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ClaireBear Obit: Chris Caswell, Norcal harp maker/player2013 (11) RE: Obit: Chris Caswell, Norcal harp maker, player 22 Jan 13


Few people remember Chris Caswell's first band "The Celtic Trio" (later "The Celtic Tradition"), which was local to our little town of Saratoga, California. They were wonderful. Chris was joined in that effort by mutual high-school pals David McCort, Alec MacLean, Jerry McMillan (who was later in The Merry Band with Chris), and later by local musicians Greg Burger and Larry Drummond, the words to whose wonderful song about Captain Nemo Chris will now never be able to send me -- alas.

Chris once brought a goat (named Titus Andronicus) to a cast party for a high-school play we were both in. It was held at my house. Our garden was never quite the same afterwards, but that's OK. Knew how to make an entrance, did Chris.

A 16-year-old Chris, clad in embroidered muslin shirt and greatkilt, once came and played pennywhistle outside my bedroom window to entice me out into the woods in the moonlight for a teenage tryst. I think he was practicing his courtship skills for the girl he really wanted to impress, but that's OK, too. Never one to waste an opportunity, was Chris.

Two weeks later, we all (he, I, AND the other girl) parted ways. Chris chose to accompany THAT occasion on highland pipes, played so loudly that as she and I walked from the stately Caswell home to my own humble woodland abode to drown our sorrows in tea and folksongs, we could still hear the pipes from 1/2 mile away.

That other girl was and is a dear friend of mine. She was in tears when she called me yesterday afternoon to tell me Chris was gone.

Despite that inauspicious beginning, Chris and I remained friends through the years. My Caswell harp was one of the instruments to survive my house fire, thank goodness. Chris' mother and father are my son's adoptive grandparents. I am honored to have known him, and if his journey to the Summerland be blessed with half the music and laughter he left here on this plane, he has taken a merry road indeed.

Claire


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