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The Measure Of A Man

December 20th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

This week was bittersweet on many levels, but it has been a blessing too! I was able to honor two good friends… one living and one gone. My dear friend Walt passed unexpectedly last week, but I’ll get to that fine gentleman in a moment. On Sunday evening Vanessa and Izze and I joined the Hurlbut family and friends to celebrate the 95th birthday of their Dad… Ray.

Ray Hurlbut 95, Jorma Kaukonen 75

Ray Hurlbut 95, Jorma Kaukonen 75

Ray is my buddy John’s Dad. One of the oldest living WWII Vets in the state of Ohio, Ray served in the Navy as a radio operator on a bomber in the Pacific and other venues. The Hurlbut family and the Kaukonen family have become very close over the years. Our daughter Izze carries the name Lucy on her passport. Lucy was Ray’s wife… John’s mom.

Liam, Ray, Nessa and Izze show team effort with candle duty

Liam, Ray, Nessa and Izze show team effort with candle duty

‘How are you doing?’ I might ask… and Ray is just as likely to answer, ‘Still cheating Death, Jorma. Still cheating Death’ That’s a dark witticism… but Ray is not dark at all. To have a friend such as him is such a blessing.

Ray at 24 in 1944

Ray at 24 in 1944

And a hearty thanks to Kevin Morgan for his great poster!

That was Sunday with Ray and the Hurlbuts.

Today Vanessa and I drove to Cincinnati for our dear friend Walt Sample’s funeral. Walt was called Home suddenly for reasons that may elude those of us left behind. Was his work done? Was it simply the way it was? This is not for me to say. I do know that Walt touched many lives from many worlds… different sorts of people with humanity in common. Today at the funeral home Walt bound us together with his spirit and I shall hold this feeling close to my heart as long as I live.

You made a difference Walt… and you continue to do so!

We love you brother!

We love you brother!

Honor, love, respect… These are the measure of a man! Ray has them… and Walt will always have them. I can only aspire to follow in the footsteps of such truly good men!

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  1. Carey Georgas
    December 21st, 2016 at 08:40 | #1

    75 and still aspiring. That says a lot right there.

  2. Richard
    December 21st, 2016 at 10:16 | #2

    Happy Bday to you Jorma..May you play for us for as long as you wish..Mine is tomorrow..Been seeing HT since the days at the Palladium since 1976 in NYC..And after all that time you still give 100% at the shows..40 years now..wow how time sure does fly..

  3. Mitch Spector
    December 21st, 2016 at 10:56 | #3

    Happy Birthday Jorma ..So proud to call you my Idol ..Been that way for me since the early 70’s ..I am 56 and you have been like a family member to my brothers and i . Many more happy and healthy birthdays Jorma .May your Lamps always be trimmed & burning strong .
    Peace & love .

  4. johno
    December 21st, 2016 at 11:35 | #4

    Happy Birthday Jorma – many more years of touring. You look no more than 60 and your voice is strong. God bless you.

  5. Kerry Cavanaugh
    December 21st, 2016 at 12:29 | #5

    Happy Birthday Jorma! Hope you are having an awesome day! When will see you in Athens, Georgia again? Any chance of a Hot Tuna show coming this way? I saw your last show at the Foundry and would love to see you again!

  6. Joey Hudoklin
    December 21st, 2016 at 13:37 | #6

    Jorma, you, your fans, and family are blessed.
    Happy, Happy Birthday!

  7. Paul
    December 21st, 2016 at 14:14 | #7

    Jorma, please accept my sincere condolences and please convey the same to John. I am sure that Ray will be sorely missed and kindly remembered. May he Rest In Peace.

  8. Carey Georgas
    December 21st, 2016 at 20:25 | #8

    If I may bring a little levity to the day, I’m sitting here watching family feud. A contestant was born in Bethlehem, PA, raised in Nazareth, and wanna guess his wife’s name? Carmen! What’re the odds?

  9. Chappy
    December 21st, 2016 at 20:50 | #9

    Happy Birthday Jorma. Nice to hear about John’s father. Goodness runs in that family! My father passsed in 2008. He served at the end of WWII and later Korea. I do miss him. Mom still going strong at 89…flew down to Richmond today from Cleveland to visit with me and her loving granddaughter Nikki. A special couple of weeks with Nanny for sure! I didn’t know Walt personally but how people remember him says a lot about him. Wishing you, your family, John and all the FPR folks blessings for Christmas and the holidays.

  10. John R.
    December 22nd, 2016 at 09:38 | #10

    Very best birthday wishes, Jorma. And thank you for everything you have given us.

  11. Greg martelli
    December 22nd, 2016 at 12:19 | #11

    No wonder John is always in a great place, to be in such esteemed company as his 95 year olde dad .
    Keep on truckin

  12. wolf h
    December 23rd, 2016 at 04:34 | #12

    Happy birthday to you, Jorma. Have a nice day with family and friends! Greetings from Germany and: Onwards! (I quote a well-known guitarplayer….)

  13. Dead Head
    December 23rd, 2016 at 08:08 | #13


  14. Hogan
    December 23rd, 2016 at 09:09 | #14

    Dear Jorma,

    Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Jorrrmaaa, Happy Birthday tooooo yooouuuuuu….Hope you have a wonderful day and all your birthday wishes come true….

    You are always singing for us so this is one day we get to sing to you…
    Have a great day and many more…


  15. Greg
    December 23rd, 2016 at 09:50 | #15

    Happy Birthday, Jorma!
    Your pal, Greg

  16. Ruby Russo
    December 23rd, 2016 at 10:46 | #16

    Happy Birthday Jorma!
    Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah!
    Happy Hot Tuna!
    Let the good times roll on and on.

  17. George Henn
    December 23rd, 2016 at 10:53 | #17

    Happy Birthday, Jorma! Many more!

  18. willy
    December 23rd, 2016 at 11:44 | #18

    Many Happy Returns of The Day Jorma….

    Stumbled on this looking at news of the day this morning….

  19. johno
    December 23rd, 2016 at 12:18 | #19

    Happy Birthday Jorma – STO LOT! Enjoy your day!

  20. jimhitchcock
    December 23rd, 2016 at 12:59 | #20

    Happy Birthday Jorma!

  21. carey georgas
    December 23rd, 2016 at 13:09 | #21

    Happy Birthday, Jorma! Hope you have a wonderful day of celebration.

  22. Ham n Eggs
    December 23rd, 2016 at 16:08 | #22

    A very merry unbirthday Izzie and Vanessa!
    Love All Ways
    and Happy Holidays to all

  23. Mitch Spector
    December 23rd, 2016 at 16:08 | #23

    Happy and a healthy Birthday Jorma ..
    Hope its your best one ever.

  24. DennisK
    December 23rd, 2016 at 16:32 | #24

    Happy Birthday Captain.

    Looking forward to seeing you in 2017!

  25. Brian Doyle
    December 23rd, 2016 at 19:44 | #25

    Merry 76 Jorma. The power of the grinding guitar to you…

  26. eaglesteve
    December 23rd, 2016 at 20:41 | #26

    Happy #76 Captain, and many, many, more

  27. carlo pagliano
    December 23rd, 2016 at 21:01 | #27

    Happy Birthday Jorma!
    Thanks for a memorable night at the Infinity with Legendary Jorma!
    Fantastic time we rock.

  28. jim hitchcock
    December 24th, 2016 at 01:33 | #28

    Comnenters on Cracks on the Finish all wish a John Cippolina fresh air happy birthday to still groovin JK.
    Might as well keep churning it out, what’d’ya gotta lose? 🙂

  29. Greg martelli
    December 24th, 2016 at 11:56 | #29

    Happy birthday John CIPPOLINA – gone but not forgotten -HAPPY TRAILS
    A true wizard on guitar , left to early. CAVALRY ,A true breath of FRESH AIR

  30. Ham n Eggs
    December 24th, 2016 at 14:18 | #30

    Just came across this last minute stocking stuffer
    A choice selection of 11 songs one Jorma,Larry and Teresa,Bill Kirchen, Suzzy Roche and others.
    Very nice indeed.
    Love All Ways

  31. johno
    December 24th, 2016 at 17:31 | #31

    Playin the Jorma Christmas cd – it is so good. Happy Channukuh Jorma!
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

  32. kevin kennedy
    December 27th, 2016 at 19:10 | #32

    My father (Matthew Kennedy) who would have been 92 this year was also a radioman during WWII and Korea. Trained to be a radioman in Bedford Pa. before going aboard the USS Belleau Wood (CVL24) in the Pacific. Wonder if he knew John’s father?….