26. Epilogue: R.I.P. Big Al Downing

Big Al DowningI got an e-mail on July 5th, 2005 that said Big Al Downing had passed away. My whole family was very sad to hear the news. Just the week before we had gotten word from Vernon Sandusky that Big Al was gravely ill. My mom, dad and I sent him a get well soon card, which probably got there too late.

This is from Big Al's website, www.bigaldowning.com: "We regret to inform you that on July 4th, 2005 at approx. 6:45pm, Country Music legend and Rockabilly Hall of Famer, Big Al Downing, passed away from complications stemming from Leukemia. Please keep his family in your prayers. Big Al's music and warm personality shall surely live on forever!"

Vernon and my dad went to the memorial service for Big Al, held in Coffeyville, Kansas on the following Sunday. Both were asked to speak at the service and they were proud to relate some of their experiences from so long ago to Big Al's family and friends...