On any given day in one of Sebastopol’s downtown watering holes, one can find the slim figure of local luthier Bill Iberti with a beer in one hand and his trusty pool cue in the other.
“Any time someone calls to play some stick, I have to come down,” he said on a recent afternoon in his home/studio.
Occasionally, he will sit down at the keyboard of one of the old pianos at Jasper O’Farrell’s and jam along with blues, ragtime or Cajun music played on the jukebox.
Not only is he a talented pianist, he is also a stringed instrument virtuoso and guitar maker extraordinaire. But between music gigs, making a guitar or two a year and a handful of instrument repairs, Iberti, 67, is a Meals on Wheels driver.
“I get out of it way more than I put in,” he said. “And the gals in the kitchen are amazing.” Terri Condon, Manager of the Sebastopol dining site, says the feeling is mutual.
“Bill is a sweetheart and we love having him around,” she said. “He buys us flowers sometimes and his clients just love him.”
Iberti moved to Sebastopol after selling a custom windows and door business he owned.
“In 2002 I was feeling a little lost and I made a guitar,” Iberti said. “It was like I remembered who I am.”
So now when he’s not spending time visiting his 93-year-old mother in Santa Rosa, or playing music, Iberti delivers meals to MOW clients. “I wanted to do some volunteer work,” he said. “I needed to do it for personal grounding. In the back of my mind, I thought it was important to feel a sense of value for myself.”
by David Abbott,
Sonoma Seniors Today Associate Editor