Farewell to a very special friend who died in late April at the age of 57. I first met Al Justice right here on violinist.com. Like so many of us, Al found a violinistic home here on v-com, sharing, comparing notes, giving and receiving advice and support. Al always stood out by virtue of his curiosity and imagination, as well as the depth and self-analysis of his posts.
Al was born in War, West Virginia and graduated from Big Creek High School in 1979. He served eight years in the U.S. Air Force, during which he was stationed in Spain, Portugal, Japan, as well as stateside. A self-taught musician, Al played violin, piano, bass and guitar and more, in styles including classical, bluegrass and more. He was also an English teacher, computer programmer, farmer, avid gardener, and more! He was passionate about the West Virginia mountains and participated in group efforts to preserve and protect them. He was the happiest when getting together with fellow musicians for impromptu jam sessions. He was also known to perform for his doggies.
My wife and I were privileged to get to know Al in person. We communicated online for years. Finally, in 2010 he came to Pittsburgh for a visit and a long lesson.
In two hours I tried to show him everything I knew about violin playing. I didn’t quite cover it all, so we continued lessons via Skype. Al was passionate and indefatigable in his quest to master the violin. Every day he used to post detailed practice log on FB — inspiring and intimidating!! He will be deeply missed in the violin community. RIP Al.Tweet
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