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Subject: honky tonk nights

Paul Marshall
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Date Posted: 00:28:09 01/06/02 Sun

After working with Dick occasionally through the 80's on various projects, including some great recordings with Richard Ferreira, I had the pleasure of finding myself in a working country band with him. With Cimarron Creek we worked five, six, sometimes seven nights a week, often two gigs on Saturdays and Sundays for about a year. Clubs and casuals, five sets a night. The drive to Orange County was long (even longer coming back at 2:30 in the morning), some of the clubs were smoke saturated meat markets, some were a little classier (had less smoke.)
I was playing bass, and Dick was on one side of me playing guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. On the other side of the stage was a guitar player named Robert Dahms, who was a match for Dick in terms of style, grace, and downright musicianship. Between these two great players, I left the gig every night knowing that I had been a part of something special. Dick and Robert would never fail to play some amazing solo, or fill, that would startle me with it's brilliance, still always serving the song and the music over all. It was never "look at me"...it was always "here's some music for you". That was the last "club band" I worked in. I knew it wasn't going to get any better than that.
Dick actually sang a few songs every night (some people who knew him well were surprised to learn this) and one of his favorites was a Jimmy C. Newman song called Alligator Man. Of course, he sang it wonderfully. A couple of years later, he taught me the song and I've been singing it ever since, and it always reminds of him.
During this year of working with Dick on a daily basis, I got to know him pretty well. We also played pool together (a growing passion for Dick), enjoyed cigars, and I learned about some of the other people in his life, like his steadfast auto repairman and friend, Jerry.
After that band dissolved, Dick began to have his hand problem that was the catalyst for his seeking a day job. He found the work at the clearing house immensely satisfying, and I was happy for him, and then happier still for all of us when he began to be able to play again. Dick would frequently show up at the Viva Fresh on nights when I or other friends were playing there and sit in with us. He always said it was especially convenient since his day job was right around the corner, and he could just stop by after work. The last time I saw Dick was just a few months ago, when he "stopped by after work" and made beautiful music again with us.
I am grateful beyond words to have known this exceptional human being, to have been able to hear him play, and like so many others here, to have had the honor to play with him. Thank you Dick Fegy.

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