The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #98649   Message #1964047
Posted By: GUEST,Llyn
11-Feb-07 - 12:35 PM
Thread Name: Obit: Eric Von Schmidt RIP (1931-2007)
Subject: RE: Obit: Eric Von Schmidt RIP (2 Feb 2007)
I got into the folk scene in St Petersburg, Florida, in 1965. Eric Von Schmidt was living on Longboat Key in those years. We local folkies would come to his home to pay homage, mostly without prior notice. He and his wife Katherine, the shark biologist, were most gracious hosts, no matter what we had interrupted. There is a much-told tale of the time that a bunch of attendees at the Longboat Key Folk Festival got hold of an old fire truck, loaded themselves on board, and drove it to the Von Schmidt home. Eric came on occasion to the Beaux Arts Coffeehouse in Pinellas Park, near St. Pete. The first that I recall was for a folksong festival held there 27 Feb 1966. (I remember the date because we have photos and I wrote an account of that day.) Among those he brought with him were Mitch Greenhill, Megan, and Caitlin. We all loved and revered Eric and felt privileged and honored at his presence. When my daughter was born in 1967, her dad and I named her Caitlin. Eric is now thoroughly woven into our local lore. As Florida is being devoured by the "cancer" of development, we treasure Eric's songs more than ever, especially "Gulf Coast Blues." "Spin an old rum bottle, baby, be my compass 'til I die." Thanks for being a part of our lives, Eric! Go with all our love.