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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

Band of Friends Part II

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

Good morning, Netizens...

Originally I was going to write about my band of friends, those people whom I have loved and admired throughout most of my days. However, writing about my band of friends has changed so much, particularly with Community Comment and the Virtual Ballroom, that I decided to write about another person's band of friends before I spoke of my own loved ones.

I have known Jim Faddis for quite a number of years as an outstanding songwriter and musician. Aside from his being a police detective for the Spokane Police Department, he has a very distinctive gift of that “high lonesome” sound so highly valued by Bluegrass musicians everywhere. Add to that, he has proven, over time, that he is a gifted, intuitive songwriter. I have lost track of the number of original compositions that Jim has written or where he collaborated with Richard Doble, but each one of them contain the essence of what I believe a good song should be, each one touches my heart in all the right places.

This picture of he and truck driver and superb song writer/musician Richard Doble (on the right) perhaps is one of the few good pictures I possess of these two together, without the various bands they have performed in together for many wonderful years. However, I have memories that I cling to that reach far beyond this picture. I remember times when they sang together on the sidewalks of Spokane, simply for the sheer joy of the art of music, the various festivals held throughout a three-state area, and I even predicted when they musically would part from one another, for perhaps the some of the same reasons as Jim and myself parted years earlier.

It is not easy being a police detective and associating with other musicians or even members of the general public.

I am certain, beyond a question of a doubt, that Jim probably has a long list of what he calls his personal band of friends, but I know in my heart, from once having closely associated with both he and the late Richard Doble, he closely guards his heart as he rightfully should. However, his band of friends, based upon trust is what one would call love.

Despite having separated from one another musically, despite the inner turmoil their musical separation caused in both their lives, Richard called Jim from his cell phone as he left Oklahoma heading for Texas, as friends often do. He reminded Jim of a song they often sang together, “The Dust of Oklahoma” and at Richard's funeral in Newport, Washington, I constantly remembered one of the songs this band of friends sang so well. The title? “Something broken in my heart.” Richard died of a massive heart attack several days later.

Rest in Peace, Richard. I will not forget you, for as abstract as it might be, you are still in my band of friends.


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.