It is with a sad heart that I write this blog about my friend Ira Winarsky, one of my earliest Florida students, who died a few days ago. He was found on the floor of his home near Gainesville, Florida, on January 1. He had attended Dale Crider's New Year's Eve gathering where he had heard his friends including Dale, Hunter Merritt and his dad Wyndell, and our son Chris play music. Ira dearly loved music and art. He himself was an artist who supported his avant-garde creativity by teaching at the University of Florida where he was a Full Professor of Architecture. You can learn more about him and his art at his web site: http://www.artfromiraland.com.
I wrote about Ira in the my first-ever Banjo Newsletter column, June 1983. The article was titled "A Day Of Banjo Teaching" and I was moved to write it after reading an earlier BNL article by the same titled with which I violently disagreed! (No surprise there!) I set up the column to spotlight each student according to their time slot. Ira had the last lesson of the day, 7:30, so I closed out with him. Here's what I wrote: ...continue reading