AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Everybody loves a good viral video on Facebook, but it’s not often one is created in your backyard.
When Shelly Brady walked into the Austintown Goodwill on September 13 to shop, it’s safe to say she didn’t expect to see someone singing and playing the piano.
“So I walked over there and here’s Howard. He was playing and here’s this older couple,” said Brady, who recorded the viral video. “It was like angels were singing.”
Howard Howell was the one tickling the ivories. Music is in his blood. Just a while back, he took ownership of Freida’s Jazz Club in downtown Youngstown, so playing for this elderly couple was natural.
“It touched a lot of people’s hearts, you know? I remember the guy’s name that’s he actually bought me a jacket that I had in my buggy, and his name is Frank, and he turned 96 that day,” said Howell.
“The employees and the customers dancing, and you know, it was like it was just happiness in this place. You don’t see much of that really anywhere nowadays, you know? So yeah, it was nice in here that day,” said Brady.
For 45 minutes, everyone came together around that piano.
“The amazing thing that the video did is that the lady and the husband that donated this got in touch with us on Facebook,” said Howell. “The lady said she just cried.”
Happy tears, because someone was using the piano the way it was intended.
“For me to be blessed enough to be a part of that, he’ll never forget his 96th birthday, and I’ll never forget it. Thank you,” said Howell. “When I kept looking at the video and then the name Goodwill — good will is what we did.”
Howard says that’s why he thinks the video has gotten so much attention.
“It just touched my heart,” said Brady.
The general manager of the store, Krystal Hoffman Larose, says the piano is staying. She says the amount of people that have come in since “to play and enjoy the moment is insane. Just like Howard said, good will in action.”
You can watch the heartwarming video here.