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Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)

Stewart 04 Sep 15 - 06:56 PM
Leadfingers 04 Sep 15 - 07:00 PM
michaelr 04 Sep 15 - 07:02 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Sep 15 - 07:14 PM
gnu 04 Sep 15 - 07:26 PM
Alice 04 Sep 15 - 07:37 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 04 Sep 15 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,# 04 Sep 15 - 07:39 PM
Janie 04 Sep 15 - 07:41 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Sep 15 - 07:43 PM
freda underhill 04 Sep 15 - 07:51 PM
LilyFestre 04 Sep 15 - 08:03 PM
Desert Dancer 04 Sep 15 - 08:09 PM
wysiwyg 04 Sep 15 - 08:28 PM
GUEST,Lin 04 Sep 15 - 08:30 PM
ChanteyLass 04 Sep 15 - 08:57 PM
GUEST,Ed 04 Sep 15 - 09:12 PM
Ebbie 04 Sep 15 - 09:40 PM
GUEST,Mary Katherine 04 Sep 15 - 09:45 PM
Bill D 04 Sep 15 - 10:08 PM
frogprince 04 Sep 15 - 10:15 PM
GUEST,mauvepink 04 Sep 15 - 10:15 PM
GUEST,Ron Davies 04 Sep 15 - 10:36 PM
Phil Cooper 04 Sep 15 - 11:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Sep 15 - 11:17 PM
Mooh 04 Sep 15 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,Stim 05 Sep 15 - 12:02 AM
Deckman 05 Sep 15 - 12:26 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Sep 15 - 01:15 AM
GUEST,Bert. 05 Sep 15 - 01:33 AM
KT 05 Sep 15 - 01:56 AM
Waddon Pete 05 Sep 15 - 02:12 AM
GUEST,Stim 05 Sep 15 - 03:13 AM
Monique 05 Sep 15 - 03:17 AM
treewind 05 Sep 15 - 03:31 AM
Jack Blandiver 05 Sep 15 - 03:56 AM
vectis 05 Sep 15 - 04:47 AM
JennieG 05 Sep 15 - 04:58 AM
GUEST,HiLo 05 Sep 15 - 06:03 AM
Dave the Gnome 05 Sep 15 - 06:26 AM
Ernest 05 Sep 15 - 08:58 AM
BrooklynJay 05 Sep 15 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Lighter 05 Sep 15 - 09:34 AM
Elmore 05 Sep 15 - 09:54 AM
artbrooks 05 Sep 15 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Sep 15 - 12:20 PM
fat B****rd 05 Sep 15 - 12:29 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Sep 15 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,Rappa 05 Sep 15 - 03:22 PM
Tootler 05 Sep 15 - 03:28 PM
GUEST 05 Sep 15 - 03:54 PM
Deckman 05 Sep 15 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Pete from seen stars link 05 Sep 15 - 05:15 PM
kendall 05 Sep 15 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan cookieless in Glasgow: 05 Sep 15 - 06:28 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 05 Sep 15 - 07:08 PM
Rapparee 05 Sep 15 - 09:58 PM
Bat Goddess 05 Sep 15 - 10:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Sep 15 - 01:10 AM
Sandra in Sydney 06 Sep 15 - 03:21 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 06 Sep 15 - 05:59 AM
Hrothgar 06 Sep 15 - 07:28 AM
Smedley 06 Sep 15 - 07:30 AM
Deckman 06 Sep 15 - 12:31 PM
Janie 06 Sep 15 - 02:29 PM
Rapparee 06 Sep 15 - 04:27 PM
Deckman 06 Sep 15 - 04:40 PM
Stewart 06 Sep 15 - 05:07 PM
Fred Maslan 06 Sep 15 - 05:30 PM
Deckman 06 Sep 15 - 11:13 PM
alanabit 07 Sep 15 - 05:07 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Sep 15 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,DrWord 07 Sep 15 - 03:02 PM
CapriUni 07 Sep 15 - 04:12 PM
Mrrzy 07 Sep 15 - 04:39 PM
Joe Offer 07 Sep 15 - 04:48 PM
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GUEST,george austin 07 Sep 15 - 09:48 PM
Rob Naylor 08 Sep 15 - 07:50 AM
SINSULL 08 Sep 15 - 01:29 PM
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Brian Peters 08 Sep 15 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,gillymor 08 Sep 15 - 06:43 PM
Lonesome EJ 08 Sep 15 - 07:19 PM
Deckman 08 Sep 15 - 07:37 PM
The Sandman 08 Sep 15 - 08:26 PM
Mark Clark 09 Sep 15 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,RoyH 09 Sep 15 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Ruth Maslan Sassoon 09 Sep 15 - 09:14 PM
Deckman 09 Sep 15 - 09:57 PM
Janie 09 Sep 15 - 10:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Sep 15 - 11:15 PM
Deckman 09 Sep 15 - 11:46 PM
GUEST,Alice Lanczos 10 Sep 15 - 01:57 AM
Deckman 10 Sep 15 - 08:27 AM
irishenglish 10 Sep 15 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Wife Barbara 14 Sep 15 - 09:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Sep 15 - 09:48 PM
Steve Shaw 14 Sep 15 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,Wife Barbara 14 Sep 15 - 10:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Sep 15 - 10:52 PM
Deckman 15 Sep 15 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,guest iancarterb 15 Sep 15 - 08:01 PM
Deckman 15 Sep 15 - 08:24 PM
GUEST 15 Sep 15 - 09:46 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Sep 15 - 10:26 PM
Deckman 16 Sep 15 - 04:30 PM
Stewart 17 Sep 15 - 10:15 PM
Stewart 17 Sep 15 - 10:24 PM
Deckman 17 Sep 15 - 11:10 PM
Amergin 18 Sep 15 - 12:34 AM
Roger the Skiffler 18 Sep 15 - 05:53 AM
Deckman 18 Sep 15 - 05:11 PM
Deckman 19 Sep 15 - 02:05 PM
Deckman 24 Sep 15 - 11:45 PM
Phil Edwards 25 Sep 15 - 10:10 AM
maeve 06 Oct 15 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,Jon Pfaff 15 Jan 16 - 07:16 PM
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Steve Shaw 15 Jan 16 - 07:29 PM
Benjamin 15 Jan 16 - 07:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 16 - 11:31 PM
GUEST,Barbara 16 Jan 16 - 12:46 PM
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Steve Shaw 16 Jan 16 - 03:30 PM
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Subject: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stewart
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 06:56 PM

Sad news from Seattle: Bob (Deckman) Nelson phoned me this morning - "It is my sad duty to announce the passing of Don Firth. He died in Seattle, Washington on Friday morning, September fourth, 2015. He was a pillar of the folk music community of the Pacific Northwest since the early 1950's. He was unique and will be greatly missed. Here is a link to a recent article about Don." Bob Nelson

Don was a founding member of the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society, a great source of knowledge on folk music, a long-time member of Mudcat, and a true gentleman and friend. He introduced me to Bob Nelson soon after I moved to Seattle nineteen years ago, and they both gave me a great introduction to the folk music of the Pacific Northwest. I will miss him, but feel very fortunate to have known him.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 07:00 PM

Sad News indeed - RIP Don


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: michaelr
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 07:02 PM

Another Mudcat stalwart gone. May he rest in peace.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 07:14 PM

Don was my father's guitar instructor back in the 1960s. I think was probably my first little kid crush - he had such a great voice and wonderful repertoire. My condolences to Barbara. And to Bob - they've been friends for decades.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: gnu
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 07:26 PM

Oh dear. So sadly, RIP and thanks. I'll miss you, buddy.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Alice
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 07:37 PM

Don was always one of the bright spots on Mudcat for me. This is very sad news. My sympathy to all of Don's loved ones.

Alice in Montana


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 07:37 PM

Very sad. I always enjoyed Don Firth's posts........even when I disagreed with them. His passing feels like a shock.....he seemed, to me, to be one of those people who defined Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,#
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 07:39 PM

Condolences to his family and friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Janie
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 07:41 PM

No words other than so sad.

I will miss you, Don. You were such a contributor to this community, above and below the line.

Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends who really knew him.

Gonna go off a cry a little while now, and I really can't say I knew him personally, even on-line.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 07:43 PM

A great bloke, and I never disagreed with his posts. A star and a real human being.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: freda underhill
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 07:51 PM

It's sad that he's gone, so talented, such a gentleman. I always agreed with his posts - yes, what a loss to Mudcat and the world.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: LilyFestre
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 08:03 PM

Rest in peace, Don.

XOXOXOXO

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 08:09 PM

Don's Mudcat posts: here.

A well-lived life, and a loss to this and his home community.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 08:28 PM

RIP

I always hate it when one more thinking, reasoning, reflective person leaves us.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 08:30 PM

I was sorry to hear of Don's passing. I did not know him personally but would often enjoy reading his posts here on Mudcat. I was reading the interesting article about his musical background that Guest Stewart left a link to today. Don was a very talented man!
Condolences to his family and friends for their loss.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 08:57 PM

Thank you, Stewart, for letting us know,man thank you, Becky, for the links to his posts. I was wondering when he most recently posted, and evidently it was August 25--not long ago. I hope someone will share the cause of death when that information is available.

My heart goes out to his family and friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 09:12 PM

Really sorry to hear this.

One of the few people on Mudcat who always talked complete sense.

I will miss you.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 09:40 PM

I like Don. I liked his views on his wife, on society, on marriage, on disabilities, on debate and disagreements, on music. I will miss him.

Condolences to his wife and all those who also loved him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Mary Katherine
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 09:45 PM

So sorry to hear this sad news.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 10:08 PM

................. Don & I shared our thoughts on so many threads over the years, and I could always rely on him to say clearly & succinctly what needed to BE said. Over the years, I have met many Mudcatters... he was on my short list of folks I dearly wanted to chat with and make some music with.

I think of him in the same way I do Rick Fielding as one who made this crazy place a pleasure....

bye Don....


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: frogprince
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 10:15 PM

My best words for Don have already been spoken here: "thinking, reasonable, reflective", "gentleman". I've really appreciated so much of what he posted, and will miss him. Condolences to his wife and son, and to Bob Nelson, Stewart, and his other personal friends.

             Dean


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 10:15 PM

Sorry to read this sad news :(      RIP Don


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Ron Davies
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 10:36 PM

So, so sorry to see this.   


Don was always so sensible, thoughtful, rational, calm.



And he told great stories.

To some extent it seems he was present at the creation, at least in the US


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 11:14 PM

I always liked reading his posts. May he rest in peace.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 11:17 PM

Don Firth's posts logged in and signed in as a guest.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Mooh
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 11:38 PM

Very sad. He'll be missed around here. Wish I'd met him in person.

Rest in peace.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 12:02 AM

No use pretending that I always got along with Don, or that I always agreed with him-and I am feeling kind of bad about some of that right now.

I suppose that when you've connected with someone over a long period of time--that is to say, you've gotten to see their life, their tastes, their interests, their quirks and predispositions unfold over time, there are bound to be some differences. I hope he understood that I always liked him a lot, and that I read and and carefully considered everything that he wrote.

The thing about Don was that he had a wonderful sense of the sound and effect of his voice. Not just his singing voice or his speaking voice, but of his written voice, as well. This isn't just a talent, it is the stock and trade of a broadcaster--the ability to fill and extra 60 seconds or to cut something short, to make the improvised fit seamlessly with what has been carefully prepared, and to always hit the sweet spot.

If you listen to his singing, you will hear not only a deep, resonant voice, but also a "natural" voice-he had an excellent sense of phrasing and great timing, so you forgot about everything else and only heard the story he was telling--

His writing was like that, too--I particularly loved his reminiscences because he had gift for taking you to a distant time, to a room you'd never been in, with people you'd never met, and making you feel at home. He mentioned writing a book on numerous occasions--I have a feeling that was never realized, but I think a lot of his notes and first drafts are with us in the many, many threads that he contributed to--

Don, you were a luminous presence here for long, lo, these many years. Your voice was so clear, so constant, that it felt like you'd be with us forever-tho that is not so, we will always remember you.

Blessings and condolences to friends and family. Holding you all in the light.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 12:26 AM

To "guest Stim" ... Barbara Firth told me this morning that Don's son is now dedicated to completing Don's book.   bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 01:15 AM

That's excellent news, Bob. Thanks. I was pondering how to ask about that project, and about his son. You answered both in one.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Bert.
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 01:33 AM

Oh no, not another one. Bye old Mudcatter. I never met you in person but I'm gonna really miss you.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: KT
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 01:56 AM

So sorry to hear this news. This place is better for his having been here. Condolences to his loved ones. Rest in peace, Mr. Firth.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 02:12 AM

I'm missing him already. He was involved deeply in Mudcat and his comments often made me smile. My condolences to all those that know and love him.

RIP

Peter


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 03:13 AM

Keep us posted on that--


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Monique
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 03:17 AM

Sorry to hear this. RIP.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: treewind
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 03:31 AM

RIP. Sorry to hear this news. Mudcat won't be the same without him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 03:56 AM

Sad news indeed. RIP, Don. Much respect.

Sean Breadin / Sedayne.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: vectis
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 04:47 AM

A sad loss to his family as well as to the Mudcat family. We will miss his wisdom and down to earth attitude.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: JennieG
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 04:58 AM

Condolences to Don's family......he was a man I would have loved to have met, he seemed such an interesting bloke.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 06:03 AM

Very sad news indeed. RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 06:26 AM

That is sad and we will miss him here. Condolonces to all his real life family and friends.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Ernest
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 08:58 AM

Sad news indeed. I will also miss his contributions here.
Condolences to his family and friends.
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 09:05 AM

Very, very saddened by this news. A man who exemplified the best of what Mudcat is all about. His posts were always worth reading.

Another fine one gone...

My deepest condolences to his family and friends.


Jay


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 09:34 AM

I never met Don, but his posts were always well worth reading.

Another great loss for this forum.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Elmore
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 09:54 AM

I always found Don's post interesting. They extended far beyond the limits of folk music. May he rest in peace.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: artbrooks
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 10:12 AM

I didn't know Don in the years we lived in Seattle - I'm not entirely sure why not - but we've met a few times since at Folklife. A great loss to the Northwest folk community and to Mudcat...and of course to his own family. Thank you for everything.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 12:20 PM

I will miss him.

"Nothing gold can stay."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: fat B****rd
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 12:29 PM

Such sad news. My condolences to all Don's family and his many friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 01:53 PM

i only knew him from his posts i loved them. they evoked a time when the folk song movement looked outwards, forwards with optimism confident enough of itself not to denigrate and infight.

i'll miss him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Rappa
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 03:22 PM

Oh no!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Tootler
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 03:28 PM

I never met him - an ocean and a continent away but I shall miss his posts.

I didn't always agree with his posts but his points were always well made and politely argued.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 03:54 PM

Sad to hear it. Like others I enjoyed his posts and conversations


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 05:05 PM

Yes, my friend of 62 years has passed on.

I'm not going to bore anyone with remeberances ... I pretty well covered those in the article that I wrote this spring and that Stewart thoughtfully linked in his announcement of Don's death (thank you Stewart).

How do you say goodbye to a close friend of so many years? You don't!

I just had a call from Rapaire, back in Idaho. Some years ago I brought Mike to visit Don at his Capital Hill home in Seattle. They had connected by e-mails before meeting in person enough to know each other a little. On our way back to my house after that visit, I could tell that Mike had deeply moved by the experience of meeting Don in person.

I was thinking out loud this morning with "Bride Judy" ... when I think of the "old timers" (for lack of a better term) that were the powershouses of the Seattle folk scene starting in the nineteen fifties, you remember, Walt Robertson, Dick Landberg, Elmar Lanczos, Patti McLaughlin, Stan James, John Dwyer, and some other who have since hung up their guitars, I'm beginning to feel like the last one left.

It's a very lonely feeling.

In mike's phone call, he asked if there was anything he could do. I'll answer him now via this note: "OF COURSE THERE IS, MIKE! Bring him back to life ... DAMNIT!

But, truth be told, he'd worn his body out many so times over the limit and we all know that his physical suffering is now gone.

Don ... MINA RAAKASTAAN SINUA ... bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Pete from seen stars link
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 05:15 PM

Was shocked to open mudcat and find this. We usually disagreed on threads below the line but I usually found Don gracious and thoughtful, and more so recently. I hope that was mutual.    Condolences to his loved ones.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: kendall
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 05:57 PM

Another block in the mudcat's foundation gone.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan cookieless in Glasgow:
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 06:28 PM

A huge loss.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 07:08 PM

So sorry to hear of this. Condolences to his family and friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 09:58 PM

"GUEST Rappa" was me.

I would if I could, Bob. Believe it! But you're right about him wearing out his body so many times...and now he's again winning fencing matches AND playing the guitar at that same time.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 10:26 PM

What Kendall said. Another fine Mudcatter gone, but Mudcat is a better place for him having been here.

My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 01:10 AM

I spoke with Barbara this evening. It was a gush of names and places and song memories - I'm glad to say that she and Don's son, Don, have his book well in hand. Hopefully it will see the light of day (now that he finally can't edit it any more).


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 03:21 AM

adding my condolences - as so many have said, he will be sorely missed

sandra


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 05:59 AM

Oh I am so sorry to read this. Another good Mudcatter has left us, whose posts I always enjoyed and respected. Gone and not to be replaced. R.I.P.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Hrothgar
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 07:28 AM

I wish I had met him in person.

RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Smedley
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 07:30 AM

RIP. He was the possessor of a particularly well-attuned bullshit detector and his posts were always a highlight here.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 12:31 PM

This is being a very difficult time for Don's many friends in the Seattle area. I would like to add this one thought: "Grief is the price of love." bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Janie
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 02:29 PM

Indeed, Bob.

It is clear how much Don was valued and will be missed within this virtual community. I can not know but can imagine how much sharper the sense of loss is for those of you who knew and liked, especially those you who knew him closely and loved him.

May his wife, son, you and all who loved him find some measure of solace in knowing you are surrounded by care and concern from so many of us in this virtual community.

Hope you know that you, who have long been another of the foundation bricks of this virtual community, and with whom you and Don chose to share on-line your abiding friendship and love for one another built over time, are especially held in the thoughts of many of the rest of us here.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 04:27 PM

It's more than the Seattle area, Bob. It's across the country and the globe.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 04:40 PM

I just talked with Don's widow, Barbara. She seems to be doing O.K. Exhausted, of course. Don Firth's son "Donnie" has been with her. She told me that ALL of Don's many local friends have been checking in with her. She also said that they will likely be holding a memorial service in late September or early October at their local church.

There is a hole in my heart where Don used to live ... bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stewart
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 05:07 PM

It is very moving and heartwarming to see all the love and regards that Don has been given in this thread. He certainly touched many people in this community.

When I moved to Seattle in 1996 and discovered Mudcat, I read one of Don's posts and was so moved by it that I PM'ed him, and through Don met Bob, and my life in folk music totally changed. The friends I made through Don and Bob, here in Seattle and also on Mudcat have been wonderful. So I would say that Don had a great influence on me, and I am grateful to have known him.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Fred Maslan
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 05:30 PM

My sister Ruth hosted hoots occasionally at my parents house and my brother Mike and I would sneak out of bed and poke our noses (and ears) into the living room. The voices I heard then are still with me today, Walt and John, Stan and now Don are all singing at the celestial Hoot. May Dons family be comforted by his memory.

Fred


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 11:13 PM

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!"

bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Sep 15 - 05:07 AM

Thanks for that Bob. I am rarely at Mudcat these days, but I am very sad to hear of Don Firth's passing. He was one of the very best here and he will be greatly missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Sep 15 - 02:42 PM

Mudcat is peppered with classic Firth posts like this one. I will miss him. Closest cognates to some of the lore he posted came from the late John in Kansas and Malcolm Douglas. Each had their own bailiwicks, and took the time to spell out the details of what made the song, performance, composer, history, etc. important. This is buried treasure at Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 07 Sep 15 - 03:02 PM

Well put, Acme. Don's posts are indeed a treasure. Just like to express condolences to his family & friends, and to echo many of the voices here. Folk like Don Firth make Mudcat a truly amazing community and a fabulous resource. Awaiting the book :)
Keep on pickin'
dennis


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: CapriUni
Date: 07 Sep 15 - 04:12 PM

Well ... damn.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Sep 15 - 04:39 PM

Got back from the wilderness to read this. My heart is with the family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Sep 15 - 04:48 PM

What I thought about Don, was that he was the Real Thing - not a derivative folkie like me and a lot of us, but a man who had lived through the legendary times of folk music. His stories and his life experiences fascinated me, and his posts were always interesting. His insights were wise, even those few times that I disagreed with him. And in every post, I could see what a good man he was.

Rest in peace, Don. You lived a good life, right to the end. We'll miss you.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,bbc
Date: 07 Sep 15 - 06:20 PM

Sorry to hear this news!

Best,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,george austin
Date: 07 Sep 15 - 09:48 PM

Don was a good friend and an outstanding individual.
My thoughts are with his wife and son during these times and I will miss him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 07:50 AM

So sorry to hear this. I'm another one who only knew him through his posts here, but he came across as a really great guy.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: SINSULL
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 01:29 PM

Rest in Peace. There is no doubt in my mind that Bob will continue to celebrate his life.
Mary


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,MikeL2
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 02:23 PM

Hi

Such sad news.

Although I was never lucky enough to meet Don, Through Mudcat I feel that I knew him.

Rest In Peace Don.

Condolences to Family & friends.

In sadness
7
Mike


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 05:52 PM

Sad news. I'm another who greatly appreciated Don's posts here.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 06:43 PM

He seemed like quite a guy and made good use of his time on this earth.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 07:19 PM

Don said about 5 years ago that he was working on a memoir of his early years, and of the Seattle Folk scene. Was this ever completed? I used to really enjoy Don's stories of those early years. He was the real thing in a world of wannabees.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 07:37 PM

Don's son Donnie has taken the uncompleted manuscript back to his home, He and Don's widow have vowed to complete the book. bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 08:26 PM

R.I.P,
I liked his posts, he was a Mudcat poster, whose posts I often agreed with, I will miss him


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Mark Clark
Date: 09 Sep 15 - 03:21 PM

Very sad to stop in here today and find this thread. RIP Don Firth. Ya done good.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,RoyH
Date: 09 Sep 15 - 03:25 PM

Like many others who have posted on this thread I never met Don, but came to feel that I knew him through his postings. So sad to hear of his passing. Condolences to his family and friends. Thanks you Don, and Rest in Peace. ROY


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Ruth Maslan Sassoon
Date: 09 Sep 15 - 09:14 PM

Corny jokes, competitive punning, Don's great voice and encyclopedic
repertoire, Elmer calling, saying "hoot" and giving an address --
great memories. Barbara, and Donnie, please find strength in all the
love Don inspired in all of us.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Sep 15 - 09:57 PM

You are so right Ruthy. Those indeed were the days and some of the very essence of Don was so well reflected in what made up these marvelous times and hoots.MY gosh ... you and I were both still in high school when those marvelous hoots started. You even used to host them at your parents home ... how well I remember.

You might remember that if Don was late in arriving, we'd often just dilly dally around because he was "the master." Even if we'd tuned our guitars to suit ourselves, we always knew we'd have to re-tune to match his damned tuning fork.

BUT ... when everyone was finally in tune to his satisfaction ... boy did the music flow. Song after song after story, after bad joke, and then more songs. There was NEVER a single bad energy in room ... we were just all celebrating the music and each other ... and DON WAS KING!

Someone told me recently that at our ages, we should expect these kinds of losses. But I never expect them, and the older I get, the loss is bigger.

Ruthy your advice is good ... remember the love and companioship that he gave. CHEERS, bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Janie
Date: 09 Sep 15 - 10:14 PM

Thank you to those of you who are beginning share memories of the 3-D Don.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Sep 15 - 11:15 PM

When there were hoots at our house in West Seattle or later in Everett, they would always jovially sing a few kids songs before we were sent upstairs to bed. Like we were going to go to sleep - we sat at the top of the stairs (out of sight around the corner) or at the top of the heater vent from the living room and listened to the songs. Our parents knew we were there, as we confirmed when we sang some of those songs ourselves later.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Sep 15 - 11:46 PM

Don Firth was the stuff of legend, as was the likes of Walt Robertson, Sandy Paton, and countless others.

As the shock of his passing has begun to wear away, "Bride Judy" and I find ourselves spinning rememberings stories all day long: "Do remember the time that ....!"

One of the funnier, and I suspose goofier, stories I well remember about Don's muscianship and quirky humor happened at a marvelous hoot at the north Seattle home of Elmar Lanczos.

Elmar couldn't sing a sing on pitch if he had to, but boy did he love the music and did he know the material. His house had quickly become the most popular "hoot House" around. Most every weekend, a gathering would happen at Elmar's. And these hoots were what made us ...

For several Saturday nights in a row, there was this very attractive young lady who would show up at the hoot, quietly come in, and sit on the floor in a corner. Elmar's home was very close to the University of Washington, so there was always an abundance of attractive young people.

Don, being the classical guitarist he was, would often perform a beautiful version of "Greensleeves", complete with all the verses and guitar breaks.

Usually when this attractive young lady would arrive, she would request that he do "Greensleeves" .... night after night ... week after week ... nothing but "Greensleeves." Don would dutifully oblige. Finally he got sick and tired of doing the same old song, so he carefully prepared a new version" of Greensleeves", just for her. Don had warned me ahead of time just what to expect ... and here it came:

When she next showed up at the hoot, and again requested "Greensleeves", he launched into the loudest, most rocous "talking blues guitar lick" possible, and started chanting the lyrics like this:

"ALAS MY LOVE, YOU DO ME WRONG,
TO TREAT ME SO DISCOURTESLY,
WHEN I HAVE LOVE-E-E-E-D YOU SO LONG
DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY!

GREENSLEEVES ... WAS ALL MY JOY ... GREENSLEEVES, WAS MY DELIGHT!"

For some reason, we never saw her again!   bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Alice Lanczos
Date: 10 Sep 15 - 01:57 AM

I recently stayed with Don (babysitting he called it) to allow Barbara time for necessary errands. He provided a heartwarming memory. We were saying our goodbyes upon Barbara's return. Don's last words to me were "thank you." Gracious as always.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 10 Sep 15 - 08:27 AM

And "kittos" to you Alice, for all you did. bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: irishenglish
Date: 10 Sep 15 - 09:58 AM

Very sorry to hear this. I don't really comment much here these days but when I did Don was always one of my favorites on here. RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Wife Barbara
Date: 14 Sep 15 - 09:33 PM

Thanks for all your kind words. I wept through them all. Don
frequently shared the fun and meaty stuff from Mudcat with me. I, too, feel that I know some of you.

The book has been finished for a long time and in our opinions ready to publish, but like some painters, he couldn't leave it alone. He didn't want to say anything that might put a poor light on another person, obnoxious though they may be. We just need to cross check to be sure to have the latest edits. I think we will publish under the working title "It Was Pleasant and Delightful" which really seems to sum it all up.

I too write and will try to post a couple of chapters of our life somewhere. Not sure where to do that.

Would love to meet you all.
Barbara Palecek Firth


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Sep 15 - 09:48 PM

Thank you for posting, Barbara. And if we can help you in any way in following up on any of Don's Mudcat posts, let us know. He posted a fair amount of the book here when the topics were timely.

I thought Don was fabulous. I grew up hearing him sing at hoots and family gatherings he attended. That voice - I have no doubt that in just hearing him sing you fell in love with him, and the rest was gravy. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Sep 15 - 09:56 PM

Lovely post, Barbara. Thank you!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Wife Barbara
Date: 14 Sep 15 - 10:38 PM

Actually I fell in love with him before I heard him sing. His aunt who introduced us just told me that he played the guitar and sang a little. He was arresting at first sight.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Sep 15 - 10:52 PM

He was a handsome, man, I do agree. And I was six years old when I made that determination. My much-older self concurs. :)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 15 Sep 15 - 06:31 PM

Barbara is busy making the plans for Don's memorial service. His local newspaper obit will be posted soon. The Memorial service will be at 1:00 P.M.at "CENTRAL LUTHERAN CHURCH", 1710 - 11th Ave. (11th and Olive), Seattle, Washington bob(deckman)nelson


Saturday, October 10, 1:00


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,guest iancarterb
Date: 15 Sep 15 - 08:01 PM

Bob- DATE of the memorial? I'm not seeing one -
   Carter


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 15 Sep 15 - 08:24 PM

OCTOBER 11TH. (stoooopid me)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Sep 15 - 09:46 PM

Actually Saturday, October 10, 1:00


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Sep 15 - 10:26 PM

If there is a Song Circle celebration later on (fingers crossed!), please let us know. This is the exact date of a family event that we can't miss.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 16 Sep 15 - 04:30 PM

I expect (suspect) that down the road, a memorial hoot will be held to celebrate Don's life and his lifelong commitment to traditional folk music. But right now it's too soon to know when or where. The memorial service is being the next focus. CHEERS, bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stewart
Date: 17 Sep 15 - 10:15 PM

Here's a video of Don Firth singing "Three Ravens" at "Bob Nelson and Don Firth Reunion Concert", Oct. 14, 2007, at Central Lutheran Church in Seattle.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stewart
Date: 17 Sep 15 - 10:24 PM

And here is an obituary written by Barbara Palecek, Don's wife, including an announcement of his memorial service on Saturday, Oct. 10 in Seattle.


Donald Richard Firth, June 19, 1931 – September 4, 2015, died at Kline Galland care facility in Seattle. A memorial service will be held at 1 pm on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at Central Lutheran Church, 1700 11th Avenue (one block north of Pine on Capitol Hill) in Seattle.

Don will be remembered as a teacher of classic guitar and performer in coffee houses in the 50s and 60s. He was a founding member of the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society. He wrote articles for "Victory Music" and "Singout" magazines and was a regular contributer on the Mudcat Cafe, a website for folk performers and enthusiasts.

His bass-baritone voice was also recognizable on classic KXA (no longer on the air) and KORD in Pascoe. At his retirement he was a technical writer. He had a vibrant interest in astronomy. He was a classic style fencer which he pursued from his youth. Don had polio at the age of two affecting both legs but he excelled despite needing two forearm crutches and only one when fencing, developing a strong defense since he could not use offensive tactics.

Don leaves his wife, Barbara Palecek and son, Donald Firth, sister, Patricia Hansen, nieces nephews and many friends.

His book, IT WAS PLEASANT AND DELIGHTFUL, picturing the Seattle folk music scene of the 50s and after, is being readied for publication by his wife, Barbara, and son, Don.   


Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Sep 15 - 11:10 PM

Thank you Stewart ... bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Amergin
Date: 18 Sep 15 - 12:34 AM

Oh man. I had always wanted to meet him, but never quite got things squared out that I could. I have been up that way Seattle and Everett a couple times this year, to do a show, but always just for a night, and then on the train or bus. I am sorry I missed my chance. To those who knew him, I am sorry for your loss. He always seemed like the neatest person.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 18 Sep 15 - 05:53 AM

Just caught up with this on return from holiday. Another Mudcat veteran and wise guy (in the good sense). RIP.
Rts


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 18 Sep 15 - 05:11 PM

We just returned from our first visit with Don's widow Barbara since Don's passing. She is doing well. As you might have guessed, Don had a very large collection of tapes, books and records. I started to inventory the collection today ... it will take us many trips to Seattle to complete this task. Once everything is cataloged, then Barbara will decide where to place things. She is a retired librarian, so public libraries are part of her nature. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 19 Sep 15 - 02:05 PM

I think that Don's memorial service will be a "once in a lifetime experience"! bad bad bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Deckman
Date: 24 Sep 15 - 11:45 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 25 Sep 15 - 10:10 AM

Only just caught up with this, and I'm so sorry to hear it. Don was always good to chat with on Mudcat; he was a thoughtful, wise and gracious man, or at least he played one on the Internet. I always hoped I'd meet him in person some day, unlikely as it seemed. Well, you know what they say - by and by...!

Sincere condolences to Barbara and to everyone who knew Don well.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: maeve
Date: 06 Oct 15 - 01:28 PM

Bob Deckman has posted information about Don's Memorial Service in this thread: thread.cfm?threadid=158294&messages=1


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Jon Pfaff
Date: 15 Jan 16 - 07:16 PM

For some strange reason, as I awoke from a nap a little while ago, I had a thought about Don Firth, so I googled, only to find out he had left us last September. Made me sad.

It was because of Don Firth that I, a classically trained singer, became interested in Folk music, which led to buying a guitar, which led me to learning folk songs and meeting other 'folkies'. Don's tutoring to play guitar and sing at the same time led me to a whole new world in music. Over time it led to the formation of the Talisman Trio which had a life span of several years. The trio passed as small groups do, but by that time I had already returned to college at the U of WA to get a music degree adding to and replacing the math/physics/biology degree from the U of ND. That Music Degree led me to the rest of my wonderful fulfilling life in choral music, which led to opportunities in radio, which led to further opportunities in teaching, broadcasting, world travel and more. To this day I think of Don Firth as one of the most subtle but solid influences I had the incredible good fortune to meet. Don. thank you. May you rest in a wealth of musical peace! Jon


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Jan 16 - 07:26 PM

Lovely, Jon Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Jan 16 - 07:29 PM

Flippin' eck, I usually manage to punctuate my long posts reasonably well, but I can't even manage a three-word one! I'll try again. Ahem:

Lovely, Jon. Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Benjamin
Date: 15 Jan 16 - 07:30 PM

I guess I don't check this site very often these days. Don was a tremendous resource for anything and everything that happened in the Seattle music scene for many years. He spoke of being one of the founding members of the Seattle Classical Guitar Society, which provided a great resource as well as brought numerous world class players through Seattle during my time in college. From the bottom of my heart, I'm grateful for everything Don has done to increase, develop and promote the music and culture of my home town!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 16 - 11:31 PM

Thank you, Jon and Benjamin. Friends and family always love to read these kinds of stories.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: GUEST,Barbara
Date: 16 Jan 16 - 12:46 PM

Thanks so much. For a moment he was alive again.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Elmore
Date: 16 Jan 16 - 01:38 PM

Never met him, but loved, and miss his Mudcat posts.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Don Firth (1931-2015)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jan 16 - 03:30 PM

I'll second, third and fourth that!


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