Yesterday, a friend of mine, a musician of good spirit and a veteran of this country’s armed forces died.
Jon Baily, a banjo player, from California, spent his last years in Austin, Texas supporting the Austin Banjo Club and the Austin Traditional Jazz Society.
I met Jon at a Traditional Jazz Society function. He scrawled on the back of his business card the directions to the Banjo Club and insisted that I show up the following week. I did.
Jon went out of his way through those, my first couple visits to the Banjo Club, to make me feel welcome and to insist on my return. From those first visits to the Banjo Club on, Jon would share his love for music with me through telephone calls and emails. He would insist that I come pick up some band’s CD that made him think of me. He would email me all manner of information concerning music in all its forms that he found of interest.
Jon's love for music and his desire and willingness to share it were impeccable and so very appreciated.
Jon was also proud of the banjo pickers in the Club who were veterans. He summed up their stints in the military for me on different occasions. He shared with me any story that filtered through him that related to our nation’s warriors.
I’m ever thankful for having gotten to know this man and will live more fulfilled having been gifted by his hearty spirit.
If you have the extra time in the days following, take a minute, please, and realize what’s good around you. Be thankful for the elders in our musical family and take heart in their vitality and nature. Without these good people, our lives would be less.
Thank you, Jon Baily. I will continue to play tunes to the best of my ability for you!
- Ryan Gould