Author: Lange, David

Remembering Allen Light
If you have read the postings on the Message Board the last couple of days you know how beloved Allen Light was, how much he accomplished, and you’ll get an idea of the huge contribution he made to the bluegrass community. And I know those messages are just a microcosm. Again one of our family taken from us way too soon. This is a very sad time, and I would like to extend my sincere condolences to those that were closest to Allen including Kris Hare and Larry Kuhn.

I would like to dedicate today’s column to Allen. While I did not get to know him as well as a lot of folks did, my friendship with him goes back a number of years. Allen and I met for the first time when he came to a jam campout at my home in the mid 1990’s. My first impression of him was that he was very friendly, very energetic, ever so thankful, and VERY neat and organized….

I found him a place to camp, which he set up very neatly; everything in its place. So neat in fact, I would joke with him about how messy he was making his neighbors look!

When we got around to picking, it became obvious that Allen was an exceptional musician, though very limited as far as bluegrass songs. He played with what I think was a classical guitar, and a little foot rest. (I have heard that his early music background may have included classical, flamenco, and pop). Allen was very enthusiastic and expressed a real desire to learn bluegrass……. AND BOY DID HE EVER!!

I began seeing him at bluegrass festivals and jams; playing, singing, and making many new friends. I was stunned to see how fast he was learning bluegrass songs. He was progressing at a pace like I had NEVER seen before. Many times I commented to people “Have you heard Allen Light ??!! He must be practicing 24 hours a day!!” In no time he had a big library of bluegrass tunes under his belt…..and was belting them out; with a great voice!! Allen’s drive,commitment,and love for the music made a lasting impression on me.

Allen made a lasting impression on many,many people with his huge heart, playful attitude, love of bluegrass music and drive to enjoy it to the fullest.

He was always friendly, upbeat,and always greeted me with a smile. I will miss that friendship most of all. Years ago he gave my son Nick a Hohner harminica knowing that Nick had an interest in learning to play music. Nick still has that harmonica, which has taken on much more meaning now.

I know there is so much more to say about Allen, for which I defer to his many friends.

I leave you today with a quote from Norman Vincent Peale that reminded me of Allen.

“Your enthusiasm will be infectious, stimulating and attractive to others. They will love you for it. They will go for you and with you”.

I’ll see you on the other side my friend.
Oh… and don’t forget that music stand……….
Posted:  4/20/2008

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