This was going to be a long report of my weekend trip to Brooklyn where I played a benefit memorial concert for my Jewish music maestro German Goldensheyn. But there was bad news here at home soon after my return.
I got the call while I was driving home from Houston. I was delivering a Violin Shop customer's bass in Katy, decided to head into Houston and hook up for a lunch with Polish fiddler Brian Marshall at his favorite meat-n-three. I was running late, just past Smithville on Hwy 71, when I checked my email on my phone.
Dated 2:35pm, the first email was from Howard Kalish, one time fiddler for the Pure Texas Band, saying that Don had finally passed. I called into the shop to say I wouldn't be coming back today, and headed over to the Walser's place. By the time I got there, they had already carried the body off to the funeral home and the family was all gathered together. The phone was ringing off the hook, so I took it away from them and let them do their thing together and away from well meaning, but somewhat pestering well wishers.
At around 2pm today Don called out to his son Mike to go fetch him a glass of ice. When he returned moments later, Don had stopped breathing and gently passed away.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years Patricia and 4 children, Formal arrangements will be announced tomorrow with both public and private services. I've been asked to be a pallbearer. I've also been asked to submit a story about Don for the Austin Chronicle which will run next week.
I haven't felt like this since my own Father died.