On July 8, 2009 our music community was deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Herb Mowry, 81 of Norton, Mass.
IN MEMORY OF HERB MOWRY
An avid participant of our weekly Open Mic, Herb delighted the crowd every week with his clever wit and as Herb himself would call it, his “darned cotton-pickin’, finger-lickin’ finger pickin,’” often introducing us to two new bluegrass/country songs every week. Well, new to us, old to him… and recently he started writing some of his own tunes always received with roaring applause.
We first met Herb and his wife, Diana, about three years ago when they attended our Open Mic, just to check it out. Discouraged about the loss of sensation in his fingers, he was ready to sell his guitar and give up the music he loved so much. Then he read an article about our Open Mic in “The Hometown News,” featuring our eldest participant, Montana Cy, then 80. A bell went off for Herb right then and there. “If he can do it, so can I,” he thought.
His solution to his disability? Sand paper! He glued sandpaper to his picks so he could “hold on to ‘em.” Herb’s enthusiasm for playing returned with a vengeance, along with it returned his joy of life. And he thanked us weekly about the positive difference coming to our Open Mic brought to his life. You have no idea what that meant to us. Herb’s story is a testament to the wellness value of music for seniors. He became an inspiration to others, including us. He thrived and was thrilled at the invitation to join other musicians onstage, especially the younger people whom he admired so much. Herb and Diana have become much-loved members of our multi-generational Open Mic Family.
On July 30th, the members of Herb’s family will join us for an extraordinary Open Mic night dedicated to Herb’s memory. It will also be a special celebration of Herb’s music with the release of a CD featuring a compilation of his live performances and special Open Mic moments. Our Open Mic Family has chosen to offer the CD’s for $10 each, and as a show of love and support all proceeds will benefit Herb’s wife, Diana.
Herb once told us, “I treasure the friendships I have made though music.” Those of us who know Herb understand completely. He was our treasure and his memory will live on through us.
Rick & Robin Santos