Spiritual, Kind Man

Jun 06, 2018

To the Editor:

I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful tribute to my beloved husband, Merce, and his book The Bayman (“Merce Ridgeway Remembered as a Storied Bayman, Folk Musician,” 1/24).

He continued to care about the environment and also continued playing his music while living here in West Virginia almost 31 years. He put on music shows in many places, at several festivals, the fire hall, the community hall, the museum in Middlebourne, and the head start program, which later adopted a music program, which pleased us both. Our daughter, Virginia, drove and worked there many years. He also played at the 4-H camp, for senior citizens at the fair and their meeting place and for quite a few years at a music show called “Molehill Music,” which many have missed.

He continued to go back to New Jersey for projects and performed at the Baymen’s Museum also. His last place to perform was the Veterans Hospital in Clarksburg, W.Va. He became a volunteer and took his guitar to every appointment he had and played his music for anyone who asked: patients, doctors, nurses and outside on a bench when the weather was kind enough.

I called his guitar “his girlfriend” who went everywhere with him. Right to the very end she was there for him – a very spiritual man and a kind man.

Arlene Martin Ridgeway

New Martinsville, W.Va.

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