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Most distressing news. My condolences to his family, friends and his close team of colleagues at Buttonbox.

 

While we never met, we corresponded on many issues regarding repairs and restoration am I shall miss his wise and cheerfully given advice.

 

I am hopeful that his friends at Buttonbox will be able to carry forward Richards sterling work.

 

Dave Prebble

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I got this news just now from the ICA committee mailing list. Like others from this side of the Atlantic, I had no idea. Oh bugger, bugger, bugger! Coming so soon after Rosie this feels most unfair. I've met Rich a couple of times; indeed on our first US trip we stayed with him for a few days. A really, really nice bloke, and did more than most for the concertina world.

 

Like others, I'll be playing my Morse concertina tonight.

 

Chris

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I was absolutely deverstated to hear the terrible news about Rich Morse's sudden untimely death.

 

I first met him many years ago when he was on a Morris tour of England, and he saw someone playing the 2nd ever Hayden Duet (the first from the very first batch of Wheatstone 46 button Hayden Duets). He immediately ordered one from that same batch, and was a champion for the Hayden duet ever since.

 

Some years later (it must be about 15 to 20 years ago now) he stayed along with Doug and Danna at my home, to discuss the making of Morse Haydens. We corresponded many times since about these, and it is with deep regret that these never finally materialised during his life time.

 

He will be a great loss to the whole concertina world. I have lost a very good friend and, am crying as I write these words!

 

Brian.

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There was just something about Rich that endeared people to him whose contacts with him were limited, or even those who had never met him. Distance prevented the two of us from having more frequent one-on-one contact, and yet I feel I have lost a friend. Reading many of these posts confirms that many others feel the same way. There are also hundreds of people whose lives have been made a little happier because of Rich's concertinas.

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My thoughts go out to his family and friends. We had exchanged a few personal messages regarding the best way to manufacture a part. His focus was on efficiency without sacrificing quality. Some people might consider those two terms to be mutually exclusive, but not Mr. Morse. Godspeed.

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There was just something about Rich that endeared people to him whose contacts with him were limited, or even those who had never met him. Distance prevented the two of us from having more frequent one-on-one contact, and yet I feel I have lost a friend. Reading many of these posts confirms that many others feel the same way. There are also hundreds of people whose lives have been made a little happier because of Rich's concertinas.

 

I never met Rich personally, but I agree with what Frank wrote. I always enjoyed reading his posts on here and I wish I had met him. I never bought one of his concertinas; I went with one of Franks, but it wasn't an easy decision. I have had a chance to play a Ceili though and it was a wonderful instrument. I will tell one short story about the first time I got to try it.

 

It was a few years agos up in the Catskills. I had been playing concertina for maybe 6 months. Anyway, I was taking Father Charlie's concertina class. I ran into a guy I had first met a couple of years before when I first went up to the Catskills. The way he looked, he could be anywhere between 85 and 120. Anyway, his son had just gotten him a Ceili as a gift. He had played the Anglo when he was young in County Clare but had given it up when he had become an adult. As he put it, his father had told him, "You can play music or you can get a job but you can't do both". So after not playing for maybe 60 years he finally had a concertina again. We traded instruments, and played a few tunes and I enjoyed listening to his stories.

 

About a year and a half ago I saw him again... He was still playing the Ceili.. but had actually worn the bellows to the point where they were worn part way through from going across his leg. He had remounted the bellows so that part was now up. Still it was obvious that he loved playing the instrument and played it often.

 

Now we all, I hope, can leave a legacy behind of joy we bring to others. I think, however, that Rich, by making excellent concertinas that were far more affordable than traditionally constructed instruments has built himself a lasting legacy of joy that will hopefully be passed on to future generations.

 

--

Bill

Edited by bill_mchale
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I didn't meet Rich. In fact, is the first time I've heard his name. But I think this is a very bad news. To lose a builder of traditional music instruments is always a bad news.

 

A little part of our traditional culture is leaving us with him. A little part of him is with us yet, living in his instruments.

 

Rest in Peace, friend.

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Five years ago or so, Kathy and I drove up to the Northeast, and we took an afternoon to drive out to Amherst. The Button Box had either just moved, or was in the process of moving, and Rich kindly invited us to his house, where we spent a few hours talking about instruments and music.

 

The world is a poorer place today.

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Never had the good fortune to meet Richard Morse, but purchased a Stagi from the Button Box, when first starting out. Though not knowing him directly, I would say he must have been a man of high integrity given the straightforward and fair-minded business practices of the Button Box, which he owned. I dealt with them a number of times regarding my concertina and when purchasing CDs; each dealing was extremely friendly, fair, and informative. I hope the Button Box's continued existence and its current business practices will serve as part of Rich's legacy to the music world and to his friends and family. Godspeed.

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