The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #29288   Message #2764775
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
12-Nov-09 - 10:23 AM
Thread Name: John Dwyer - Songs & Stories -Guitar List photos
Subject: RE: John Dwyer - Songs&Stories
Originally posted (first attempt) Nov. 11, 2009. Last night it apparently didn't take.

It was Veteran's Day yesterday, and it is 12 years since my father's death, late in the evening of Nov. 11, 1997. Jean Smith and I did the math to figure this out, according to phone calls, email messages, and checking with places where he had appointments in the next few days. "Your father didn't keep his appointment" meant he couldn't get there--he never just blew off appointments and he was always on time.

He died instantly, the coroner reported, of a pulmonary embolism. Probably didn't know what hit him, and certainly didn't feel any pain. And though it took a few days before the neighbor found him, and a few of us had been emailing, asking "did you get my last message?" we all figured he was out of town at one of the many folk festivals or workshops that he loved to attend, sometimes as a student, sometimes to teach. Tom decided too much time had passed and checked on him about a week later.

Dad was a veteran of WWII, though he didn't speak of it often. I think he enjoyed the time he spent in Asia; he had some things he picked up in Burma and those were about the only stories he told us. I have a "portable" wind-up gramophone that he found sitting in the middle of the road, wound down, with a lacquer record on it. He thought perhaps it had been left behind by the British, who had marched out of this tiny village hours earlier, possibly to the sound of this music. It's just strange enough it might be true. I think he appreciated that border where East met West, for all of it's messiness.

Probably a family photo of John Dwyer, in uniform. This is through an "unlisted" Picasa album, but I think the link is supposed to be durable.

I was going through a trunk recently and found a couple of photos in a leather bound case, meant to travel and probably be set on a bureau in whatever room one finds oneself. It probably belonged to his father, and on one side is Dad in uniform, and the other he is stooped down beside his hunting dog, rifle in hand and a couple of pheasants on the ground. The guitar came into his hands about 15 years later.