March 28, 1939 – November 13, 2019
Our good friend and long standing Guitar Society stalwart Don Williams passed away last Wednesday. When I took over the newsletter from Don and Danna in April of 2015, I did a bio of the Dynamic Duo. Let’s see if I can transfer that story here for those of you that didn’t get a chance to know Don.
Don and Danna Williams, We Salute You
We begin this tale in 1958, when Danna’s sister took her along to work one day at her job at the Owl Inn. Don saw Danna, snatched her right out of the cradle (obviously) and that was that. Before you know it, the begat’n started; three daughters begat 7 grandkids that begat 2 grand babies. They’ll also begetting a set of twins this fall.
Danna did a short stint (27 years) with the state. Don had an auto upholstery/glass shop for starters, then like a good neighbor, wrapped up his work career in the insurance biz. More importantly, he started up a band with Carl Halladay, Stan Christiansen, and Wayne Land called The Chugwater Philharmonic in 1967. Don was on the five string banjo. Their first gig was during the rodeo, playing between acts at the Melodrama, two shows a day. Like most things CFD, they put in very long days on a voluntary basis. The band became a fixture at the Pancake Breakfast. Ask anyone that’s been around town awhile, they will tell you the two things they miss about the good old days are the Chuck Wagon Races and/or the Chugwater Philharmonic, playing for breakfasts. Pancakes just don’t taste as good these days.
Now to the WHOLE POINT of this third page. Don and Danna have been doing our newsletter for this entire century, this entire millennium even, plus a year or two of the last one. Not everyone had a computer back in the ’90’s, so they produced a printed version as well. (there was a photo of an old green printed newsletter here I can’t seem to recover; you’ll have to use your imagination) They have also served on the board of directors since Hector was a pup. They opened their home and have been the most gracious hosts of our group’s annual picnic more times than you can count on your hand. They have been members of Guitar Society longer than either of them can remember. True stalwarts of our guitar picking community, we wouldn’t be the group we are today if it weren’t for their generous support. Thanks Guys, You Rock!