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· Distinguished SOTW Member and Forum Contributor 20
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My Mom died 11 days after the cancer was detected. Having seen other family members suffer and die from it in prolonged battles, I was relieved that my Mother didn't suffer that way.

God speed to our friend Jon.
 

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Sorry for this double (triple if you include newsgroups) posting.
It is important to me.

Everybody who has a piece that Jon touched-
Every time I play one of Jon's pieces I think how lucky I am to be playing
that piece.
Tonight, when I play I will be sending my thoughts out to the ether-
If we all do this, maybe the universe will know that a great man has left us
and has joined in their community. Let's make a joyful noise in Jon's honor.

I've always felt that Jon didn't charge enough for the magic he performed.
I'm sending what I think I owe Jon for all the pleasure he brought to my
playing.

Jon Van Wie
60 Orange Street
Waverly, NY 14892

Mark Bushaw
 

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He was a real gentleman and an artist. Its hard to fathon the way life works sometimes. I guess we now know why he didn't want to bother with chemo, it must have been so advanced that it wasn't worth ruining his last few months.
I play on a Link that Jon did his magic to. The very day I got it in the mail I was comparing it to another Link and dropped Jon's tip first on a piano bench. Bent the hell out of it. I was so depressed.
I sent Jon the pictures and got an excited email back from him. "Wow! Those are the best photos of tip damage I've ever seen. I'll repair it for free if I can use your before and after pics on the web site!" Amazingly, it played even better after it came back the second time.
He really cared about every mouthpiece and player he worked on no matter who you were, and always took the time to answer questions in great detail.
I wonder about his family and whether they are in financial need right now. Would it be possible to take up a collection through SOTW? Maybe that's a question for Harry.
Anybody have thoughts about how that could be done?
 

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Mark, that is a beautiful thing to do.
A friend of mine was just diagnosed with cancer and is not expected to last long. He is an artist and musician so obviously doesn't have alot of money or any insurance. We threw a benefit to help him and his wife and little girl. It's so sad to see a family go through this and on top of it have the financial struggles add even more worry to the situation.
 

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I never had the chance to meet him but he was thoughtfull enough to call me about a couple of old Links I sent him.I guess I was lucky to get to converse with him-It turned into quite a conversation,He did a great job on them and was fascinated about how I got them etc.I told him"take your time John" and my neice who was getting her lesson was amazed that the "Mouthpeice Man" had actually called.He then told me "thank God you're normal-some of these customers are too much"A very fine artist he was........Peace to you and your Family John
 

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Jon was a beautiful soul.

He worked on a couple of my pieces a few years ago. His craftsmanship and service are impeccable. You have to see and play his work to appreciate how good he is.

His talent and highest business ethics are not what made him a beautiful soul, however. It was the fact that you could talk to him for the first time via e-mail, and he could make you feel like his long lost best friend. Someone once said that you don't always remember what someone says to you, but you do remember how they make you feel. You always felt good after talking to Jon - that's the way he was.

I remember talking to him once (through this forum) about how bummed he was because his evil, vindictive neighbor had done some terrible things to his cat (I believe the cat died). Jon was not bitter towards his neighbor, but rather pittied him for being such a sad soul that he would treat an animal that way.

I remember the e-mail I got from him after I bragged proudly on this forum that my son was born on Coltrane's birthday - he was as excited as I was!

The Lord seems to take the good ones early.

Rest in Peace Jon - I hear there are no bad reeds in heaven!
 

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Jon was a great cat. He did a great great job re-facing my Meyer alto piece. Killer piece. I talked with him on the phone a few times. It was like hanging out in a bar talking to an old pal. I felt like I'd known him all my life. Miss you good buddy.
 

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One day Jon came to my place with Bob Ackerman and we were discussing technical aspects of mouthpieces. Jon told me this story of a customer who came over with Link I re-faced and the guy was able to get the extreme upper register with but with no baffle.

There's this thing I do with the facing and tip rail that makes the upper register come out easily but it's not very pleasing to the eye. In fact there was a review of a mouthpiece here on SOTW recently in which the author compared my tip rail with the mouthpiece he was reviewing and referred to my handwork as being sloppy. Anyway, this was a result of this thing that I do for the result I want for the upper register. It helps the upper register tremendously but the esthetics suffer as a result and these days with the web and all I guess everything has to look very clean so now I went back to making it look sweet but the upper register suffers.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Jon spotted it while all the other "techs" continue to criticize me as being sloppy and whereas Jon knew better. I'll tell ya, for a guy who didn't play the sax he sure could re-face a mouthpiece and his tip rails were perfect, better than mine I think. I think Jon was the best there are in the business today and without a doubt his work is better than any of the work I see lately. What a damn shame. Phil Barone
 
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