I am so sad to say that the music scene in Kelowna recently lost another of the old guard last week.
Scotty Dawson, a trombonist, bassist and just an all-around good guy, was a good friend.
Although we didn’t see each other very often in recent years, when we did it was always special.
When I was 16, I had the privilege of playing drums for Scotty on several occasions. What a thrill that was.
When I first began to play, it was with the big band at Kelowna Secondary School under Brian Todd and I was able to get enough “swing” in my playing to fit in.
But it was Scotty along with his close pal along with one of my mentors, Ray Friesen, and pianist Lynn Vaughn who helped me find the groove.
My “shuffle feel” that is dominant in my playing today would not be if it weren’t for those wonderful hours of playing the great music of the 1930’s and ‘40s.
In referring to Kelowna’s music old guard, what a group of musicians that was—the great Red Hughes, the talented and gentle Art Vipond, the man with the beat Charlie Pettman and I can’t forget Hart Egg and his orchestra.
But for Scotty, he was not just a musician as he was also a talented artisan when it came to cabinetry and carpentry.
He and his brother Don built our family’s new garden centre in 1967 which stayed in place for 30 years on Ethel Street.
He built my mom’s kitchen cabinets and then a few years later built some for Donna and I in our first home.
He was the go-to man whenever I needed information on how to build an addition to the greenhouses and was always willing to not only give advice, but to come over and show me in person.
But my relationship goes further than that. My sister’s first boyfriend was none other than Scotty’s oldest son Stuart, who we recently tragically lost, and like most young boys I was thrilled to have an older “brother.”
Even though Stuart and Joan eventually took different paths, I always thought of Stuart as a brother-in-law and Scotty like a father-in-law.
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Scotty’s dear wife Helen, their sons Doug, Ian, Gregory, and the entire Dawson clan.
I regret that I couldn’t attend the service last Saturday as I was on the bus heading down to the garden show in Seattle.
But I’m confident that Scotty is now putting together a band second to none.