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tales of Pat Dunford

GUEST,Art Thieme 20 Nov 04 - 09:58 PM
Joybell 20 Nov 04 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Sandy Paton 20 Nov 04 - 11:33 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 20 Nov 04 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 21 Nov 04 - 12:01 AM
Joybell 21 Nov 04 - 08:02 PM
Joybell 21 Nov 04 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 22 Nov 04 - 05:06 PM
Joybell 23 Nov 04 - 03:40 PM
Liz the Squeak 23 Nov 04 - 04:37 PM
Joybell 23 Nov 04 - 11:23 PM
Liz the Squeak 24 Nov 04 - 04:09 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 24 Nov 04 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 24 Nov 04 - 03:29 PM
Joybell 24 Nov 04 - 05:16 PM
Joybell 28 Nov 04 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 28 Nov 04 - 08:36 PM
Joybell 29 Nov 04 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Brian Dunford 08 Sep 08 - 05:34 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Sep 08 - 02:38 AM
GUEST,beachcomber 09 Sep 08 - 04:22 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Sep 08 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Brian Dunford 05 Feb 09 - 06:32 PM
Art Thieme 05 Feb 09 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,warren leming 11 Feb 09 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Hilary Page (Chapman) 29 Aug 09 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Mike Lawrence http://www.mlfilms.com/ 24 Apr 10 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Bruce Spencer 12 Jul 10 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 13 Jul 10 - 04:54 AM
Art Thieme 13 Jul 10 - 08:08 PM
GUEST 01 Jul 11 - 01:17 AM
GUEST,Bill Blackhawk Morris 08 Jul 12 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,Doc 19 Jun 13 - 07:18 PM
GUEST,Charlie 27 Feb 16 - 10:14 PM
GUEST 19 Jan 17 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,Bobbie(Rea)Penick 02 Feb 17 - 06:04 AM
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Subject: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 09:58 PM

Pat Dunford was my all time favorite old-timey banjo player. He was from Paoli, Indiana (as I remember it) and he learned mainly from the great Wade Ward. Other sources were singers like Vern Smelzer ("The Summer Of 1845")and Uncle Dave Macon ("Way Down The Old Plank Road". I learned the fine song "Deadheads And Suckers" from Pat Dunford. Uncle Eck Dunford ("Angeline The Baker") was an old relative of Pat's.

Sadly, Pat lost a leg in a motorcycle accident in the early or mid 1960s---and after that seemed to drink more than he ought -- until he passed away.

There were many stories about Pat Dunford and his doings---collecting music in Indiana, Virginia etc. I've heard several but my memory ain't what it once was -- and they're all gone now.

If there are some folks out there who remember Pat Dunford and his banjo, tales of his doings, and his songs, if you would be so kind as to put those recollections down here, I, for one, would sure like to hear them !?!?

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Joybell
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 10:33 PM

hildebrand here. I remember Pat fondly. Somebody -- probably Joe Hickerson -- brought him to our place in Bloomington around 1963. Pat at that time was living in Indianapolis with his mother. Pat was in his mid teens, but already going on collecting trips down south. Too young to drive, he traveled by bus, and carried a spray-bottle of alcohol and ammonia to disinfect southern toilet seats. As Pat grew older he became a great fan of Jonathon Winters, and had his whole crowd of cronies doing Winters impressions all the time. In the mid 60s, a lot of us were getting the new Japanese motorcycles, and Pat bought himself a Honda 350. One day he said to me, "How come everybody else's bike sounds like a freight train, and mine sounds like a sewing machine?" Of course I got The Morning of 1845 from Pat, but I don't think he really liked my rendition. It sounded too modern to his ears. But Pat's purpose was to communicate a living folk culture to the world, and mine wasn't.
Pat was on that Honda when he rode in front of a truck in 1967. He was blind drunk and could never remember it happening. The girl riding pillion suffered multiple fractures of the legs, and Pat lost one of his own legs. He made a joke of his missing leg, and worked on a comic routine where he played the "helpless cripple". I lost contact with him -- and lots of other friends -- when I returned to Europe in 1969, and it wasn't until I came to Australia 7 years later that I learned -- from a magazine story -- that he had died.
   Good to hear from you, Art. All the best, Hildebrand


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Sandy Paton
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 11:33 PM

Well, Art, I guess you know that it was Pat who took Lee Haggerty to record Vern Smelser on that trip in 1963, a trip I was unable to make because I was ill that spring. Lee took Henry Felt, a student at Goddard College, along to run the tape recorder, as he was much too unsure of his own ability to handle such technical stuff. "Tom Sherman's Bar Room" on my "Ballads and Songs of Tradition - From the Folk-Legacy Archives" is sung by Vern.
    Also -- Pat introduced Lee (and Henry) to Arnold Keith Storm and the resulting tapes became Storm's "Take the News to Mother - and Other Songs of a More Sentimental Age" (Folk-Legacy CD-18). Keith Storm still lives in Mooresville, Indiana, and may have memories of Pat to share with you. We had dinner with him and his wife the last time we came back from singing out in Missouri.
    As I remember, I was told that Pat was also related to Wade Ward in some way. As you know, Lee passed away nearly four years ago. Since I never met Pat myself, I can add nothing more to this, but I'll ask Caroline to look up Keith's address and I'll send it to you by personal e-missive. Glad to see that you're back in action. Chris must have fixed your internet connection for you. Good show!
    Sandy


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 11:35 PM

Ah, Greg,

That's pretty inique; me here in Illinois thinking of Pat--and listening to some of his tunes on an old cassette. On a whim starting the thread--and you--who I've not seen since those '60s answer here from Australia !! Nice being in touch.

Those details come back to me now. I'd forgotten Pat was ripped when the truck encounter got his leg. Knowing Pat, he'd love that folks remember and are still talking about and influenced by what he did.

I remember a night in an attic on Barry Street St. near Clark in Chicago with a bottle of moonshine. Pat was only in town for a short time and we just set this up to get some frailers together for a session. It was a fun night anyhow, but Pat was too wiped out to be really aware that it could be a night to truly connect with people who loved the music as much as he did. But Doug Montegue did get some nice tapes. (This was Doug's house.) I seem to remember that Warren Lemming was present with his banjo that night too.--------- Several years later Doug Montegue was shot when a wierded out co-worker at the Marvin Glass Toy manufacturer in Chicago brought an arsenal to work and shot up the place. Doug survived.---Others didn't. But he never was able to play banjo right after that.

I remember Pat and Art Rosenbaum having field collected recordings they'd made in Indiana put out as an album by Folkways Records. It was named something like Fine Times At Our House. As you said, Pat was still in his teens when he did that collecting. 'Twas a great album. "Summer Of 1845" sung unaccompanied by Vern Smelzer was on that one. ----Were you up in that attic that night??

Art


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 12:01 AM

Sandy,

Has it been 4 years since Lee died? I do lose track easier these days. And I'd forgotten that Pat took Lee to do that recording session. Were those tapes Lee made what wound up on Folkways? If they were those tapes, seems to me they'd've maybe been on Folk Legacy? But I guess that Pat had found and taped Vern Smelzer earlier. I take it that Art Rosenbaum wasn't in on the sessions with Lee.

And, yep, Chris got me a new modem. That seems to've been the main problem. Also got a new floppy drive so I can save some things I'd put on a few old ones. It's good having a compu-guru in the family.

A question: Is the Arnold Storm recording available on CD now? If so, I'd like to order one. But a cassette would be fine as well. Either way.

Will talk to you soon. Love to you both,

Art


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Joybell
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 08:02 PM

dear art, hildebrand here. i wasnt at that session. i probly had left chicago by then, maybe even the country. pat was already into leaper as well as booze by 1966. once we did a gig together at shimer college (arranged by the girl who ended up on that fateful pillion), and on the way back, in chicago, i had to score some dexadrine for pat.
i met keith storm once when he was with pat. do you know reed martin? he was out here a couple of years ago. he told joy that keith had been hounded out of his job at plainfield post office because his co-workers thought that, being a songwriter, he must be a communist. all the best, hildebrand


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Joybell
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 08:29 PM

A bit off the track here but speaking of Reed Martin, as True-Love just was, I had a wonderful brief encounter with him at a small "Bluegrass and Old-Timey" festival here some years back. He was there as the "Old-Timey" part of the thing - playing banjo. People bent his ear all weekend about technique. I happened to sing a few sentimental parlour songs on one of the concerts - as I do when I get the chance. I ran into Reed just afterwards and he mentioned an old song his mother used to sing. He agreed to sing it for me - away from the crowd. He said it was for the ears of someone who loved and appreciated that kind of song. I've never forgotten the compliment, or the way he sang that sad old song. He'd forgotten the words for the chorus and I later tracked the song down and sent him the words. Joy


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 22 Nov 04 - 05:06 PM

Greg and Joy,

I met Reed Martin in '95 at Augusta----Elkins, West Virginia.

He is an amazing banjo frailer. Probably the fastest I've ever seen and/or heard. A bit hyper. But I'd like to hear him do things like the song you mentioned. His recent CD is a very good one.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Joybell
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:40 PM

Thanks Art. I've been wondering about Reed. He was quite subdued when we met him except for his banjo playing. It was interesting seeing the singer side of him. Joy


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 04:37 PM

Total thread creep here - Would Pat's ancestors have come from England perhaps? I can't believe there is a Dunford out there who isn't related to my family. I've got 9 generations of Dunfords, some of whom I know went to Australia and America, for various reasons.....

I guess I'll adopt him as a sort of uncle.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Joybell
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:23 PM

Hildebrand says Pat was related to Uncle Eke Dunford. That's all he knows though. Pat told him once. You might find more through Uncle Eke, Liz. He's quite well known it seems.
Hildebrand (wearing his linguist hat) says that the name is maybe a mix of Dun (Gaelic for hill fort) and ford (Anglo-Saxon). That is uless his "Dunford" was made from a totally different name sometime in the past. Joy


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 04:09 AM

The name Dunford can be traced back to Yorkshire, England. It's a place name too, where there was a ford on a river, the name of which escapes me. Dun also means brown (as in 'Old Dun Cow', which caught fire in the song), so it could be brown ford, or muddy ford. It's not all that common over here (except in Abbotsbury, Dorset, where in 1940, there were 32 children in the school with that surname, all traceable back to one family who moved there in 1814....).

Thanks for looking though.

LTS


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 12:41 PM

Nitpicking again I'm afraid. It's not Eke Dunford but Uncle Eck Dunford, probably short for Aleck but I can't be sure without checking my book shelves. He was part of the Ernest Stoneman entourage that recorded a great deal over the years, living in the Galax area of south west Virginia. Apart from being a musician, Eck was also a keen photographer and apparently a little eccentric, but aren't all musicians ? A couple of his photographs were used on the County Albums "Around the Heart of Galax" if I recall it correctly

I don't believe that there was any hard evidence that Pat and Uncle Eck were related.


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 03:29 PM

just the hard liquor

Art


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Joybell
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 05:16 PM

Thanks Hootenanny. I took Eck's name down as True-Love called it out from the kitchen. My ears are usually fairly well tuned to his accent but sometimes not. My fault.
The story about Pat Dunford's connection actually went like this. Pat turned up one day and said, "I've just found out that I'm related to Uncle Eck!" He was quite excited apparently. But that's all. And of course there's the hard liquor as Art says.

Sad little side note: Among Hildebrand's old friends it's the ones who got into the grip of the booze (and I mean really into the grip of it) who are all dead now. And sadly, even before the end, the music usually took second place with them as the grip got stronger. Cheery-bye, Joy


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Joybell
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 06:08 PM

Hildebrand remembered a Pat Dunfordism last night, Art.
Pat often used to make the comment that something or other was, "Strange but somehow beautiful". It may have come from Johnathan Winters, Hildebrand thinks. Hildebrand has used the expression himself quite often since the days when he and Pat were friends. I've picked it up from him. Round and round. Cheers and regards Art, Joy


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 08:36 PM

Joy,

I used to say that about a lady.

Art ;-)


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Joybell
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 05:32 PM

Art,
Hildebrand uses it about me too. These days the mirror shouts "Strange!" at me without the other bit. Thank the Godess of Elderly Lovers, or whoever, that his eyesight is not what it once was. Or maybe the mirror is just evil and tells lies? *Sigh*
<:+) (+:>
                                    Joy


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Brian Dunford
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 05:34 PM

I'm Pat's half brother. I live in
greensboro, N.C. Juat found out about this posting site from a friend, and musician. If anyone is still reading this that knew Pat I would love to talk and trade stories. Our dad was of English descent, by the way. Brian


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 02:38 AM

Brian - I'm the genealogist - any idea where in England your ancestors came from?

It's really not that common a surname and I'd love to be able to fill in another gap in the family tree.

LTS


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 04:22 PM

Liz, I know quite a few families Dunford in my area of S.E. Ireland , and met a Welshman of that name in London some years back also.


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 06:33 PM

Ireland is a big empty hole in my records - I'd be interested in finding out more.... the Welshman may well have been the distant cousins that left Dorset in the 18somethings.

LTS


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Brian Dunford
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 06:32 PM

Have no idea where in England our ancestors could be from. All I know is that when our dad died, he told me that his eulogy should include that he was a stubborn Englishman. Truer words have never been spoken.   Sorry it has been a while since I posted, but I did not realize people would still visit Pat's site.   Brian


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 08:19 PM

Brian,
Hello again. (I'm the guy who started this inquiry thread a few years ago.) I liked Pat a lot. He was a fine fellow -- and there was nothing for anyone to dislike about him I don't think. When he drank a bit much, he sort of went inside himself and became more laid back. To my recollection, Pat didn't get angry or loud. We just knew he wasn't exactly "there" for us to communicate with on a musical plane---if you know what I mean. But when he picked up his banjo, you knew you were about to hear a graphic ballad sung so you heard the tale of it along with a wondrous cascade of frailing sounds with a ton of drop-thumb notes of the melody added in. Other old timey pickers do that well now---Cathy Fink for one--Mac Benford--Art Rosenbaum and many others that you'll find in the pages of the magazine called OLD TIME HERALD. I highly recommend it---(but it seems they've been hit hard by the economic realities we all struggle with today.)

Them are a few of the personal insights that come to mind. I do hope they might help your remembrances of your brother. I'm just sorry that he went so young and tragically. He was one we wanted to stay here hanging out and swapping jokelore with at festivals.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,warren leming
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:08 PM

art, remember pat well, we picked one night on wisconsin street just west of sedgwick, and fleming brown came by-and played. pat had a frailing style i found fantastic, and tom paley's version of 1845 owed something to pat's. doug montague had some wonderful stuff of pats.. recorded, but never released. warren


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Hilary Page (Chapman)
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 05:53 PM

Guess I met you- Brian. and Gail. I stayed with you in Greensboro NC when travelling with Pat in 1969. I'm originally from England.
There's a place in Devon England called Dunsford. I imagine that's where Pat's family came from.
On the trip we went on to Galax Virginia and met Wade Ward and other musicians.
What an amazing charater Pat was and such a telented musician. Any of his old recordings on CD's?
Pat and I werer engaged- but I couldn't take his drinking so broke it off. I kept in touch with his mother for years.


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Mike Lawrence http://www.mlfilms.com/
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 03:12 PM

I was a folk finger and bluegrass banjo player in Indianapolis and lived just a few blocks from Pat's home. We played together in a local coffee house on many occasions. Pat taught me to frail. I lost touch with Pat when I moved to NYC in 1963. Pat introduced me to Peter Seigel and David Grisman who I hung out with briefly in New York. I later heard about his accident and his death.

I was more into commercial folk music at the time and Pat of course was in to old timey music and turned me on to Art Rosenbaulm. He was a wonderful musician and we were good friends for a year or so.

I next heard of Pat when I did a film on the Library of Congress and met Joe Hickerson who remembered Pat fondly.

It is so nice that Pat is remembered.

Mike Lawrence - mlfilms@arion.net


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Subject: RE: tales of PAT DUNFORD
From: GUEST,Bruce Spencer
Date: 12 Jul 10 - 11:25 AM

Hi - I've followed this thread for years as Pat and Wade Ward were major influences on my playing. I have always wondered what Pat looked like, but have never been able to find a photo of him. Does anyone have one?

Thanks.

Bruce Spencer


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Subject: RE: tales of Pat Dunford
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 04:54 AM

There are two photographs of Pat on the cover of the 1977 LP album for the Puritan label if you can find a copy.
The address on the album is Box 44 Battle Ground, Indiana 47920.
Record producer Dave Samuelson with the Pat Dunford Memorial Record Committee. Photos were by John Anderson of Indianapolis.
I guess you could do a search and hopefully come up with something.

Hoot.


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Subject: RE: tales of Pat Dunford
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 08:08 PM

I always thought that Pat and blues-guy Mike Bloomfield looked like each other. Both were friends of mine--who passed away way too early after self-destructing. I'll always miss both of 'em.

As I've said before, at age 69, I think I now know more dead people than live ones.


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Subject: RE: tales of Pat Dunford
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 11 - 01:17 AM

I knew Pat quite well. I was riding with him when we were hit by a car. He lost his leg and both of mine were broken. Pat was from Indianapolis not Paoli. He was an alcoholic and drug abuser even at 19. I think one of the reasons his leg was amputated was that he was going through withdrawal in the hospital and didn't have the reserves to heal.He was a good soul and musician if flawed. Lee H


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Subject: RE: tales of Pat Dunford
From: GUEST,Bill Blackhawk Morris
Date: 08 Jul 12 - 04:06 PM

Well , here it goes . I was also an old friend of Pats and spent a great deal of time with him and subsequently with his wife " The Great White Russian . It seems Pat and I had a proclivity for nick names . I was called "Big Mouth De Fisherman " , there were others such as "Attorney
Fa Fa , "De Person " Hot Lips Trulock ", De Gimp , T H E Freak , The Sloth , De Weasel , Pops,et alia. I met The Fat Boy at a community meeting in Indianapolis . We were both involved in community organization and both admired Sol Alinsky. We talked it over at lunch ,more booze than sustenance . I had seen him perform at "The 11th Hour " coffee house in Indianapolis and was working at another coffee house in Indpls. at the same time .I played a bit and would soon learn from Pat to play Banjo and Fiddle . We really hit it off . We both loved liquor ,drugs , traditional music , and women , in that order . That's just the tip of the iceberg in a relationship that lasted until his death . We had both said we wouldn't make it past 35 . I did and he didn't .I don't know why . I heard from him that he had gotten sober for 6 months and was back on his feet again . He said he was collecting music again and was going to New York City . The next I heard was from Helene , his wife , that he had died . She said he had neglected to take his blood pressure medicine and had returned to drinking . It hurt alot to here he passed . He was one of two real friends I had left at that point. He was among many things an ordained minister and said he was ordained in a bar somewhere in Chicago . Thus he obtained the nick name of " The Right Reverend Balloon, or Balloon for short . This because he was always right if not always reverent , fat as a bright red balloon and had checks in the name of Reverened Dunford but no checking account . They were very handy on long road trip binges . I need to order my memory but will have many subequent posts . In closing I must say I still talk to him in my heart , he's still funny , sincere , generous kind and above all a great friend .


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Subject: RE: tales of Pat Dunford
From: GUEST,Doc
Date: 19 Jun 13 - 07:18 PM

Just found this thread as I was looking up old grade school classmates. Pat and I were close friends from first grade through junior year in HS. Many were the days we cut classes at Shortridge HS and went to Broadripple to sit on the banks of the river and fish for carp. Pat would bring his banjo and practice. Remember him starting with an old mandolin on one of those days.He was a good kid and that's how I will remember him.


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Subject: RE: tales of Pat Dunford
From: GUEST,Charlie
Date: 27 Feb 16 - 10:14 PM

Glad to have stumbled across this site.

Pat was part of a group of musically inclined friends of mine.
I knew him in the early sixties, when I was in my early twenties and Pat might have been sixteen. I was not a close friend to Pat. My close friend in that group was Larry Gray: singer, guitarist, postal employee in Indianapolis.

Pat---and he admitted it himself--- was an alcoholic even at that young age. Yes, his banjo skills were of the highest caliber. Now, in my seventies, I'm still pitifully inferior at banjo than Pat was then
(although I'm better at blues guitar).

Our circles drifted apart. I've since lost touch with my friend Larry, as well.


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Subject: RE: tales of Pat Dunford
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 17 - 11:41 AM

There's a village in Devon (south west England) called Dunsford. I've always thought that maybe Pat family were the original Dunsford.
Hilary Page.
I was engaged to Pat. in 1968. But sadly, his drinking was too much for me.


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Subject: RE: tales of Pat Dunford
From: GUEST,Bobbie(Rea)Penick
Date: 02 Feb 17 - 06:04 AM

Oh, I did forget to say besides playing the bagpipes at my wedding he also married us. He was my third husband Tom Thompson who was a flamenco guitarist. We owned the occult bookstore in Talbot Village.
Our first shop was in our house at the T if 21st' & Talbot St. & called The Scarlet Pentagram the second down by The Black Curtain & was The Pentagram of Light. John Bigalow an artist for the Indpls Star lived in our basement. Fun and crazy times & how I've made it to 73 is a testament to the quality of good drugs back then!


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