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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Charlie Baum Obit: Sandy Paton (22 January 1929 - 26 July 2009) (276* d) RE: Obit: Sandy Paton (22 January 1929 - 26 July 2 28 Jul 09


What can I add that hasn't been said? I'd second jeri's comment above: "I thought he'd live forever. I thought he'd always be here. In some ways, he will, but it's not enough."

I was fortunate enough to have visited with Sandy lots of times, though not nearly as many as lots of others here. He could be lovable. He could be curmudgeonly. I remember the time we had a sing-around in the DC area, and he expressed gratitude that it was what he needed, because he'd just recently been at one of those gatherings where people had used Rise Up Singing as a hymnal, and after he sang a version of something he'd collected himself, someone came up to him with their copy of the book and pointed to the version printed therein and accused him of singing it wrong! He might have been polite to his accuser, but when he was with us, he could finally get it off his chest and complain to sympathetic ears. He had a strong sense of the big ways in which traditional music could build communities, and did not like to suffer people who chose to use it for smaller ways.

Whenever I noticed that Sandy had posted to a thread at Mudcat, I knew it was a thread worth reading, and perhaps even worth adding to, because it was going to contain lots of good information mixed with heartfelt and carefully reasoned opinion.

I remember one FSGW Getaway session devoted to Folk Legacy--almost everybody who was there came, I think, in that large room at Ramblewood a couple of steps up behind the dining hall, and it's one of the few sessions at the Getaway that stands out after many years. Everyone was pouring out love to Sandy and Caroline, but they were really just returning the love that Sandy and Caroline has put out in the world. At the time we all thought it was true community, but now I'm thinking in retrospect that maybe through the magic off the Patons we had become a family--one of those "families of choice." The Patons were always taking in "family members"--and I think they may have in some way figured out a way of adopting all of us. -- 'cause it sure feels like a lot of us have lost a family member and not just a friend.

Condolences to Caroline and David and Rob and to the whole family--to ALL of us who are grieving.

--Charlie Baum


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