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December 31, 2007
DECEMBER 31, 2007|
Dear Family, Friends, Musician Friends, Promoters And All The Wonderful Folks Out There Who Love and Purchase The Music:
I just wanted to take this opportunity to convey a few things before the “2008 NEW YEAR” is here. Although, this year has been difficult in many ways such as it just being the 2nd year anniversary of PAPA’S death (August 16th, 2007.) Also, the passing of my Mother-In-Law on June 2nd, 2007. No doubt, I’m sure each and everyone of you have lost a family member, friend or acquaintance and my heart and prayers go out to you. The loss can surely be overwhelming at times.
As for myself, I’ve dealt for the last 4 to 5 years with Aortic Valve Disease. There have been months of fatigueness, shortness of breath and tightness in my chest due to having Aortic Valve Disease. Thankgoodness, I didn’t pick up the habit of being a smoker. My Aortic Valve is narrowing which causes the blood flow to be a huge problem and at some point, I’ll need to have the Aortic Valve replaced with possibly a mechanical valve. Although, my cardiologist says the results of my October echocardiogram still remains to be “moderate to severe but not critical.” I return in April for another echo and will then make a decision regarding surgery unless an emergency situation arises first.
Many of you have called, emailed and lifted up your prayers for me and I want you to know how much they are all so APPRECIATED. So many of you through having known MOM and/or PAPA in friendship or in a business manner that I’ve dealt with have been concerned about me. Though, I realize some of you I’ve met and spoke with on the phone, there are others I didn’t have the chance to meet or speak with. Through PAPA you became aware of my heart problem. However, I want YOU to know that it’s been a gift and a blessing to have had a working relationship for those of you in which I did. For some there will be a dedicated friendship that will forever last. God closes one door only to open another and He says if we stay in faith that He will bring us divine connections.
PAPA, MOM and all our loved ones that have gone on before us, yet including ourselves will have a place to spend eternity if we give our heart, mind and soul over to God.
All of us are God’s masterpiece and we by no means are a finished product, for God is still working on each and everyone of us, yet we have to be at peace within ourselves. So many of you have contributed in one way or another to “HELP ME” and make that divine connection.
You have all had somewhat of a part in my life to help lead me to the source of salvation, promise and hope to have a home in heaven, perhaps without even realizing it. Especially, after MOM’S death and then PAPA’S death 7 years later. My faith and reassurance became more apparent after losing MOM and PAPA to cancer. Life is just too short and PAPA in the years gone by has voiced to me that we all have to make a judgement call according to the heart and what God expects or we will not have a home in heaven.
To all of you, I say “GOD GIVES US THE TOOLS TO BE VICTORIOUS,” and the rest is up to how we choose to use those tools. Belief and confidence in God is the hope that keeps us from despair and I hang on to that everyday.
So, from me to you “MAY THE NEW YEAR OF 2008 BRING YOU GOD’S BLESSINGS OF GOOD HEALTH, STRENGTH, SERENITY, TO BECOME WISER IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE AND BECOME A BETTER PERSON.” It’s always a work in progress!!!
THANK YOU FOR HAVING BEEN A PART OF MY LIFE………..
August 16, 2007
AUGUST 16, 2007
VASSAR CLEMENTS- 77 YEARS YOUNG
DOB: APRIL 25, 1928
DOD: AUGUST 16, 2005
BORN IN: KINARD, FLORIDA
IT IS NOW AUGUST 15, 2007 AND AS TOMORROW APPROACHES, IT WILL BE 2 YEARS SINCE PAPA’S DEATH. THROUGHOUT THE YEARS WHEN I’VE ASKED HIM “HOW WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LEGACY TO BE REMEMBERED?” HIS REPLY WAS “JUST REMEMBERED.”
HE’S NO LONGER HERE ON EARTH AMONG US IN BODY, BUT HERE IN SPIRIT. MANY OF US CONTINUE TO PLAY AND LISTEN TO HIS GOD GIVEN TALENT OF SUCH VARIOUS TYPES OF MUSIC HE’S LEFT BEHIND, AND SUCH A GIFT. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK EACH AND EVERYONE TO TAKE THE TIME FOR A MOMENT TO EITHER LISTEN TO A SONG HE PLAYED FIDDLE ON, OR PERHAPS TO TAKE THE TIME AND SEND ME AN EMAIL OR EVEN SIGN THE GUESTBOOK ON THE WEBSITE.
YES, PAPA FORGED A REPUTATION AS ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST TALENTED AND VERSATILE FIDDLE PLAYERS. YET, HE WAS JUST A PLAIN SIMPLE HUMAN BEING JUST AS YOU OR I.
PAPA, MAY YOU AND MOM CONTINUE TO “REST IN PEACE.” YOU’RE IN MY HEART EVERYDAY!!!!!!!! I LOVE AND WILL ALWAYS ADORE YOU BOTH!!!!!!!!
Happy New Year!
JANUARY 4, 2007
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS TIME AND WISH ALL OF PAPA’S FAMILY, MUSICIAN FRIENDS, OLD FRIENDS, THE NEW FRIENDS HE MADE AND OF COURSE HIS FAN BASE. HE WANTED TO BE “JUST REMEMBERED.” A THANK YOU FOR CONTINUING TO PURCHASE HIS CD’S, MAKING GUESTBOOK ENTRIES AND ALSO THE KIND REMARKS MADE OF HIS GIFTED TALENT IN PLAYING “THROCKMORTON”, HIS FIDDLE. AFTER HIS DEATH IN 2005, THERE HAVE BEEN AND STILL ARE VARIOUS FESTIVALS/PROMOTERS, FELLOW MUSICIAN’S WHO TO THIS DATE CONTINUE TO HONOR HIM. NO DOUBT, WHEN THIS IS BEING DONE, PAPA IS LOOKING DOWN WITH HIS KODAK SMILE FOR EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU. I’VE RECEIVED NUMEROUS EMAILS INDICATING SOME OF THE TRIBUTES THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN INTERVIEWS AND EVEN LATELY SONGS THAT HAVE BEEN DEDICATED TO HIM. JUST TO NAME A FEW OF HIS MUSICIAN FRIENDS. THERE HAS BEEN JOHN McEUEN, JEFF HANNA, PETER ROWAN, DAVID GRISMAN, TONY RICE, SAM BUSH, DAROL ANGER, MIKE MARSHALL, NORTHERN LIGHTS BAND, KRIS KRISTOPHERSON AND RICKY SKAGGS. BE SURE AND CHECK OUT THE 2005 “2 CD SET TONE POETS” PRODUCED BY DAVID GRISMAN. THERE’S A SONG SELECTION GRISMAN AND TONY RICE PERFORMED CALLED “BLUES FOR VASSAR.” ALSO, RICKY SKAGGS AND KENTUCKY THUNDER PERFORMED AN INSTRUMENTAL CD IN 2006. ONE OF THE CUTS ON THE CD IS CALLED “MISSING VASSAR.” A SIMPLE THANK YOU TO THESE FOLKS JUST DOESN’T SEEM ADEQUATE. PLEASE KNOW THAT IT SURE IS UPLIFTING TO ME, FAMILY, FRIENDS AND THE MANY FANS PAPA CONTINUES TO HAVE. LAST BUT NOT LEAST AN “APPRECIATIVE THANK YOU” TO LAURA AND CHRISTIAN FOR THE OUTSTANDING JOB THEY CONTINUE TO DO ON THE WEBSITE. I COULD NOT CONTINUE WITHOUT THEM. I JUST KNOW AND FEEL THAT BOTH MOM AND PAPA ARE PROUD OF THE JOB WE ARE CONTINUING TO DO IN THEIR MEMORY FOR THE MANY, MANY YEARS OF HARD WORK THEY BOTH PUT FORTH. I CAN ONLY EXPRESS MY DEEP GRATITUDE AND “THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.” BEST WISHES AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!! MIDGE
|DECEMBER 25, 2006
DEAR RELATIVES, FRIENDS AND FANS: I WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND MY THOUGHTS OF YOUR KINDNESS, THOUGHTFULNESS, APPRECIATION AND PRAYERS. MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN TO OUR FAMILIES A “DEEP SOURCE OF COMFORT.” I KNOW PAPA WOULD WANT ME TO RELAY THE MESSAGE FOR THE UPCOMING “2007” YEAR TO EVERYONE A MESSAGE. SO, WITH HAVING SAID THAT, MAY YOU ALL HAVE OR CONTINUE TO BE BLESSED WITH YOUR HEALTH, HAPPINESS, LOVE AND PEACE. NOT JUST AT THE HOLIDAYS AND CHRISTMAS, BUT THROUGHOUT THE YEAR! PAPA WOULD END BY SAYING “GOD’S WILLING.” MAY GOD BLESS AND HELP US ALL!!! MIDGE
|DECEMBER 8, 2006
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLKS I’VE SPOKEN WITH BY PHONE AND HAVE
CORRESPONDED BY EMAIL REGARDING THEIR MERCHANDISE ORDERS. ALOT OF THE
ORDERS WERE PUT ASIDE AND SOME WERE EVEN MISPLACED LAST YEAR (2005). DUE
TO PAPA’S HEALTH I DEVOTED MY TIME AND ATTENTION TO HIS CARE AND NEEDS
DURING HIS ILLNESS AND THEN THE DEVASTATION OF DEALING WITH HIS DEATH
WAS OVERWHELMING. I COULD NOT STAY FOCUSED ON PROCESSING ORDERS
RIGHT AFTER HIS DEATH. I’M JUST NOW TRYING TO GET BACK ON TRACK TO
PROCESSING ORDERS. THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE PLACED ORDERS EVEN THIS
YEAR (2006) AND HAVE NOT GOTTEN THEIR ORDER PROCESSED, KNOW THAT
YOUR CHECK, MONEY ORDER OR EVEN CREDIT CARD WAS “VOIDED.”
STARTING AROUND THE LAST OF NOVEMBER I’VE JUST STARTED FILLING CD
ORDERS AGAIN. VASSAR’S MUSIC DOES HAVE A MESSAGE ON THE OFFICE PHONE
INDICATING AS WELL AS THE VASSAR’S MUSIC MERCHANDISE ORDER FORM ON
THE WEBSITE WWW.VASSARCLEMENTS.COM IN DETAIL THE REVISION. FOR EXAMPLE,
NO CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED AT THIS TIME BY MAIL ORDER OR BY FAX.
“ONLY” PAYMENT FOR MERCHANDISE IS TO BE MADE BY CHECK OR MONEY
ORDER TO VASSAR’S MUSIC OR VASSAR’S MUSIC CD SALES.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS AS TO WHETHER I HAVE A PARTICULAR
MERCHANDISE ITEM IN STOCK OR THE STATUS OF YOUR ORDER, PLEASE
EMAIL ME AT firstname.lastname@example.org or
AGAIN, I THANK THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE ORDERED AND TAKEN THE TIME TO REORDER YOUR MERCHANDISE.
I THANK YOU FOR KEEPING (PAPA), VASSAR’S MEMORY ALIVE.
|AUGUST 16TH, 2006|
“ONE YEAR AGO TODAY”
PAPA, I KNOW YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE AND ADORE YOU. I ALSO KNOW THAT AS THE WEEKS AND EVEN THE DAY’S CAME CLOSER AND CLOSER TO YOUR PASSING AWAY FROM THIS EARTH, YOU KNEW SOME OF WHAT I WAS FEELING INSIDE MY HEART. FOR WE BOTH TOGETHER HAD ALREADY EXPERIENCED SOME OF THOSE FEELINGS WHEN MOM DIED.
AS I HAVE IN THE PAST MONTHS AND EVEN TODAY HAVE REFLECTED ON SO MANY OF THE HAPPY AND SAD TIMES WITH YOU THROUGHOUT THE YEARS OF MY CHILDHOOD UP TO THIS POINT AND TIME, I WILL “ALWAYS AND FOREVER” BE GRATEFUL.
I TRY HARD TO FOCUS ON MORE OF THE GENTLE PAPA, THE HUMOROUS PAPA, THE KIND PAPA AND OF COURSE BEING SURROUNDED BY THE PAPA WHO WAS AND STILL IS THE “MOST” TALENTED FIDDLE PLAYER THAT EVER WALKED THIS EARTH. WHEN I LISTEN TO YOUR MUSIC AND THE WAY YOU PLAYED “THROCKMORTON” YOUR FIDDLE, ALWAYS BRINGS ME CHILLS. YOUR MUSIC AND TECHNIQUE CAN QUICKLY BRING A SMILE OR ON THE OTHER HAND BRING SUCH GRIEF AND UNHAPPINESS. YOUR WAY OF PLAYING WHETHER IT BE JUST JAMMING OR PERFORMING ON STAGE WAS IN A CATEGORY OF ITS OWN. GOD GAVE YOU A TREMENDOUS MUSICAL TALENT THAT SHALL LIVE ON FOREVER!
WE KNOW I’M NOT A PERSON OF FEW WORDS, ALTHOUGH AT TIMES YOU COULD BE. PAPA, YOU SAID “CLOSE TOGETHER” AS YOU HELD MY HAND AND YOUR SISTER JANICE’S HAND WHILE YOU WERE SICK. LOOKING OVER US TO THIS DAY, YOU KNOW WE ARE CLOSE TOGETHER.
I COME TO YOU, MOM AND GOD THAT YOU HELP ME WITH A QUESTION YOU ASKED ME IN THE HOSPITAL. JANICE WAS SITTING BESIDE YOU AS I WAS IN A CHAIR ACROSS THE ROOM. YOU WERE SITTING UP IN THE RECLINER CHAIR, LOOKED AT ME AND ASKED ME THE MOST DIFFICULT QUESTION I’VE EVER HAD TO ANSWER. YOU ASKED “AM I DYING?” I TOOK A DEEP SWALLOW AND ANSWERED YOU. GOD KEPT ME CALM AND GAVE ME THE WORDS AND VOICE TO ANSWER YOUR DIFFICULT QUESTION. EVEN THOUGH, DR. RAEFSKY AND DR. FELTS WOULD HAVE ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION AS THEY HAD ANSWERED MANY OF YOUR QUESTIONS IN THE PREVIOUS MONTHS. I DIDN’T AT THE TIME UNDERSTAND WHY YOU WOULD ASK ME SUCH A QUESTION. I SOON REALIZED QUICKLY, THAT MY ONE AND ONLY PAPA KNEW THAT I WOULD BE TRUTHFUL EVEN THOUGH MY HEART WAS ABSOLUTELY BREAKING INTO PIECES AS I ANSWERED. I CAN STILL HEAR YOUR VOICE AND QUESTION.
AGAIN, WHEN THROUGH THE YEARS OF ASKING HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED? YOUR ANSWER WAS “JUST REMEMBERED.” PAPA, YOU’RE MORE THAN JUST REMEMBERED!!!
WITH MUCH LOVE AND DEVOTION,
|JUNE 18, 2006|
MY ONE AND ONLY PAPA. THIS BEING THE FIRST FATHER’S DAY SINCE YOUR DEATH ON AUGUST 16, 2005, IT DIDN’T SEEM QUITE RIGHT TO ME NOT TO STILL GIVE YOU A CARD. SINCE YOU ARE NOT HERE IN THE PHYSICAL SENSE, BUT “EVERYDAY” IN MY THOUGHTS I WANTED TO STILL SHARE SOME OF MY PRECIOUS MEMORIES.
PAPA, YOU KNOW AFTER MOM’S DEATH I CONSIDERED YOU TO BE MY LIFE LINE THROUGH MOM AS YOU SAID I WAS TO YOU. EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE THOSE SAD AND DARK DAY’S, YOU BOTH ARE EVER SO CLOSE TO ME EACH DAY.
EARLIER TODAY AS I WENT TO THE CEMETERY TO PLACE YOUR FATHER’S DAY FLOWER’S ON YOUR HEADSTONE ALL SORTS OF THOUGHTS AND PRECIOUS MEMORIES KEPT GOING THROUGH MY HEAD. THERE ARE SO MANY.
I THOUGHT OF THE CHARLES CHIP FRANCHISE ROUTE YOU AND MOM HAD IN TALLAHASSEE, FLA AND HOW AT THAT TIME WHEN COMING HOME FROM SCHOOL IT WAS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO CALL CUSTOMERS TO SEE IF THEY WANTED TO PLACE AN ORDER FOR YOUR DELIVERY. MY REWARD AT THE END OF THE WEEK WAS IF THERE WAS A SCHOOL DANCE, I COULD BE SURE THAT YOU WOULD TAKE AND PICK ME UP FROM THE DANCE SINCE I WAS IN THE 7TH OR 8TH GRADE.
THERE WAS ALSO ALL THE MOTOWN MUSIC I LISTENED AND DANCED TO. YOU WOULD MAKE SOME HUMORUS COMMENTS OF MY CHOICE OF MUSIC AT THAT TIME, THEN MAKE FUN OF MY DANCING AS WELL. ESPECIALLY THE “PONY.” I WOULD REMIND YOU THAT IF IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR CHUBBY CHECKER ON AMERICAN BANDSTAND TO TEACH ME, THEN IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.
WHEN WE MOVED TO NASHVILLE, TN I WAS THEN A FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL. WE FIRST LIVED ON BELL GRIMES LANE MY FIRST SEMESTER AND I WENT TO MAPLEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL. THEN, LATER WE MOVED TO HERMITAGE HILLS ON BONNALYNN DRIVE IN HERMITAGE, TN WHERE I WENT TO DUPONT HIGH SCHOOL. WHEN THE HIGH SCHOOL BURNED DOWN I REMEMBER HOW YOU WOULD WATCH “ALL MY CHILDREN” SOAP OPERA AND BRING ME UP TO DATE ON WHAT WAS HAPPENING AT THE SUPPER TABLE THAT NIGHT. OF COURSE THAT WAS WHEN YOU WERE HOME AND NOT OUT ON THE ROAD TRAVELING.
THE WORDS ENDEARING, STRENGTH, WEAKNESS, COURAGE, RESPECT AND LOVE COME TO MIND WHEN I THINK OF YOU. ALSO, I VISUALIZE THAT KODAK SMILE, HUMOR, SLUDGE COFFEE, CHEESE, LATE NIGHTS, NOT AN EARLY RISER. I ALWAYS ENJOYED KIDDING YOU THAT I DIDN’T LIKE YOUR SINGING UNLESS YOU WERE HARMONIZING WITH SOMEONE. YOUR HUMOROUS COMEBACK WOULD BE THAT’S ALRIGHT, I DON’T LIKE YOUR SINGING EITHER.
I’VE THOUGHT MANY TIMES OF THE CD YOU DID WITH STEPHANE GRAPPELLI “TOGETHER AT LAST.” IT MADE ME THINK OF THE IMPACT YOU’VE HAD “IN MY LIFE” AND ALSO BEING “YOUNG AT HEART,” BOTH YOU AND MOM. YOU WERE THERE WHEN LARRY AND I MARRIED IN 1969. YOU WERE THERE WHEN I GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL IN 1970. ON DECEMBER 24TH, 1973 YOU WERE THERE WHEN CHRIS WAS BORN. WHEN GEORGE AND I MARRIED IN 1982 WE HAD YOUR BLESSING, FOR WE WENT TO THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE. YOU AND MOM WERE THERE WHEN CHRIS GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL IN 1992, ALSO THERE AT JAIME’S GRADUATION IN 1995 AND THEN AT JACKIE’S GRADUATION IN 1996. I WAS AND AM SO BLESSED THAT I CAN REFLECT ON THOSE MEMORIES AND MUCH MORE.
PAPA, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND ALL OF THE TOMORROW’S YOU’RE REMEMBERED. I ADORE AND LOVE YOU TO THE END OF THE EARTH. IT’S SAD BUT ALSO A HAPPY CELEBRATION AND A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO YOU ON “FATHER’S DAY.” GOD LET YOU BE ON THIS EARTH FOR 77 YEARS AND YOU “IN MY LIFE” SINCE I WAS 11 YEARS OLD. THANK YOU!
I QUOTE YOUR FAVORITE SAYING “DAD-BIME-IT.”
WITH MUCH LOVE AND DEVOTION,
|SEPTEMBER 3, 2005|
DEAR FANS, FRIENDS, RELATIVES AND EXTENDED FAMILY:
AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME, FOR MYSELF, I WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND A NOTE OF MANY THANKS FOR THE GREAT SUPPORT DURING PAPA’S ILLNESS OF SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER FROM DAY ONE UP UNTIL HIS DEATH ON AUGUST 16, 2005.
THERE WILL BE NO WAY I NOR OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS CAN POSSIBLY THANK ALL THE FOLKS WHO ARE AND BECAME A PART OF OUR EXTENDED FAMILY. ALWAYS KNOW YOUR CARDS, PHONE CALLS AND CONSTANT PRAYER’S, WHETHER INDIVIDUAL OR ON A PRAYER LIST WERE PAPA’S SOURCE OF HOPE. IN FACT, IT WAS A CONSTANT SOURCE FOR ALL OF US.
IT’S JUST THAT “GOD HAD OTHER PLANS FOR PAPA.”
YESTERDAY, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2ND, 2005 GEORGE AND I WENT TO THE CEMETERY TO PUT NEW FLOWERS IN THE VASES. IT WAS MOM’S BIRTHDAY. SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN 76 YEARS OLD. THESE LAST 7 YEARS SINCE HER DEATH HAVE FLOWN BY. AS I WAS POLISHING THE HEAD STONE I REALIZED I WAS SPEAKING ALOUD TO NOT ONLY MOM AS I USUALLY DID, BUT NOW TO PAPA. MY HEART WAS FULL OF EMOTION.
ON OUR WAY HOME FROM THE CEMETERY I WAS THINKING TO MYSELF “THANK YOU GOD FOR THE BLESSING OF PRECIOUS MEMORIES” THAT WILL DWELL IN MY HEART FOREVER AS IT WILL YOURS.
EVEN THOUGH GOD TELLS US IT WILL RAIN ON THE JUST AND UNJUST AS THE SUN WILL SHINE ON THE JUST AND UNJUST, PLEASE REMEMBER WE ARE BLESSED EACH DAY. GOD HAS THAT POWER!!!
BEST WISHES TO ALL,
|AUGUST 17, 2005|
FOR ALL THE WORLD TO HEAR
YOU MADE THE MOCKINGBIRD SING
YOU MADE THE WILD HORSES RUN
YOU WERE THERE WHEN THE GOLDEN
LEAVES BEGAN TO FALL
YOU MADE THE ORANGE BLOSSOM SPECIAL
YOU ALONE HEARD THOSE LONESOME FIDDLE
BLUES AND PLAYED WITH THE KISSIMMEE KID
YOU SAW CAROLINA IN THE MORNING
AND DANCED TO THE TENNESSEE WALTZ
YOUR LIFE IS A LEGEND AND YOUR MUSIC
WILL LIVE IN THE HEARTS OF US ALL FOREVER
TERRY MASON (VASSAR'S DAUGHTER)
VISITATION WITH THE FAMILY WILL BE FROM
1:00-4:00 PM AND 6:00-9:00 PM FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2005 AT BOND
MEMORIAL CHAPEL, N. MT. JULIET ROAD/WESTON DRIVE
MT. JULIET, TN
FUNERAL SERVICES WILL BE CONDUCTED AT
1:00 PM SATURDAY, AUGUST 20, 2005
AT BOND MEMORIAL CHAPEL
VERY LIMITED SEATING
NO MEDIA PLEASE
INTERMENT WILL FOLLOW IN MT. JULIET MEMORIAL GARDENS
|AUGUST 16, 2005|
MIDGE HERE……THIS IS A SAD YET GLORIOUS & BLESSED DAY. WHEN I PRAYED LAST NIGHT, AGAIN I ASKED GOD TO TAKE PAPA IN HIS SLEEP BUT GOD HAD OTHER PLANS.
PAPA DIED THIS MORNING AT HOME AS HE REQUESTED. I HAD JUST WASHED HIS FACE AND HANDS AND WAS TALKING TO HIM. AFTERWARDS I PULLED A CHAIR UP BESIDE HIS BED AND WAS HOLDING HIS RIGHT HAND. GEORGE WAS IN THE KITCHEN.
I TOLD PAPA I LOVED HIM TILL THE END OF THE EARTH AND THAT IT WAS OK TO LET GO. I SAID MOM HAS WAITED 7 YEARS FOR YOU TO BE LAID TO REST BESIDE HER.
AS I WAS STILL HOLDING HIS HAND HIS BREATHING STOPPED AND I CALLED GEORGE FROM THE BABY MONITOR’S WE’VE BEEN USING IN THE HOUSE SINCE HIS ILLNESS TO BRING ME THE BLOOD PRESSURE MACHINE AND SP 02.
I LOOKED AT THE CLOCK AND IT WAS 7:20 AM. WE CALLED HOSPICE AND THEY WERE AT THE HOUSE IN 20 MINUTES OR SO AND PRONOUNCED HIM DEAD AT 8:25 AM………
IT WASN’T AN EASY DECISION TO AGREE THAT PAPA DIE IN OUR HOME, BUT I DID PROMISE BECAUSE IT WAS PAPA’S REQUEST. WITH GOD’S INTERVENTION IT HAPPENED BECAUSE IT VERY WELL COULD HAVE HAPPENED WHEN HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL LAST WEEK. WHAT A POWERFUL GOD WE HAVE LOOKING OVER EACH AND EVERYONE OF US.
THE IRONIC THING OF IT ALL WAS THAT BEFORE MOM DIED IN 1998 PAPA WAS HOLDING ONE HAND AND I WAS HOLDING MOM’S OTHER HAND. SHE CROSSED BOTH OUR HANDS ON TOP OF HER STOMACH AS IF TO SAY “HANG IN THERE TOGETHER AND EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT.” SEVEN YEARS LATER, GOD BLESSED ME WITH HOLDING PAPA’S HAND AT THE END OF HIS LIFE. WHAT A BLESSING AND A GIFT!!!!!!!
FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS ARE INCOMPLETE AT THIS TIME. HE HAS ALREADY BEEN TRANSPORTED TO:
BOND MEMORIAL CHAPEL
1098 WESTON DRIVE
MT. JULIET, TN 37122
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ALL OF THE SUPPORT DURING PAPA’S ILLNESS.
|VASSAR CLEMENTS - 1928 - 2005|
On August 16th 2005 at 7:20 am Nashville time, the angels in heaven stopped singing for a moment, as they
heard the most beautiful music approaching from a distance - the high lonesome sound of Vassar
We are deeply saddened by the passing of this truly wonderful and beautiful man whose purpose in life
on Earth was in spreading love and happiness to people, both through his music and through his
generosity and light of spirit.
Vassar indeed has touched the lives of so many of us, and we can all count ourselves as blessed to have been
witness to the musical genius and kind-hearted nature of this great yet humble man.
It is a great testament to a life when those whose paths you crossed hold you up as an example on how to
treat others. Vassar's guestbook is that testament and shows how incredibly loved and admired Vassar was
on this Earth by both those who knew him personally and those who knew him only through his music.
I would like to thank Vassar's daughter Midge and son-in-law George on behalf of all of us that loved Vassar
for the great love and care they have shown him since the passing of his wife Millie just over seven years ago.
Selfless and devoted, they not only took care of Vassar emotionally and physically, but also jumped in and
learned the music business so Vassar could continue to play for all of us around the country.
I picture Vassar and Millie in heaven, reunited in the love they shared that transcends all things, him playing
while she dances.
Thank You Vassar - God Bless You. Rest In Peace.
|AUGUST 15, 2005 (PAPA’S HEALTH UPDATE) |
MIDGE HERE…..FIRST OF ALL IT BREAKS ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART SINCE MOM DIED IN 1998 TO SIT DOWN AND EVEN SEND THIS UPDATE OF PAPA’S OUT. WHEN I KNOW IN TRUTH THAT HE PROBABLY DOESN’T HAVE MUCH LONGER ON THIS EARTH. HE IS “EXTREMELY WEAK” AND CAN BARELY RESPOND AT TIMES. YET HE SEEMS AT TIMES TO STILL KNOW MY VOICE WHEN I LET HIM KNOW THAT GEORGE AND I ARE GOING TO CHANGE HIS PJ TOP, UNDERPANTS AND ETC. I CONTINUE TO TELL HIM HOW MUCH HIS FAMILY LOVES HIM AND ALSO BY THOSE WHO HAVE EVER MET HIM.
HE’S NOT HAD ANY FOOD INTAKE FOR THE PAST TWO DAYS AND IS BARELY DRINKING FLUIDS. SIGNS OF JAUNDICE AS WELL AS THE DARKENING COLOR OF
HIS URINE IS SHOWING LIVER FAILURE.
PAPA HAS A PIC LINE THAT WAS INSERTED AT THE HOSPITAL ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 9TH AND AT THE MOMENT HE’S ON A MORPHINE PUMP DISPENSING 1.0 MILLIGRAM EVERY HOUR. IF WE SEE THAT HE NEEDS MORE THEN WE ARE ABLE TO DISPENSE EVERY 15 MINUTES AN ADDITIONAL 1.0 MILLIGRAM OF MORPHINE FOR HIS COMFORT. AT THIS VERY MOMENT HE IS AS COMFORTABLE AS HE CAN BE WHICH WERE HIS WISHES ALL ALONG IF THE CANCER WERE TO TAKE OVER.
EVERYONE CAN KNOW AND REST ASSURE THAT PAPA IS STILL BEING WELL CARED FOR WITH “TENDER LOVING CARE” AT HOME WITH GEORGE AND I AS HE HAS BEEN FOR THE PAST 7 YEARS. I’M BLESSED BY GOD TO CARE FOR ANOTHER PARENT THAT IS DYING. GOD GIVES ME THAT STRENGTH!!!!!!
MOM HAS WAITED 7 LONG YEARS FOR PAPA, TO BE LAID TO REST BESIDE HER. THAT BRINGS SADNESS, JOY, PEACE AND A SMILE TO ME.
ALTHOUGH, NONE OF US WANT TO SEE PAPA DIE, I HAVE PRAYED FOR MONTHS THAT GOD TAKE HIM QUIETLY IN HIS SLEEP FOR HE’S HAD “NO QUALITY” LIFE SINCE THE DIAGNOSIS IN MARCH WITH CHEMO TREATMENTS, TRANSFUSIONS, CHEST X-RAYS, CT SCANS, BLOOD DRAWN FOR BLOOD COUNTS NOT COUNTING THE 3 DAYS OF RADIATION HE HAD ENDURED AND COUNTLESS HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS.
I WILL “NOT” APOLOGIZE FOR SAYING GOD IS FOR YOU. NOT “MAY BE, “ NOT “HAS BEEN,” NOT “WAS,” NOT “WOULD BE,” BUT GOD IS!” HE IS FOR YOU, ME AND EVERYONE “TODAY.” AT THIS HOUR AND THIS MINUTE. I KNOW HIS LOYALTY WON’T INCREASE IF YOU ARE BETTER NOR LESSEN IF YOU ARE WORSE. HE IS FOR “YOU.” HAD HE A CALENDAR, YOUR BIRTHDAY WOULD BE CIRCLED. IF HE DROVE A CAR, YOUR NAME WOULD BE ON HIS BUMPER. IF THERE’S A TREE IN HEAVEN, HE’S CARVED YOUR NAME IN THE BARK. HE SAYS “I HAVE WRITTEN YOUR NAME ON MY HAND.” (ISAIAH 49:16)
EVEN THOUGH THERE IS MUCH SADNESS IN ME, OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS AND COUNTLESS MUSICIAN FRIENDS YOU CAN HAVE THOSE MOMENTS OF DOUBT AND DISCONTENT BUT IF NOTHING ELSE “ALWAYS” REMEMBER THAT GOD HAS NEVER FORGOTTEN US OR LEFT US ALONE.
LIVE IN GRACE AND NOT BLINDNESS FOR “I” PERSONALLY KNOW IT’S A GREAT BLESSING, INSPIRATION, THRILL AND WONDER OF WHAT GOD IS CAPABLE OF DOING. IT’S BEYONE DESCRIPTION AND GOD CONTINUES TO KEEP ME HUMBLE AND I’M GRATEFUL TO HIM FOR THAT.
AGAIN, I THANK MY CHURCH FAMILIES, RELATIVES, FRIENDS AND FELLOW MUSICANS OF PAPA’S THAT HAVE BEEN SO WONDERFUL, CARING AND THOUGHTFUL IN CHECKING ON PAPA. ALSO, THE CONCERN THEY’VE ALL HAD ON GEORGE AND MYSELF AS WELL AS OUR WHOLE FAMILY.
THERE’S NOT MUCH MORE I CAN SAY AT THIS POINT OTHER THAN PAPA AND I KNOW THAT GOD IS THE DESTINATION OF OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. THE PRESENT MOMENT IS ALL THAT MATTERS. THE FUTURE SNUGGLES RIGHT INTO THE PRESENT, AND GIVES US PEACE. THE DEVIL HAS A PLOT BUT GOD HAS A PLAN. WE ARE JUST NOT AWARE OF WHAT THAT PLAN IS.
THANK YOU DR. ERIC RAEFSKY, SARA, VICKIE, KATHY, TINA, MARLA, JAMIE, ALICE AND THE WHOLE STAFF AT TENNESSEE ONCOLOGY. ALSO, DR. STEPHEN FELTS, STEPHANIE AND DEE FOR THE MANY PHONE CALLS I’VE HAD TO MAKE TO YOUR OFFICE THROUGHOUT THE YEARS AFTER MOM DIED. DR. FELTS AND DR. RAEFSKY “I LOVE YOU BOTH.” ALTHOUGH I’VE LET YOU KNOW THAT. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HUGS, ENCOURAGEMENT AND SUPPORT TO ME. IT’S APPARENT YOU FEEL FOR ALL YOUR PATIENTS, BUT MOST OF ALL THANK YOU FOR YOUR KINDNESS TO MY NUMBER “1” PAPA.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO THE NURSES, TECHS, JAN PARKER AND HOUSEKEEPING ON THE 6TH FLOOR AT SUMMIT HOSPITAL. YOU HAVE BEEN A BLESSING. I THANK YOU ALL!!!!! TO ERIC (RN) ALWAYS REMEMBER PAPA SAID YOU WERE HIS “MAIN MAN.” PAPA SEEMED TO ALWAYS KNOW WHEN YOU WALKED IN THE ROOM TO CARE FOR HIM. EVEN WHEN HE FELT SO TERRIBLY BAD. TO CHARLOTTE, THANK YOU FOR THE ADDITIONAL CUPS OF COFFEE AND PEPSI ON PAPA’S FOOD TRAY AND YOUR SPECIAL KINDNESS. BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER WHAT EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU HAVE DONE. A THANK YOU JUST DOESN’T SEEM TO BE QUITE ADEQUATE ENOUGH.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL,
|August 8, 2005|
It is with great sadness we must report to you Vassar's current health situation.
Last week, the doctor had ordered an MRI which showed that the cancer had moved into Vassar's brain.
This development was going to be treated with aggressive radiation. After two days of treatment,
Vassar has decided to stop any further medical intervention.
Vassar is resting comfortably with family and friends. Hospice has been called in
and will be taking care of him once he is out of the hospital. Both Vassar and his family
have been so appreciative of your cards, notes, love and support. We can only ask now that
you all pray for his peaceful passing devoid of suffering and pain.
The family continues to request that no contact be made other than guestbook and prayers.
No phone calls please. Please look to the website for all updates. It also should be mentioned
that all orders for merchandise have not been fulfilled, due to circumstances, and that your
continued patience is deeply appreciated.
We can only pray that Vassar makes this next transition as gracefully as he played
his fiddle. Listen to the mockingbird sing...
God Bless You Vassar!
JULY 14, 2005 (PAPA’S HEALTH UPDATE)
MIDGE HERE….FIRST OF ALL LET ME SAY THAT ON TUESDAY, JULY 12TH IT WAS 7 YEARS AGO THAT MOM DIED. TO ME IT SEEMS AS IF IT WERE YESTERDAY AND I MISS HER DEEPLY. THERE’S “NEVER” A DAY THAT PASSES I DON’T THINK OF HER. I KNOW SHE IS MY HERO AND MY HEAVENLY ANGEL.
SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED SINCE MY LAST UPDATE ON PAPA IN JUNE. AS MENTIONED IN THE LAST UPDATE HIS CHEMO WAS DELAYED DUE TO HIS LOW BLOOD COUNTS.
THANKFULLY, PAPA WAS ABLE TO RESUME HIS 5TH ROUND/CYCLE OF CHEMO ON TUESDAY, JUNE 21ST, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22ND, AND THURSDAY, JUNE 23RD. ON TUESDAY, JUNE 21ST HE HAD A CHEST X-RAY WHICH CLEARLY SHOWED A SMALL AMOUNT OF FLUID IN BOTH LUNGS. MORE IN HIS LEFT LUNG THAN THE RIGHT. ALTHOUGH, TO THIS DAY PAPA STILL BATTLES HAVING FLUID IN HIS LUNGS BUT IS ON LASIX THAT HELPS BRING THE FLUID OFF.
USUALLY, AFTER HIS CHEMO TREATMENTS EVEN THOUGH HIS ONCOLOGIST HAS REDUCED THE DOSAGE IT TAKES A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF ENERGY OUT OF PAPA LEAVING HIM VERY WEAK AT TIMES. THANKFULLY, HE STILL HAS AN APPETITE AND WILL DRINK FLUIDS AS HE SHOULD. PAPA’S EVEN GOT TO WHERE HE DRINKS PRO SURE WITH ICE CREAM IN IT THAT IS “VERY” NUTRIOUS FOR HIM.
WE RETURNED TO THE ONCOLOGIST FOR AN OFFICE VISIT ON TUESDAY, JUNE 28TH AND AS A RESULT OF HIS 5TH ROUND/CYCLE OF CHEMO CAUSED HIS HEMATOCRIT (RED BLOOD CELLS) TO DROP. HE WAS GIVEN AN ARANESP SHOT FOR ANEMIA THAT HELPS THE RED BLOOD CELLS BUT WE WERE ALSO ADVISED HE WOULD NEED ANOTHER TRANSFUSION. SO, ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29TH GEORGE AND I TOOK PAPA TO THE HOSPITAL AS AN OUTPATIENT FOR 2 UNITS OF RED BLOOD CELLS. IT USUALLY TAKES 3 TO 3 l/2 HOURS FOR EACH UNIT OF BLOOD, SO IT MAKES FOR A LONG TIRING DAY OF 6 TO 8 HOURS. ONE GOOD THING IS THAT WITH ALL OF THE TRANSFUSIONS (WHICH HAVE BEEN QUITE A BIT) THAT PAPA HAS ENDURED SINCE HIS CHEMO STARTED, HE HASN’T EXPERIENCED A REACTION TO THE DONOR’S BLOOD. THAT’S A BLESSING IN ITSELF!!!
THE ONCOLOGIST DECIDED FOR PAPA TO HAVE A CT SCAN ON THURSDAY, JULY 7TH. HE HAD ORDERED THE CT SCAN OF THE CHEST AND ABDOMINAL AREA. SO THAT MORNING THE SCAN WAS DONE AND IN THE AFTERNOON WE SAW HIS ONCOLOGIST FOR THE RESULTS.
WE WERE GIVEN THE NEWS THE CT SCAN SHOWED THAT THERE WAS MUCH IMPROVEMENT WITH THE MASS IN PAPA’S LUNG, IN FACT ALMOST GONE IN COMPARISION WITH THE LAST CT SCAN. HOWEVER, THERE HAS BEEN “NO DRAMATIC CHANGE” WITH THE CANCER IN HIS LIVER. AS HIS ONCOLOGIST PUT IT, IT’S “MOST CONCERNING.”
SO, AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT IT’S BEST FOR PAPA NOT TO HAVE ANY MORE CHEMO AT THIS TIME. HIS BODY CAN’T TOLERATE ANOTHER ROUND AND HIS BODY NEEDS A REST FROM IT. THE ONCOLOGIST TOLD PAPA HE’S NOT GIVING UP HOPE. THEY WILL MONITOR HIM CLOSELY, REPEAT CT SCANS POSSIBLY EVERY 6 TO 8 WEEKS AND EVEN AT SOME POINT THERE COULD POSSIBLY BE A CHANCE TO RESUME A DIFFERENT REGIMEN OF CHEMO.
SINCE HIS BLOOD PRESSURE IS STILL FLUCTUATING THEY’VE MADE AN ADJUSTMENT, EVEN CHANGED ONE OF HIS BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATIONS. THE FLUID THAT IS IN HIS LUNGS WILL STILL BE MONITORED WITH A CHEST X-RAY. OUR NEXT OFFICE VISIT IS SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY, JULY 29TH.
YESTERDAY, WEDNESDAY, JULY 13TH PAPA HAD AN OFFICE VISIT TO CHECK HIS BLOOD COUNTS AND THEY WERE STABLE ENOUGH THAT HE DIDN’T REQUIRE TO HAVE AN ARANESP SHOT. THAT WAS VERY UPLIFTING FOR HIM.
PAPA STILL REMAINS TO BE ON 3 LITERS OF OXYGEN. WHEN HE WALKS FOR EXERCISE IN THE HOUSE FOR 5 MINUTES WITHOUT OXYGEN IT WILL DROP TO THE MID TO LOW 80’S. THE OXYGEN SHOULD BE 90 AND ABOVE. HE STILL REMAINS TO SLEEP IN HIS HOSPITAL BED FOR HE SAYS RIGHT NOW IT’S MOST COMFORTABLE.
“I” KNOW THAT IF I DIDN’T HAVE MY FAITH AND GOD IN MY EVERYDAY LIFE THAT I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO BE PAPA’S PRIMARY CAREGIVER. AS A RESULT OF MOM’S DEATH, MY LIFE HAS CHANGED FOREVER. THE FIGHT AND DETERMINATION I HAVE IS “ONLY” DUE TO THE FAITH AND SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLING WITHIN ME. SPEAKING FOR MYSELF I “TRY” TO DO LESS WORRYING ABOUT WHAT THE FUTURE MAY BRING REGARDING PAPA’S HEALTH, ALTHOUGH IT’S NOT ALWAYS SO EASY. I KNOW WITHIN MY HEART THE OBSTACLES AND CHALLENGES WE’RE DEALT IN LIFE AREN’T ALWAYS EASY. WHAT I DO KNOW IS THAT “WE ALL” CAN OVERCOME THEM IF WE TURN IT OVER TO GOD FOR HE MUST BE IN THE EQUATION.
GOD’S BLESSED ME WITH THE STRENGTH, CONFIDENCE, AND CONTENTMENT TO FIND GRACE DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME WITH PAPA. GOD’S ALSO GIVEN ME THE LOVE, POWER AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE FIGHT OF THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS I’VE ENDURED AND THAT’S BECAUSE OF MY STRONG CONVICTION. GOD’S POWER HAS NO EQUAL AND HIS GRACE IS LIMITLESS.
IN CLOSING, PAPA VERY MUCH HAS HIS FAITH AND TURNS TO GOD FOR HIS STRENGTH AND GUIDANCE. ALTHOUGH GOD KNOWS OUR HEARTACHES AND DISAPPOINTMENTS WE KNOW WHAT IS HERE ON EARTH IS TEMPORARY AND NOT ETERNAL LIFE.
IN CLOSING, I THANK THOSE OF YOU AS WELL AS PAPA AGAIN FOR THE MANY CARDS, PRAYERS, EMAILS, LETTERS AND GUESTBOOK ENTRIES ON THE WEBSITE. AS I’VE SAID BEFORE IT’S “OVERWHELMING.”
PLEASE CONTINUE TO KEEP PAPA AND OUR FAMILY IN YOUR PRAYER’S.
BEST WISHES AND LOVE TO ALL,
JUNE 14, 2005 (PAPA’S HEALTH UPDATE)
MIDGE AGAIN…..HI EVERYONE! JUST TO LET YOU KNOW PAPA WAS UNABLE TO TAKE HIS 5TH ROUND/CYCLE OF CHEMOTHERAPY THAT WAS TO START TODAY (TUESDAY, JUNE 14TH.) AFTER HIS BLOOD COUNTS WERE TAKEN THIS MORNING HIS DOCTOR ADVISED IT WOULD BE BEST TO WAIT ANOTHER WEEK.
PAPA’S BLOOD COUNTS HAD DROPPED WITH THE EXCEPTION OF HIS PLATELETS. HIS BLOOD PRESSURE HERE RECENTLY HAS BEEN FLUCTUATING AND HE IS RETAINING FLUID AGAIN. DUE TO THE ADJUSTMENT OF SOME OF HIS MEDICATIONS EARLIER TODAY, HOPEFULLY, PAPA’S STRENGTH WILL INCREASE. WE HOPE TO RESUME CHEMOTHERAPY POSSIBLY TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2005.
HE WAS GIVEN AN ARANESP SHOT TO HELP INCREASE THE RED BLOOD CELLS AND THE ONCOLOGIST WILL REPEAT A CHEST X-RAY ON TUESDAY, JUNE 21ST.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO KEEP HIM IN YOUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYER’S.
JUNE 12, 2005 (PAPA’S HEALTH UPDATE)
MIDGE HERE….HELLO TO ALL! I’M LATER THAN I WANTED TO BE GETTING BACK WITH AN UPDATE ON PAPA’S CURRENT PHYSICAL CONDITION. THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO HAVE WAITED PATIENTLY.
I MENTIONED IN MY LAST UPDATE THE CONCERN AND SERIOUSNESS OF PAPA RETAINING FLUID IN HIS LUNGS AND THE ONCOLOGIST WANTED CHEST X-RAYS TAKEN PERIODICALLY TO KEEP A CAREFUL WATCH. SINCE HE HAS BEEN ON LASIX AND THE LAST CHEST X-RAY TAKEN, THERE WAS NO NEED FOR THE PROCEDURE OF A THORACENTESIS AT THE TIME. THE FLUID DIDN’T HAVE TO BE DRAWN OFF HIS LUNGS AND TO DATE HE IS NOW OFF LASIX. OF COURSE, AT ANY TIME ANYTHING IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. HIS ELECTROLYTES ARE BEING MONITORED VERY CAREFUL, THOUGH HE IS STILL ON VARIOUS MEDICATIONS AND MAGNESIUM 3 TIMES DAILY .
PAPA WAS ABLE TO TAKE HIS 4TH ROUND/CYCLE OF CHEMO TREATMENTS AS SCHEDULED ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 25TH, THURSDAY, MAY 26TH AND FRIDAY, MAY 27TH, 2005. THANKS TO PAPA’S ONCOLOGIST AND STAFF, THE ADJUSTMENT OF HIS CHEMOTHERAPY, PAPA WAS ABLE TO TOLERATE IT BETTER. AS A RESULT, THERE WERE “NO ADMISSIONS TO THE HOSPITAL” IN THE MONTH OF MAY!!! WE WERE AND ARE SO VERY THANKFUL.
THE CHEMO TREATMENT DAYS ARE LONG AND TIRING FOR PAPA. THEY START OFF WITH HIS BLOOD COUNTS BEING CHECKED FIRST AND IF THERE’S BEEN ANY CURRENT PROBLEMS THAT MAY HAVE ARISEN SINCE THE LAST OFFICE VISIT. BEFORE TAKING THE CHEMO ITSELF, HE TAKES PRE-MEDS BY IV INFUSION FOR ANTI-NAUSEA. PAPA HAS BE VERY LUCKY NOT TO HAVE THE VOMITING THAT SOME PATIENTS HAVE AND WHEN HE DOES FEEL A LITTLE NAUSEATED THE PHENERGAN USUALLY DOES THE JOB. AFTER THE (FRIDAY, MAY 27TH) 4TH ROUND/CYCLE OF HIS CHEMO WAS COMPLETED, THAT DAY HE RECEIVED A NEULASTA SHOT THAT HELPS THE WHITE BLOOD CELLS.
THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT AND NURSE THAT MADE HOME VISITS ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK ARE NO LONGER NEEDED. WITH PAPA’S IMPROVEMENTS AT THIS TIME, IT’S JUST NOT NEEDED FOR THEM TO CONTINUE. I JUST HAVE TO BE PERSISTENT IN PAPA REMEMBERING TO DO THE VARIOUS EXERCISES, EAT WHEN HE REALLY DOESN’T WANT ANYTHING AMONG A FEW OTHER THINGS. BELIEVE ME “PAPA IS NOT A GOOD PATIENT.” I KEEP TELLING HIM IT’S A GOOD THING “I DON’T” GET MY FEELINGS HURT EASILY AND FOR (YOU GUYS) I’LL LEAVE IT AT THAT.
PAPA IS STILL ON 3 LITERS OF OXYGEN. WE CHECK HOW HE’S OXYGEN LEVEL IS AT REST AND STRESS. IT WILL DECREASE WHEN HE’S OFF OF IT. SOMETIMES IT WILL DECREASE QUICKLY AND OTHER TIMES NOT. FOR INSTANCE, EARLIER TODAY WHEN GEORGE WAS WALKING HIM WITHOUT HIS OXYGEN, WITHIN 5 MINUTES IT WENT DOWN TO 80 WHICH IS NOT GOOD, IN LIEU OF STAYING 90 AND ABOVE AS IT SHOULD BE. OF COURSE, THE OXYGEN AT THAT TIME IS PUT BACK ON PAPA.
GEORGE AND I TRY AND MAKE PAPA AS COMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE. HE STILL SLEEPS IN A HOSPITAL BED, AND AT THIS TIME FEELS MORE COMFORTABLE IN IT. HE’LL GET UP AND SIT ON THE COUCH FROM TIME TO TIME AS WELL. A FEW DAYS AGO HE TRIED PLAYING HIS FIDDLE FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES AND BECAME TOO TIRED TO CONTINUE. SO AGAIN, SOME DAYS HE FEELS BETTER THAN OTHERS. HE’S LOST STRENGTH IN HIS BODY AND THAT’S WHY IT’S SO VERY IMPORTANT FOR HIM TO CONTINUE HIS EXERCISES.
I KEEP DAILY LOGS OF PAPA’S DAILY MEDICINES GIVEN AND TIME, WHAT HE EATS, HOW HE FEELS, BLOOD PRESSURE READINGS AND HIS OXYGEN SATURATION LEVEL. ASIDE FROM THAT OUR REGULAR DOCTOR VISIT APPOINTMENTS EVEN IF IT’S NOT A CHEMO TIME, “I DOCUMENT.” I CAN HONESTLY SAY I HAD NO IDEA HOW COMPLEX THE BODY IS AND HOW WE JUST HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ORGAN OF THE BODY CAN EFFECT ANOTHER INCLUDING THE BLOOD CHEMISTRY WHEN TAKING CHEMO. MOM DIDN’T EXPERIENCE A LOT OF WHAT PAPA IS GOING THROUGH, ALTHOUGH HER LUNG CANCER TYPE WAS DIFFERENT.
THE LAST FEW DAYS PAPA HAS EXPERIENCED HIS BLOOD PRESSURE BEING HIGHER. WE HAVE MEDICATION ON HAND THAT BRINGS IT DOWN AT A SAFE PACE BUT I’M HOPING HE DOESN’T HAVE ANOTHER BLOCKAGE. BACK IN JANUARY OF THIS YEAR HE HAD 80% NARROWING OF THE RIGHT RENAL ARTERY. AS A RESULT, UNDER WENT ANGIOPLASTY AND STENT PLACEMENT (IN KIDNEY.)
WE ARE TO SEE THE ONCOLOGIST ON TUESDAY AND START THE 5TH ROUND/CYCLE OF CHEMO TREATMENTS STARTING TUESDAY, JUNE 14TH, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15TH AND THURSDAY, JUNE 16th, 2005. THAT IS, IF PAPA’S LAB WORK FROM LAST WEEK AND HIS BLOOD WORK ON TUESDAY IS AT A SAFE LEVEL. NOT INCLUDING THE CURRENT BLOOD PRESSURE READINGS.
WE CONTINUE TO THANK THOSE OF YOU WHO CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR PAPA AND OUR FAMILY. THE GUESTBOOK ENTRIES, EMAILS, CARDS, THE SPECIAL VIDEOS MADE FOR PAPA, THE VARIOUS “FESTIVAL GET WELL CARDS,” THEY ARE ALL “PRICELESS.”
I’VE BEEN EXTREMELY EXHAUSTED AND RUN DOWN, BUT I’LL TRY AND SEND PAPA’S HEALTH UPDATE SOONER NEXT TIME BORROWING THERE’S NO COMPLICATIONS THIS UPCOMING WEEK AND EVERYTHING GOES AS SCHEDULED.
“BELIEF AND CONFIDENCE IN GOD IS THE HOPE THAT KEEPS US FROM DESPAIR.”
BEST WISHES TO ALL,
MAY 19, 2005 (PAPA'S HEALTH UPDATE)
MIDGE HERE…..HI EVERYONE! FIRST OF ALL LET ME START OUT BY SAYING AGAIN THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR PRAYER’S, KIND THOUGHTS, CARDS AND PHONE CALLS. WE ARE VERY AWARE OF THE FACT THAT IS SO “HEART TOUCHING” IS KNOWING THAT MANY OF PAPA’S FRIENDS AND FELLOW MUSICIAN’S ARE DEDICATING THEIR PERFORMANCES AND/OR A SONG IN HIS BEHALF AND EVEN TAKING A MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR PRAYER. THAT IS TRULY OVERWHELMING. GOD BLESS YOU FOLKS FOR THAT!
PAPA’S CT SCANS WERE TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2005 OF HIS CHEST AND ABDOMINAL AREA. IT WAS A VERY LONG DAY TUESDAY SINCE WE HAD TO BE AT THE HOSPITAL AT 9:30 AM THAT MORNING AND WE DIDN’T HAVE THE APPOINTMENT TO SEE THE ONCOLOGIST UNTIL 2:15 PM THAT AFTERNOON FOR THE RESULTS OF THE CT SCANS.
PROGNOSIS IS AS THE ONCOLOGIST PUT IT TO US TUESDAY (05/17/05) WAS “THE SCANS ARE FAVORABLE.” KNOWING THAT PAPA HAS BEEN FEELING MUCH BETTER WE KNEW THERE HAD TO BE SOME GOOD NEWS. THERE ARE “LESS AREAS INVOLVED” IN PAPA’S LIVER NOW. THEREFORE, THE CHEMO TREATMENTS ARE DESTROYING THE CANCER CELLS. UNFORTUNATELY, WE KNOW THE GOOD CELLS ARE BEING DESTROYED AS WELL AND THAT’S THE DOWNSIDE. PAPA DID SAY TO THE DOCTOR “I KNOW I’M NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET.”
PAPA’S LUNG SCAN SHOWED HE DOES HAVE FLUID IN BOTH LUNGS. MORE IN THE LEFT LUNG THAN IN THE RIGHT LUNG. HE STARTED IMMEDIATELY ON TAKING LASIX ONCE DAILY TO HELP TAKE THE EXCESS FLUID OFF HIS LUNGS. HE WILL HAVE A CHEST X RAY ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 25TH TO SEE HOW MUCH FLUID REMAINS OR IF THE LUNG/PULMONARY SPECIALISTS OR RADIOLOGIST WILL HAVE TO DRAW THE FLUID OFF HIS LUNGS. HOPEFULLY, THE LASIX WILL DO IT.
PAPA WAS GIVEN AN “ARANESP SHOT” TUESDAY BEFORE WE LEFT WHICH HELPS THE BONE MARROW PRODUCE RED BLOOD CELLS. IT ALSO IS HELPFUL IN REGAINING PAPA’S ENERGY LEVEL.
THE 4TH ROUND OF CHEMO TREATMENTS WILL BEGIN ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 25TH, THURSDAY, MAY 26TH AND FRIDAY, MAY 27TH. THE PLAN IS TO KEEP THE CHEMO DOSAGE AS THE PREVIOUS CHEMO TREATMENT WHICH WAS GIVEN MAY 4TH, 5TH AND 6TH SINCE PAPA TOLERATED IT SO WELL.
IF ALL GOES WELL THE ONCOLOGIST PLANS TO HAVE (2) MORE ROUNDS OF CHEMO TREATMENTS AFTER THIS UPCOMING WEEK, HAVING TREATMENTS IN 3 WEEK INTERVALS. THAT’S WITH NO COMPLICATIONS, SO WE HAVE TO KEEP PAPA AS STRONG AND HEALTHY AS HE POSSIBLY CAN BE.
THE ONCOLOGIST AT THAT TIME, WILL RE-EVALUATE PAPA’S PROGRESS AND WE WILL GO FROM THERE. SO THAT IS THE PLAN THUS FAR.
ALTHOUGH PAPA HAS BEEN HAVING BETTER DAYS SINCE HE WAS DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL APRIL 28TH, HE STILL HAS HIS DAYS OF SOMETIME MAKING PHONE CALLS AND OTHER DAYS NOT WANTING TO BE ON THE PHONE AT ALL AND OR HAVING VISITORS. SOME FOLKS FOR SOME REASON DOESN’T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND WHY HE ISN’T RETURNING PHONE CALLS.
SPEAKING FOR MYSELF, “I” CAN ONLY ANSWER SO MANY PHONE CALLS DAILY AND THERE ARE SO MANY HOURS IN THE DAY. OUR PRIMARY CONCERN RIGHT NOW IS TAKING CARE OF PAPA AND HIS NEEDS. PAPA IS THE ONLY PARENT I AND MY OTHER SISTER’S, BROTHER AND FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE LEFT. THE DOCTORS, NURSES, PHYSICAL THERAPIST AND OTHER FOLKS KNOW THAT PAPA IS “BEING WELL CARED FOR.” I FEEL GOD HAD A PLAN FOR ME WHEN MOM DIED JULY 12TH, 1998. GOD CONTINUES TO BLESS GEORGE AND ME EACH DAY WITH BEING ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF PAPA TO THIS DAY.
I KNOW THAT “GOD” IS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN AND HOWEVER PAPA’S PHYSICAL OUTCOME MAY TURN OUT, IT’S OUT OF OUR HANDS. GOD HAS AND IS THE DIVINE POWER. PLEASE KNOW YOUR PRAYER’S CONTINUE TO BE A SOURCE OF COMFORT, INSPIRATION AND EVEN JOY TO OUR FAMILY. THANK YOU FOR THAT!
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE ASKED IF PAPA HAS BEEN PLAYING HIS FIDDLE. THE ANSWER IS NO. HE SAY’S HE ISN’T READY.
PLEASE KEEP JIMMY MARTIN’S FAMILY IN YOUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYER’S AS WELL AS BOBBY THOMPSON. THEY ARE GOING THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME.
I’LL CONTINUE TO KEEP PAPA’S HEALTH UPDATES POSTED.
LOVE TO ALL,
MAY 3, 2005 (PAPA'S HEALTH UPDATE)
MIDGE HERE…… AGAIN WITH THE MOST CURRENT UPDATE OF PAPA. UNFORTUNATELY, ONCE AGAIN PAPA WAS ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL ON APRIL 18TH, 2005 AND DISCHARGED ON APRIL 28TH, 2005.
HIS ADMISSION THIS TIME WAS DUE TO NEEDING ANTIBIOTICS THROUGH IV AS WELL AS HIS BLOOD COUNTS BEING TOO LOW. THE ONCOLOGIST WANTED TO HAVE PAPA ON CONTINUOUS IV FLUIDS TO IMPROVE HIS KIDNEY FUNCTION AND WOUND UP CHANGING HIS PAIN MEDICATION AS WELL.
THERE WERE MOMENTS OF BEING VERY SCARED THAT PAPA MIGHT NOT MAKE IT OUT OF THE HOSPITAL. HE HAD TO HAVE SEVERAL BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS AND UNITS OF PLATELETS. A CHEST X-RAY WAS COMPLETED BEFORE LEAVING THE HOSPITAL WITH PAPA HAVING FLUID IN HIS LEFT LUNG AND THAT IS BEING WATCHED VERY CAREFULLY. WITH THE ON GOING CHAIN OF PRAYER’S THAT CONTINUE AND MOST OF ALL “GOD’S INTERVENTION” PAPA IS NOW MUCH STRONGER, EATING BETTER AND NO PAIN SINCE LEAVING THE HOSPITAL. PAPA HAS ACTUALLY CROSSED TWO HURDLES SINCE BEING DIAGNOSED WITH SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER THAT ALMOST TOOK HIM AWAY FROM US. SO YOU SEE MIRACLES DO HAPPEN. “THANK YOU FOR YOUR GROUP SUPPORT OF PRAYER’S.”
WITH HAVING SAID THE ABOVE, TOMORROW GEORGE AND I TAKE PAPA FOR HIS 3RD ROUND OF CHEMO TREATMENTS. THE DOCTOR ALREADY TOLD US THAT HE WILL BE DECREASING HIS CHEMO MEDICATION TOMORROW (WEDNESDAY 05/04/05.) WE KNOW THURSDAY IS SCHEDULED TO BE A LONGER CHEMO TREATMENT DAY AND FRIDAY WE JUST HAVE TO SEE HOW IT GOES. WITH PAPA FEELING SO MUCH BETTER HE DOESN’T QUITE UNDERSTAND WHY HE HAS TO CONTINUE THE CHEMO TREATMENT, YET IF HE DOESN’T THE CELLS WILL DOUBLE.
PAPA IS STILL ON 3 LITERS OF OXYGEN AND THAT IS PRETTY MUCH OF THE TIME. HE REALIZES THAT EVEN 5 MINUTES OFF OXYGEN MAKES A DIFFERENCE. WE HAVE A NURSE THAT MAKES ONE OR TWO HOME VISITS A WEEK JUST TO MAKE A ROUTINE CHECK. THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT COMES ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK AS WELL TO HELP WITH HIS MOTOR SKILLS. AS OF TODAY, PAPA DID “EXCELLENT” WITH HIS THERAPY.
I DID ASK PAPA IF HE WANTED TO RELAY ANY MESSAGE TO YOU FOLKS AND THIS IS THE FOLLOWING:
“THANKS IS NOT ENOUGH. WHEN CANCER HITS YOU AS IT HAS ME, YOU CAN’T THINK OR TALK FOR YOURSELF. THINGS ARE JUST NOT CLEAR. HOPEFULLY, ONE DAY I CAN GET AROUND TO EVERYBODY AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYER’S.”
PLEASE KEEP PAPA’S ONCOLOGIST AND HIS STAFF IN YOUR PRAYER’S AS WELL AS THE HOSPITAL STAFF WHO HAVE GIVEN HIM SUCH WONDERFUL AND PRECIOUS MEDICAL ATTENTION.
THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR LOVE, SUPPORT AND THE CONSTANT PRAYER’S FOR PAPA AS WELL AS OUR WHOLE FAMILY. IT’S AMAZING!!!
LOVE TO ALL,
APRIL 28, 2005 (VASSAR'S HEALTH UPDATE)
Hi all, good news today about Vassar's ongoing fight with lung cancer.
His platelets are up and he has been released from the hospital. If he continues to
feel strong, he will be able to have another chemo treatment on Monday.
Vassar will be so missed at Merlefest this weekend! Please keep him in your
thoughts and prayers, as well as Midge and the rest of his family.
APRIL 21, 2005 (VASSAR’S HEALTH UPDATE)
On the Monday after the doctors visit, Vassar's blood counts were low enough to warrant being admitted
back to the hospital. He had a CT scan on Tuesday and unfortunately the results indicated that Vassar's liver
appeared to be worse than before, and that the cancer had further spread. After a transfusion, the counts are
are continually dropping. Please keep Vassar in your hearts. Hugs of appreciation are sent from Vassar, Midge and the entire family.
APRIL 18, 2005 (PAPA’S HEALTH UPDATE)
(MONDAY) HEALTH UPDATE ON PAPA AS OF TODAY WITH HIS OFFICE VISIT TO
THE ONCOLOGIST EARLIER THIS MORNING IS THAT IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM
TO BE ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL ONCE AGAIN. HIS PLATELET COUNT IS LOW,
HE'S DEHYDRATED AND NEEDS IV FLUIDS AS WELL AS AN ANTIBIOTIC. PAPA
HASN'T EATEN ANY FOOD IN 3 DAYS, THEREFORE, HE'S EVEN MORE SO WEAKED.
HOPEFULLY, HE WILL FEEL MUCH BETTER IN A FEW DAYS. PAPA IS A SICK BABY
RIGHT NOW, BUT MAYBE THERE ARE SOME BRIGHTER DAYS JUST AROUND THE
CORNER. MORE THAN LIKELY, IN A FEW DAYS WE'LL HAVE MORE DETAILS AFTER
HAVING A CT SCAN. PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR HIM. "THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL YOUR
APRIL 15, 2005 (PAPA’S HEALTH UPDATE)
HI EVERYONE! MIDGE HERE….WITH PAPA’S DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENTS SINCE HIS DIAGNOSIS OF “SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER.” THIS IS THE FIRST CHANCE “I’VE” HAD TO PERSONALLY GIVE YOU WONDERFUL AND CARING FOLKS AN UPDATE. I DO WANT TO TAKE THIS TIME TO “THANK THOSE OF YOU” WHO HAVE SENT CARDS AND FOR THE CONTINUOUS PRAYER’S FOR PAPA’S RECOVERY. I WILL “NEVER” BE ABLE TO THANK YOU PERSONALLY BUT I’M SO VERY GRATEFUL FOR THE OUT POURING OF CONCERN. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
PAPA DID HAVE HIS FIRST ROUND OF CHEMO TREATMENTS (03/15/05, 03/16/05 AND 03/17/05) WHICH CONSISTED OF (3) DAYS BACK TO BACK IN MARCH WHILE IN THE HOSPITAL. HE WAS HOSPITALIZED MARCH 14TH AND DISCHARGED MARCH 31ST. HIS ONCOLOGIST MADE IT VERY CLEAR TO US THE FIRST TWO WEEKS WOULD BE CRITICAL AND CRUCIAL. NEED I SAY, IT WAS A VERY TRYING TIME. AT THE TIME, PAPA WAS ACTUALLY IN LIVER FAILURE. WITH THE MANY PRAYER’S AND MOST OF ALL GOD’S WILL AND INTERVENTION PAPA CAME THROUGH THE VARIOUS OBSTACLES HE ENDURED DURING HIS STAY IN THE HOSPITAL.
MONDAY 04/11/05, TUESDAY 04/12/05 AND WEDNESDAY 04/13/05 WAS THE 2ND ROUND OF CHEMO TREATMENTS. PAPA DID FAIRLY WELL. ON WEDNESDAY AFTER HIS CHEMO HE WAS GIVEN A SHOT CALLED NEULASTA TO HELP THE WHITE BLOOD CELLS AND BONE MARROW. I WAS TOLD HE MIGHT HAVE FLU LIKE SYMPTONS AND MORE WEAKNESS IN A FEW DAYS AS A RESULT OF THE SHOT. THURSDAY NIGHT AND TODAY HE HASN’T FELT REAL WELL.
WE RETURN ON MONDAY 04/18/05 FOR AN OFFICE VISIT AS WELL AS A POSSIBLE SHOT FOR THE RED BLOOD CELLS, THEN NEXT TO SCHEDULE A TIME FOR A CT SCAN TO SEE WHAT THE CHEMO TREATMENTS HAVE ACCOMPLISHED.
PAPA, GEORGE AND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. I’VE BEEN BLESSED TO HAVE SISTER’S (TERRY AND RENEE) FROM PAPA’S FIRST MARRIAGE DRIVING BACK AND FORTH FROM FLORIDA ON THE WEEKENDS TO HELP ME OUT. NOT TO MENTION, (JANICE) PAPA’S SISTER WHO STAYED WITH ME AT THE HOSPITAL MOST OF THE FIRST TWO WEEKS WHICH WERE CRITICAL AND CRUCIAL. JANICE, TERRY AND RENEE HAVE BEEN A “GOD SENT TO ME.” MY NIECE MISTY AND HER BOYFRIEND KYLE HAVE BEEN AT MY BECKON CALL. THEY ALL HAVE BEEN SUCH A TREMENDOUS HELP TO ME AND OF COURSE TO PAPA.
PAPA’S COUSIN, CARROLL, WHICH HE THINKS OF AS A BROTHER CAME TO VISIT PAPA WHILE HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL AND THAT WAS VERY SHORTLY AFTER CARROLL HIMSELF HAD SHOULDER SURGERY.
IN CLOSING, EVEN THOUGH WE KNOW THE DIAGNOSIS ISN’T GOOD, WE STILL HOPE AND PRAY FOR GOD’S INTERVENTION WITH A MIRACLE. PAPA IS TRYING HIS BEST TO KEEP UPBEAT!!!
I’LL TRY AND GIVE HEALTH UPDATES AS OFTEN AS I CAN.
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ALL THE CARDS, PRAYER’S, PHONE CALLS AND VISITS.
March 30th Update on Vassar's Condition
Hello Friends, This update as of March 30th on Vassar's condition. Hopefully tomorrow Vassar can go home
for a few days. He has been in the hospital since March 14th receiving treatment for his condition. Today Vassar
received a blood transfusion in order to boost his weakened white and red blood cell counts. If all goes well and
his counts increase, Vassar will receive another round of Chemo next week. He has asked us to THANK each
and every person who is thinking of him, posted to his guestbook, sent cards and letters of encouragement,
as well as the phone calls of support. He asked for us to pass on a blanket THANK YOU to everyone since
there is no way he could ever respond to the overwhelming kindness the world is giving back to him. He is also
very thankful for all the artists, promoters, and other music industry professionals that have come forward with
their support. Folks like Randy + Beth Judy who made it a point to ask for kind thoughts throughout the recent
Suwannee Springfest, folks like Tony Rice who drove the night to lend his support to Vassar, and the others
who have let Vassar know if he needed anything, they would stop their tours to come to help. Great friends of
a great man. Please keep the prayers coming, as well as the letters and cards as they are all deeply appreciated.
No phone calls please.
Update on Vassar's Chemo Treatment
First of all, THANK YOU for all the prayers and
guestbook messages. We've printed them out and
sent it to him and I hope it will give him comfort
in knowing that so many people have been inspired
by him and are praying for him.
We talked to Midge over the weekend and got an update
on Vassar's treatment. The chemo is very difficult
and Vassar has been unable to eat. Please pray for
his appetite to return and for his strength to increase.
And of course for the chemo to attack only the cancerous
Also, please pray for strength for Vassar's wonderful
family, many of whom we've had the pleasure to meet.
He is blessed with a family that loves him very much -
his daughters Terry and Renee, stepdaughters Midge
and Darlene, his sister Janice and his brother/cousin
Carroll and all their families.
It's the first day of Spring, a time of renewal and
rejuvenation, and a holy time for those of us of the
Christian faith, as Vassar is. PLEASE keep those
Laura and Christian
Vassar Clements Diagnosed With Lung Cancer
It is with great sadness that we must type the news of Vassar's recent diagnosis (March 11th) of small cell lung cancer. He is in the good hands of confident doctors and the hearts and prayers of family, friends, and fans. His faith in God, his always upbeat spirit, and the happiness he has brought through his music will all play a role in the hopeful miracle we pray for. And something not to be forgotten, he is in the great care of his daughter Midge and son-in-law George. Vassar is also blessed with a wonderful and supportive extended family.
In light of these health developments, Vassar will be unable to make scheduled performances for the month of March. Please stay tuned to the website for any further cancellations. He is receiving immediate treatment for this form of aggressive cancer.
The beauty of Vassar's music matches the kindness of Vassar's soul. We ask all who have ever been touched by him to please pray for a speedy recovery. God performs miracles everyday, and noone deserves it more then this true gentleman.
For those who recently placed orders, please allow some added time for delivery. We do apologize and hope for your understanding.
Please sign the guestbook to give Vassar something to read as he starts this journey. Cards are welcome and can be sent to the PO BOX listed on the contact page. No phones calls please.
Laura and Christian
The Biscuit Burners Fire Up The Ryman With Special Guest Vassar Clements
Vassar Clements joined upcoming bluegrass quartet The
Biscuit Burners onstage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Wednesday, November 10, 2004. Vassar played on two
of the band's original songs, "Come On Darlin'" and "Red Mountain Wine". The surprise appearance was part
of the historic Ryman Auditorium's $10 on the 10th Mystery Artist Series celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the
legendary theater's renovation. Rhonda Vincent and The Rage headlined the show, which ended with a traditional bluegrass
Click here for gallery photos of Vassar's Ryman performance with The Biscuit Burners
Listen to a RealAudio Soundclip of "Red Mountain Wine" from The Ryman Auditorium, November 10, 2004
The New Vassar Clements Signature Fiddle is Available Online!
Click here for more information
The New CD LIVIN' WITH THE BLUES Is Here!
Livin' With The Blues (Acoustic Disc).
Acoustic Disc proudly delivers Livin’ With The Blues, the first ever blues album from award winning fiddler supreme, Vassar Clements. Throughout his illustrious fifty-plus year career, Vassar has earned a reputation as one of America’s greatest folk musicians-and as one of the architects of bluegrass music, Vassar always put the blues in bluegrass.
For decades Vassar has added his magical touch to recordings by a diverse musical "Who’s Who"-Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, John Hartford, the Grateful Dead, Linda Ronstadt, the Allman Brothers Band, Bonnie Raitt and Paul McCartney among many others. But it is only now with Livin’ With The Blues that Clements is provided with authentic rural and urban blues settings to showcase his soulful playing. Produced by mandolin champion David Grisman with harmonica ace Norton Buffalo, Livin’ With The Blues teams Vassar with blues heroes Charlie Musselwhite, Elvin Bishop, Maria Muldaur, Roy Rogers, Norton Buffalo and Bob Brozman.
While Vassar Clements has often been considered the ‘bluesiest’ of the bluegrass fiddlers, it wasn’t until producer Grisman asked him what kind of record he wanted to make, that the soft spoken septuagenarian replied "I’ve always wanted to make a blues record."
Livin’ With The Blues kicks off with Skip James’ swampy "Cypress Grove," with Vassar’s lonesome fiddle accompanied by Bob Brozman’s National slide guitar. Arkansas’ #1 blues export Elvin Bishop cleans house with his own "Dirty Drawers" and "That’s My Thing," while the queen of the Oasis, Maria Muldaur gets low-down with Vassar on "Honey Babe Blues" and Bessie Smith’s "I Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle." Other tracks guaranteed to keep you in the crossroads include Roy Rogers desolate take on Robert Johnson’s "Phonograph Blues," "Mambo Boogie" featuring the pulsating piano of Dave Mathews and the Booker T. Jones classic "Green Onions," given a new twist by Charlie Musselwhite and Vassar. "Rube’s Blues" features 19-year old blues guitar whiz David Jacob-Strain helping Vassar reinvent a bluegrass standard and Norton Buffalo brings it all home with his unique soul treatment of his own "Don’t Stand Behind A Mule."
Vassar Clements has been a living legend for quite some time-but right now he’s Livin’ With The Blues.
Click here to get your autographed copy of Vassar's latest release Livin' With The Blues.
Vassar is featured in the August 2004 Issue of Pure Music
Vassar was interviewed by Frank Goodman of PURE MUSIC for the August issue on a variety of topics.
Click here to read the entire interview
The New CD RUNAWAY FIDDLE Is Here!
Runaway Fiddle (OMS Records).This project is a labor of love of two of the greatest fiddle players of modern times, Vassar Clements and Buddy Spicher. Buddy Spicher is one of Nashville's most recorded session artists and arrangers, and Vassar Clements is perhaps the best know fiddler in bluegrass and contemporary acoustic music.
On Runaway Fiddle these two legends team up to record tunes they grew up loving, playing, and internalizing, but for the most part, never recording.
Selections include 1920's show tunes, Western Swing, Dixieland. Several songs are interpretations of songs popularized by country music icon Bob Wills, who created the new art form called Western Swing. All tracks offer the sophisticated harmonic arrangements by two of the masters of the instrument.
Click here to get your autographed copy of Vassar's latest release Runaway Fiddle.
Vassar graces the cover of Bluegrass Now magazine
"The Magic of Vassar Clements" is the cover article for the April edition of Bluegrass Now magazine. The article was written by Caroline Wright,
and features comments and praise for Vassar's great talent by legendary guitarist Tony Rice.
Click here to read an excerpt from the
article "The Magic of Vassar Clements".
The New CD FULL CIRCLE Is Here!
On Full Circle (OMS Records) Vassar returns to his bluegrass roots with an all star cast that includes Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Bryan Sutton, Peter Rowan, John Cowan, Josh Graves,
Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, J. D. Crowe, Billy Troy, Alan O’Bryant, Ricky Skaggs, Jim & Jesse and Jake Landers. Shining through it all is the breathtaking creativity
of Vassar Clements.
Click here for some reviews of Full Circle.
Click here to get your autographed copy of Vassar's latest release Full Circle.
Click here to get the new Full Circle tee shirt.
The New CD DEAD GRASS Is Here!
Get your autographed copy of the new release DEAD GRASS featuring Vassar Clements.
A bluegrass twist on some Grateful Dead favorites.
"Tennessee Jazz & Blues Society"
The Summer Concert Series at the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville presented Vassar & The Little Big Band for an early evening of down home Swing that pleased fans of both Jazz & Folk Music. The group featured Paul Zonn on (woodwinds), Brian Zonn (bass), Chris Munson (drums), Lee Owen (guitar), Fred Bogert (keyboard, vocals) & Vassar (fiddle, vocals). The audience was entertained as well as enjoyed a concert on the lawn with the delights of a picnic.
"Quixote's True Blue"
Vassar shared the stage with Stir Fried at Quixote's True Blue for two days in Colorado. The band performed songs from their current "ElectraFried" CD which was recorded live in October of '96. They managed to throw in a few exceptional versions of Deadhead favorites as well as blending & topping it off with the improvisational fiddling of Vassar. The crowd enjoyed the high quality upbeat music.
"Florida Folk Festival"
The Memorial Day week-end would involve (3) days of Festivities. Vassar would be conducting several
"Fiddle Seminars" with the assistance of Sheri Margrave. The Seminars would consist of beginner, intermediate
& advance classes. On Friday night the unexpected show during the Masters of Tradition Ceremony took place
with a three minute pick up band of local musicians. On Saturday, Vassar was able to attend a family reunion
close by & return to the festival for a brief interview. Saturday night Vassar joined several musicians for
the Western Swing Dance. It was powerful & everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves.
The Finale for Saturday night took place on the Main Stage. Billy Dean sang several solos, then was joined by Vassar &
other musicians that had the audience singing & clapping along. A night of entertainment was had by all.
On Sunday afternoon Vassar & Sheri conducted the last Seminar before the week-end was about to end. It was
quite obvious the students & parents were pleased, not to mention that Vassar & Sheri enjoyed working with
everyone who had taken part in the classes. Afterwards, Vassar was headed to Nashville for a few days of rest.
"The 23rd Annual Bluegrass, Arts & Crafts Festival"
Vassar took part in the 23rd Annual Bluegrass, Arts & Crafts Festival at Seminole City Park in Seminole, Florida. He performed with the band Endless Highway. Just so happens, fiddle player Sheri Margrave had her fiddle & was asked to join in on several tunes. A day of fun, food & music was had by all. The Seminole Junior Woman's Club sponsored the event. All of the proceeds go to local Children's Charities.
"The Blotter Boys"
Vassar & The Blotter Boys played six engagements which consisted of Georgia, North Carolina & South Carolina. The band included Sammy Piazza (drums), Boyd Albritton (guitar), Buddy Cage (steel guitar), Bubba Robertson (bass) & Vassar (fiddle). The guys played everything from Rock, Country, Jazz & as always request for Vassar's Bluegrass. At the "Brandy House" after several encores the band was joined by Rev. Jeff Mosier. The band gave a strong performance to a packed house at "The Savannah Blues". Due to the environment "The Tabernacle Theater" Vassar & Buddy shined as usual, while Albritton, Piazza & Robertson held down a powerful rhythm section. The "Music Farm" performance turned out to be flawless. "Ziggy's" performance brought forth much enthusiasm as well as numerous encores.
"Vassar performs in Troy, New York"
Fiddle virtuosos' Mark O'Connor, Johnny Gimble, Claude Williams & Vassar performing fiddle selections which can only be played by musicians of the highest caliber. Also, Vassar & former band members Bob Harris on guitar & Joe Dye on bass teamed up as a Jazz Trio at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall for an evening of Jazz & other selections. The audience was in for a night of talent as well as variations of music.
"Vassar Heads West"
Vassar & The Little Big Band heads West entertaining fans in Seattle, Washington, Portland & Eugene
Oregon with jazz & lively swing sounds.
"Vassar invades Brooklyn"
After working on a new album with The Toni Brown Band at End Result Studio in Brooklyn, that evening Vassar,
Bob Harris , Buddy Cage & The Electrix treat the patrons to an evening of music at "Limestones" in Brooklyn.
"Jazz Is Dead"
Boulder, Colorado welcomes "Jazz Is Dead" with Vassar as their Special Guest enlightening fans of their
renditions of songs from The Grateful Dead's Album "Wake of the Flood".
Before returning home to Nashville, Vassar joined friends of the late Charles Sawtelle in the studio to record a tribute.
Day (1) Friday
Question & Answer Session with Vassar & Richard Greene.
That evening, The Jorma Kaukonen Trio was joined by special guest Vassar & his funky fiddle. The group delivered a tight yet relaxed set, featuring note perfect renditions of several selections.
Day (2) Saturday
In the P.M., Vassar & The Little Big Band entertained the crowd with their jazz/swing collaborations warming the unseasonably chilly evening.
Day (3) Sunday
Vassar's long time friends, Peter Rowan, Tony Rice & Richard Greene are joined by friends Mark Schatz, Butch Baldassari & Robert Bowlin in a bluegrass All Star Jam.
"Glen Schweitzer's Jalapeno Brothers"
Vassar astounds the audience as he joins Glen Schweitzer's Jalapeno Brothers in New York's Wetlands.
The group joined by Phish's bass player Mike Gordon entertained the audience with a country rock/bluegrass
fusion which rocked the room for over 3 hours. The group consisted of Glen Schweitzer, John Paul, Jay Catalano,
Buddy Cage, Gordon Stone, Stacy Starkweather and Vassar.
"Sheldon Concert Hall"
Vassar joins "The Flying Mules" at the Sheldon Concert Hall for the notes from home concert series fifth
anniversary celebration. Playing a mix of traditional bluegrass combined with a little jazz and rock. Vassar
also joined international steel guitar Hall of Fame Inductee, Doug Jernigan along with "Scotty's All-Star Steel
Band". The group played for the post concert dance.
"Station Inn Benefit"
Vassar joins numerous friends for benefit given for world champion fiddler & dear friend Randy Howard who recently
passed away June 29, 1999 at the age of 38.
"The Hillbilly Funk All Stars"
Vassar grooves with the "HFA" traveling the East Coast from Savannah to Schenectady. Treating the fans to an
electic mix of tunes. Band members included T Lavitz, Richie Hayward, Catfish Hodge, Kenny Gradney & Vassar.