Mudcat Café message #3357429 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #145166   Message #3357429
Posted By: GUEST,Alan Oakes
30-May-12 - 07:37 PM
Thread Name: Obit: Doc Watson 1923 - 2012
Subject: RE: Obit: Doc Watson 1923 - 2012
"Weep not for me now I'm gone" a line from one of Doc Watson's most moving songs, "Lone Pilgrim."

Doc was my good friend for 45 years. I never knew a kinder or gentler man. He saw life in a very special, simple way. Although he knew that he was a gifted singer and musician, that wasn't the way he saw himself, primarily. He was a person. To him his worth came from his interactions with friends, family and people he met in his travels. He actually did not like being famous.

In the 60s, when he was still relatively unknown, he was unable to fly from his home directly to each concert and then return he had to be on the road. This was a wonderful thing for me. Doc would stay in my home, in Berkeley, for a few weeks whenever he performed on the West Coast. From there he would fly to Seattle or Los Angeles or wherever and then come back. I may be the luckiest man alive.

He loved engineering and physics. At nearly every visit he and I spent many hours talking about bridges, space probes, high-energy physics, high-fidelity sound systems and like that. Marnie remembers [you should see her grin as she tells me this] how pleased he was when he showed us his new watch that he could read with his fingers and which would vibrate rather than sounding an alarm.

Marnie and I went to Doc's concerts whenever he performed nearby. We would go early and visit backstage, take him to dinner, take him on walks, and so on. Some of my favorite memories: running along the beach at high speed with him in San Francisco, taking him to play with the cannon on the Cambridge common, watching him run back and forth along the huge xylophone at the De Cordova museum in Lincoln banging out notes with a stick with a huge grin on his face, taking him to a contra dance in Peterborough, NH. I will treasure these and many other memories the rest of my life.

I'm sorry to see him go; but, I know he lived a full and rich life and he was a good and well-loved man.