Hank Bahnson

I posted this several days back but it bounced back
due to some problems that have been cleared up - WTY

> --- In harp-l-
> archives@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "Prof. J. \"Turbodog\"
> Antaki" <turbodog@xxxx>
> wrote:
> >
> > Dear Friends,
> >
> > It is my sad duty to report that Dr. Henry T.
> Bahnson, age
> 82,
> passed in his
> > sleep on Friday, January 10th.
> That is sad news indeed. I'd spoken
> with him by telephone a few
> months ago, and things seemed on the upswing for
> him. He'd
> endured
> agonies both physical and mental in recent years,
> having lost his
> wife and a few
> other close relatives and undergone knee
> replacement.
> With those things behind him, he
> was optimistic about getting back to
> harmonica-related investigations. So it is
> especially sad to hear of
> his passing now.
> I remember when I first met Hank Bahnson
> nearly ten years ago at the
> World Harmonica Festival in Trossingen, Germany. I
> already
> knew him
> by reputation, and here he was, this tall, vigorous,
> seventy-
> something chap
> striding about. His Overblow Harp had recently been
> introduced and he had done some of his
> early investigations, making
> ultrasound movies of Howard Levy's mouth as Howard
> played
> straight
> notes, bends and overbends. He'd also inserted fiber
> optics inside
> a
> harmonica reed chamber and observed the reeds in
> action while
> Howard
> played.
> Later he authored a scientific paper about bending
> and
> overblowing,
> making an important contribution to the slim but
> growing
> scientific
> literature on the harmonica. With either this paper
> or the subsequent
> one,
> he told me that he had a new collaborator, Dr. James
> Antaki.
> Jim, or Turbodog as became known
> in the harmonica community,
> continued the investigations and instigated new
> ones. he
> subsequently
> formed the company Antakimatics to create and market
> new
> harmonica
> related products, some of them resulting from the
> research.
> A few years
> back, Hank came to San Francisco to attend a medical
> convention, and invited me to lunch
> with him at the hotel. On the way
> from the lobby to the restaurant, he was greeted
> enthusiastically
> every few steps by other surgeons. I had heard of
> his prominence in
> the
> medical community (NOT from Hank - he was far too
> modest to blow
> his own horn) and now I was
> seeing it demonstrated. Later, when I
> went to work for another prominent academic surgeon
> in my day job, I
> recognized that same tone of greeting that is
> reserved for the
> truly
> illustrious among doctors.
> The last time I saw Hank, he and Jim Antaki had
> arrived at the 2002
> Buckeye festival, and Hank sat at my table at the
> teach-in for
> awhile.
> No longer striding vigorously, he now used two canes
> and had
> some large hearing aids. While
> the body was failing him, I could see
> the mind was still acute. Later, when we spoke by
> phone,
> it seemed
> that he was in a better state than that in which I'd
> seen him. I
> guess it's better
> to go when things are brightening, though. And to
> leave behind a legacy of valuable work, as
> he has done, seems to me
> to be the best possible monument.
> Winslow Yerxa

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