My toughest gig

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    March 1, 1994 -- My friend, buddy and partner in the amateur harmonica 
    group, Harpers Bizarre, passed away after several months of suffering from 
    a series of strokes - and surgery (where he suffered another) to minimize 
    further strokes. The surgery, almost a year ago, was risky and it left him 
    paralyzed on the right side and unable to speak. Nine hours prior to his 
    death Marv (another member of the group) and I played for him in his room 
    at the nursing home. Don White was a fine chord harmonica player and a 
    dedicated musician. He endured a lot of pain in order to play. He was a 
    trooper - I remember before illness put him down for the count - he would 
    play gigs when we had to carry his equipment for him - and he would sit on 
    a padded stool - it took all his strength to hold that two foot harmonica. 
    He was blinded in one eye by a stroke and also endured diabetes and 
    arthritis. But he said he wanted to play harmonica as long as he could.
    At the request of the family - the BSHC club played at his funeral 
    service. There were 21 of us - we played AMAZING GRACE and JUST A CLOSER 
    WALK WITH THEE. Harpers Bizarre (there are 4 of us now) also played a 
    special tribute to Don at the service. Don, besides loving the harmonica 
    all his life, was an aeronautical engineer, graduate of Notre Dame, and a 
    Commander in the USN - retired. Our tribute consisted of PEG-O-MY HEART, 
    FATHER) - which we learned hastily. At the end of the service, rather than 
    saying the LORD'S PRAYER as is customary, HB played it.
    It was a tough gig and there was a lot of natural vibrato but we were 
    proud of the send off we gave Don.
    						  Hit the third wire!
    						Jack, Marv, John & Bill
    						    HARPERS BIZARRE
    + Jack N. Ely, Operations Mgr.    Internet: SYS_ELY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx +
    + Ohio Department of Education              ely.j@xxxxxxxxxxxxx          +
    + Information Management Services   BITNET: N/A                          +
    + 2151 Carmack Road                   UUCP: mecsys!ely                   +
    + Columbus, Ohio 43221           Voice: (614)466-7000 FAX: (614)466-0022 +
    +                                                  ________________      +
    +"Have harmonica, will travel."                  [|OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO|]=<] +
    +  Wire Cat Daddy, Columbus                      /_________________/     +
    +                                            Buckeye State Harmonica Club+
    +"If Music is the international language,           Columbus, Ohio       +
    + then why not the harmonica to speak it?"                               +

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