is by all the help coming their way. She said to me at dinner, "Rusty, we had hit rock bottom." And I know this was true. She told me that she can finally stop worrying all the time about money. She also said something cute, she said that she is so used to worrying, that it's hard to stop worrying! She also begs your forgiveness in not answering your cards and for not thanking you personally for your donations. But, know this, she is more grateful than you can ever imagine!
THANKS ALL AROUND
Thanks to everyone, especially Stanley Sheff, Nick Santa Maria, Joanne DeVito (Dancers in Transition), Joni Berry (Professional Dancers Society), all those at the Actors Fund, for helping me get on top of this.
HELP FOR RUSTY!
As I said, I am having a real hard time staying on top of this and running my business, too. Is there anyone out there who could come into my office for a few hours and help me?
So there you have it. Thank you again, everyone. Keep the good wishes coming. And thank you for spreading the word.
Remember, the website is: http://rustyfrank.com/fayardnicholas.asp
November 27, 2005, 2:08am
Thank you so much for your outpouring of goodwill and concern for the well-fare of our dancing legend Fayard Nicholas and his wife Katherine. Fayard is on the mend from Tuesday's stroke which has left him hospitalized at St. Joseph's, Burbank, CA.
I have set up a Donation button on my website for sending emergency funds to Fayard and Katherine through PayPal.
The link is on my homepage: http://rustyfrank.com
I have also set up a Fayard Nicholas page, with ideas on how to help, and detailed background on his situation. Please feel free to look at this page and forward it to your friends and fellow dancers:
I was at the hospital again tonight, and Fayard seems to be doing really well considering. He mostly was sleeping (recovering from the ordeal of his stroke), but when he awoke he was coherent and we had short conversations. Speech is labored, but trust me, he is fully there. I told him of all your donations and notes and love. He says "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Many of you wrote to me expressing your wish to send over emergency cash to them. Believe me, they could use it! Even with what's come in so far, they are in dire need. Since the passing of Fayard's brother, Harold, work has been sparse, and the bills have been pilling up.
If you want to get some money to them immediately, you can make a donation through the donation button on my homepage (http://rustyfrank.com), and then I will bring it over to them in cash.
Another option is to send them a check:
I am also looking for people who would like to help them on a monthly basis, no matter how large or small. My dream is for them just to concentrate on recovery and not to worry about bills. If you are interested in donating monthly, please email me with your name, your phone number, and the monthly figure you would like to donate.
I want to say how touched I am of our dance world. You have stepped forward without hesitation to help this legend (who, as you have each stated over and over, has given us so much). I am so happy to tell you that over $1,700 in cash and checks and $110 in Trader Joe's gift cards have come in as a result of my first emails to you (and I know more is already in the mail). You should have seen Katherine's face as I kept pulling out more of your donations from my bag. She had collected today's mail, and we sat there together reading each of your cards accompanying the donations. She pulled out of stack of bills from her purse, waved them in the air, and ecstatically exclaimed that now she could pay these bills, many of them month's overdue and in various scary colors - pink, etc.).
Thank you all again. And thank you for spreading the word to all your dancer friends and dance fans. Everything helps for them!
I'll write again this coming week with an update.
All best wishes to you during this holiday season,
November 23, 3:39pm
I just got off the phone with Fayard's wife, Katherine, and she explained to me what happened.
Early last evening, Fayard suffered a stroke and was rushed to his local hospital, St. Josephs, in Burbank, California.
His condition is stable, but very scary for Katherine. Fayard is paralyzed on his left side (a common consequence from strokes, but not necessarily lasting). He is very alert and with it. It's just hard for him to speak because of the paralysis. But he appears to have not suffered any loss of memory, etc.
I told Katherine about the email I've sent out to all of you, and she was so touched. She found it hard to stop crying. I told her that I had already heard from three people who said they were going to send over Trader Joes Gift Cards, and she again cried. She explained that when they got to the hospital last night they had no money whatsoever left. Friends who were with them gave what they had in their pockets, $10, and $20. But that was it.
I was worried about letting people know of their financial condition, that it might embarrass or humiliate them -- that it was a private issue. But now, after talking with Katherine just now, I understand that it is beyond anything like that -- the need is so great... they just needs help now.
So if you were thinking of helping in any financial way, they can use it! Again their mailing address is:
Katherine & Fayard Nicholas
Some of you asked about calling them. Katherine has her cell phone with her, but is not using it in the hospital. So the best way to call them is the hospital directly: (818) 843-5111. I would suggest waiting a few days... Katherine is really overwhelmed with everything.
Thank you all for your concern, you good wishes, your help, and your loving thoughts.
November 23, 2005, 3:17pm
I just got some frightening and sad news -- our dear friend and dance legend, Fayard Nicholas (Nicholas Brothers) suffered a stroke yesterday. I have left a message for Fayard's wife to get more information, but haven't heard back yet. I do know that he is back at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank, CA.
Many of you have met Fayard and his wife, Katherine, at our Rhythm Club, and all of us have gloried over his amazing dancing in classic films such as "Stormy Weather," "Sun Valley Serenade," and "Orchestra Wives." Recently, they came out for our Rhythm Club Hurricane Relief Fundraiser (pictures on our scrapbook: http://swingshiftontap.com/scrapbookindex.asp)
Fayard was in the hospital last month and recovered beautiful from colon surgery. He had returned home, and I had gone to visit him for Katherine's birthday. He looked GREAT. Better than ever. We laughed, sang, and danced all night. So what a shock to get the news today.
After Fayard's recent hospitalization, many of you asked if there was anything they needed, and I have found out the following, and please understand that I am sending this out with deep affection and love for Katherine and Fayard:
They need financial assistance... and on a regular basis. They are living a fixed income (social security), and Katherine is afraid to leave the house now with Fayard's more delicate health (in other words, she can't get a job outside the house). We have been sending over "Trader Joe's" gift cards, and Katherine and Fayard have been thrilled. They live within walking distance of this wonderful health food grocery store.
Outside of his urgent needs, a perfect "excuse" would be a Holiday Gift. If you wanted to get them a little something, have some spare change, I know they would really appreciate some kind of useful gift card for food or other necessities rather than flowers and such. If you live near a Trader Joes, pick up a gift card and send it over; if you are out of town, maybe a Bed Bath and Beyond, or something like that. I'm sure they would even welcome any financial assistance towards their bills.
By the way, they don't use a computer, so don't send anything that would require them have to go online.
Here is their mailing address (for those out of towners):
Katherine & Fayard Nicholas
And, of course, the "Best Wishes" of a call or a card is always most appreciated by them!
I know we'll all be thinking and hoping for the his immediate return to good health at his 91 years young!