The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #158083 Message #3735938
Posted By: Deckman
06-Sep-15 - 11:13 PM
Thread Name: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
Sixty two years of memories have been flooding our household since we learned of Don's passing. There one story that I would like to share with everyone: It was November of 1959. Don and I had been 'living off our guitars' in the San Francisco area for the previous several months, and it was time for us to return to Seattle. Our last night in Sausilito, we were celebrated by a huge party of local friends. The bestest of the best folk musicians all came and the music lasted 'till early morning.
We were staying the night at the hillside home of Juanita Montrand. Her house was located on a steep hill, 176 steps above the street, where my car was parked.
If you've learned anything of Don over his Mudcat years, you also know that he suffered a polio attack at the age of two. The damage to his body required that when he dressed himself every morning, he had to strap on a very heavy and cumberson steel and leather, ridgid leg brace that went from the sole of his shoe to his thigh. It usually took him serious time achomplish this feat. When this feat was done, he then needed to drag himself through whatever lay in store for that day, by using two strap on crutches, one in each hand.
As we said farewell to the Montrand family the next morning, they all gathered on the large deck overhanging the steep steps. They serenaded us with "Al Morrir La Tarde." (I still hear their voices.)
Don and I started down those damned steps. He insisted on carrying his own guitar, as usual. Each step took a toll on him, the guitar case would bang him as he fought for balance, I could hear the grinding and the creaking of the brace against his skin.
When we finally reached the car, stowed the guitars, and started to leave, Don uttered THE ONLY COMPLAINT I ever heard him say: "You know something ... I'm not going to miss those damned steps!"