Donald Sailing Sailing

Profile Updated: October 7, 2017
Residing In Wichita, KS USA
Children Don, born 1976
Jodi, born 1978
Four granddaughters
Comments

Retired from 48 years in the Collision Repair/Auto Restoration business
Enjoy bicycling, piano, grandkids. Married Pat, a 1970 North graduate, in 1970.

I wanted to say how much I enjoyed seeing everyone at the "meet and greet" last night at Minisa Park. The visits were too short! Sorry I can't be at the Saturday night festivities, but I will have my beautiful granddaughters this weekend......and well....they win!

Anita....again, this website is terrific...thanks for your hard work...and the hard work of all your "helpers"! I'm up for a 60th reunion! Anybody else?

Donald's Latest Interactions

Jul
11
Jul 11, 2019 at 4:34 AM
Donald Sailing Sailing has left an In Memory comment for Martin Ford.
Jul
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Jul 06, 2019 at 12:33 PM

Hey everyone!   I have a story.  A story that Marty played a huge part in.  If he were here today, he'd be excited to share it!  

On my 50th birthday, Marty called to wish me a happy birthday.  We visited quite awhile and talked at great length about the Downbeats.....the band he and I played with from '64 to '70.  He said we should get the guys together for some kind of reunion.  I agreed, but I'm pretty sure we both secretly felt that might be a tough thing to do, as several of the guys lived in different cities.  After our phone call ended, I gave considerable thought to that ......for about two minutes I ......... and I called him back to say I was going to pursue getting in contact with everyone and make it happen!  So, long story short, he and I began locating everyone and set a date to meet at his house in Lampe, Missouri.  In the fall of 1999 all six of us.....Gary Bolen, Marty, Dave Gaston, Lanny Gaston, John Bowman, and myself met up for a great weekend of reuniting and laughter, and of course, playing music together.   It was as if we just picked up where we left off....thirty years earlier!  To be together again in one spot was surreal!   

A few weeks later, John Bowman called to tell me he found a box in his basement that had some large audio tapes labeled "Downbeats 1968".   All of us had no idea what might be on those tapes.  So, the next time John came to Wichita, he brought the tapes.  Myself, Gary Bolen, and my longtime friend and neighbor Dan Dillon who was news director for KFDI radio, took those tapes to a studio at KFDI that still had large reel-type recording equipment, and we listened to them!   We became immediately overcome with emotion as we knew it was us!   Back in 1968, we had made some live recordings at a local studio that were to be used as audition tapes.  Somehow, all of us had completely forgotten about them!   So......the phone calls and emails started!   We couldln't believe this discovery!  How was this possible?   We made the decision to do the only thing we could do......have CD's made from the tapes.  I believe we had about 2,000 made, and gave them to family and friends everywhere.  And.................of course.................this was the amazing discovery that inspired us to officially "get the band back together".   So, the practices began.....at my house in Wichita, and at Marty's place in Lampe.  Practice makes perfect.....so when we were ready....we played several gigs in Missouri near Marty's place in late 2000 and early 2001.  To be on stage again with the same six guys....playing the same '60s rock and roll we played thirty years earlier, was absolutely wonderful!    All six of us continued to stay in contact with each other.....still great friends with a whole new set of great band memories!  

As everyone knows, we lost Marty in 2013.  A great loss for all of us and everyone who knew him.  I was blessed to call him a best friend since he and I were 14 years old!   

And.....a couple of years ago, we lost Lanny Gaston, trumpet player.  Another great loss.  Lanny and his brother Dave joined the band in late '66 and brought a whole new dimension to us with horns!  

So..........back on that night of my 50th birthday, I was so glad Marty called.  That conversation started it all.  Had we not gotten everyone together again, that box of audio tapes in John Bowmans basement near Chicago, might still be there today!  

One more small thing........since all the CD's we had are gone, my son recently took the liberty of putting the eleven songs from that CD on youtube.   If you look up Downbeats 1968 youtube, you'll find a picture of the band with pretty decent recordings of those eleven songs that everyone will remember.  There are other bands called the Downbeats out there...........what?   So.....make sure to click on the Downbeats 1968.  

If Marty was still here, he would once again be excited!

Donald Sailing Sailing added a comment on his Profile.
Jul
02
Jul 02, 2019 at 9:32 AM
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Jul 01, 2019 at 3:18 PM
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Oct 07, 2017 at 8:11 AM
Donald Sailing Sailing added a photo to his profile gallery.
Oct 01, 2017 at 8:45 PM
Donald Sailing Sailing added a photo to his profile gallery.
Oct 01, 2017 at 8:45 PM
Donald Sailing Sailing added a photo to his profile gallery.
Sep 08, 2017 at 6:18 PM
Donald Sailing Sailing has left an In Memory comment for Daryl Reinking.
Jul 12, 2017 at 4:33 PM

Daryl was always grea!

I watched him drag race his '59 Chevy at International Raceway many times.......that car was fast!  

Donald Sailing Sailing has left an In Memory comment for Martin Ford.
Jul 12, 2017 at 4:33 PM

Bill......I will!  You probably know John and Cynthia are still together and have nine grandkids....they are pretty much retired, and their kids are running the "store".  They've done very well and are kliving the good life!  When the band got together in 2000, John gave the Downbeats rides in his plane over Marty's house!  Great times!  

I have some "stories" about John as well........really looking forward to this reunion. 

Craig........"Icons"?   I love it!!!

Jul 10, 2017 at 4:33 PM

I always thought highly of Shelly.  She was always such a friendly gal.  I remember a few weeks before our 20th North reunion, I was telling John Harris about people I was looking forward to seeing, and Shelly was one of them.  I believe John and Shelly were both on the planning committee for the 20 year reunion.   He then told me that she had just died weeks before that.  So sad.  

In 1968, I was driving East on 13th at Perry in the right lane, when a lady in a '49 Plymouth sedan suddenly changed lanes into me.....she may have wanted to turn right on Perry.  I don't know for sure.  The lady behind the wheel of the '49 Plymouth was a sweet elderly lady named Minnie Norris.....she was 93.   After the cars screeched to a stop, I climbed out of the passenger side of my Chevy, only to be greeted on the sidewalk by Shelly Chism!   She just happened to be walking along the sidewalk, and she saw the whole thing, and was just horrified!   I was shaken as well, as it was my very first accident.   It was comforting to have her to talk to for a few moments.....calmed my nerves.   Minnie Norris was quite shaken too....I felt sorry for her, as she was very elderly.  

I'm not sure if it was at the 10 or 20 year reunion after that, but I ran into classmate Bob Norris.  He informed me that Minnie Norris was in fact his grandmother, and they sold the Plymouth after the accident, and she quit driving.  

Shelly would've been great to visit with on our upcoming 50 year reunion.  RIP..........

Donald Sailing Sailing has left an In Memory comment for Martin Ford.
Jul 10, 2017 at 8:33 AM

Bill, I have several great memories of that '40 as well.  Marty and I were heading north on Broadway one time, and he got that beast up to 85 mph!   He told me afterwards, that we were really hanging by a thread.....as that car was probably on the very edge of being out of control.......wandering....shaking....     I remember that '40 well.   1962 Olds bucket seats.....no interior trim panels....'48 Mercury flathead....'39 transmission.   He bought it from Danny Massey for the paltry sum...by today's standards...of $450.00.   When Danny Massey owned it, he had it painted compete in Valley Center by a painter named Vonley Hines.  Sweet job.   I also remember seeing it parked halfway around a corner in Benjamin Hills with the right rear wheel and axle extending about a foot outside of the fender.  Oh no!   That happened more than once.  And, I remember when he spray-tinted those windows!   And, I remember Marty always bragging that the clock on the dash still worked!  

I've had some good cars over the years.  Two years ago, I retired from the Collision Repair/Restoration business.  I've enjoyed doing restorations for guys.  You probably know that Dave Beckel has had a restoration shop in Derby.  I saw a '64 Riviera that he did......unbelievably nice!  That's great that you've shown some cars in Wichita!    It's been a few years since I've had any car to show.....the last one was a Cutlass for my son.   I've been busy with kids and grandkids......  My favorite....a '40 Ford Deluxe Sedan has always eluded me.................

Both of Marty's parents, Chuck and Goldie, were cool.  When we got the Downbeats back together and went to Marty's parents house, Goldie remembered us all!    Drummer John Bowman brought some reel-to-reel tapes with him from Chicago.  Turns out, they were some live recordings of the band from 1968.  We put those songs on some CD's.  Perhaps I'll make some copies to bring with me at the reunion for anyone interested. They're free!  

During one of our practices at my house on a Saturday afternoon in 2000, some neighbor of mine called the cops......we were too loud......?     The cop who came to my door was shocked when he saw that we were all "old guys"!   Marty told him, "If they didn't want you to play that amp on '10', they wouldn't put a 10 on there"!!   It was kind of an honor to have the cop tell us we needed to turn it down.......kind of verified that "we were back"!  ha    Anyway, I could go on and on.  I'm looking forward to the Oct 6 Friday get-together......Marty and all the others that are gone will be with us in spirit! 

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Sailing Sailing has left an In Memory comment for Martin Ford.
Jul 08, 2017 at 4:33 PM

Donald Sailing Sailing has left an In Memory comment for David Carie.
Jul 08, 2017 at 4:33 PM

I first met Dave when he sat next to me in 7th grade at Marshall.....Mrs. Wines class....room 203!    Why I remember the room number....I have no idea...............

Dave was, of course, a PHENOMENAL guitarist.....I played the piano.  So, as musicians, we clicked.  

Dave's band, the Ricochets, played for a "Soc Hop" at Marshall back in about '62...maybe '63.  That night was magical for me, as it was the very first time I heard a live band.  Unbelievable experience for me, and I knew I had to start a band of my own....the Spydels.....with Bryan Hill, who was 11, on drums.   Marty Ford was there that night as well......and he was equally inspired to play in a band.  A year or so later, when the Spydels played on the back of a flat bed truck in Seneca Square parking lot......Marty Ford and Gary Bolen came to hear my band, and they made me an offer to join the Downbeats......the rest is history.  So.............I really owe my great years playing in the Downbeats to Dave Carie!  Dave's musicianship was mind-blowing.  At the 20 year reunion, I was looking for Dave and was so saddened to learn of his passing.  Had he ived, he would have set the world on fire with his skills....no doubt!!  

Jul 08, 2017 at 4:33 PM

I discovered something interesting about David Ross that I never knew.  While I was a friend of his at school, I just never knew he was a "car guy".  I never knew about his mechanical knowledge of cars.  

During several of my visits to Marty's house in Missouri, we'd talk about cars a lot......cars we owned, and cars that other guys owned.  Marty told me that David Ross came to his house many times and helped Marty work on his GREAT '40 Ford Deluxe Sedan.  Marty said David was the MAN!   What?  I never knew!   I lusted after his '40....and still do to this day, as as '40 Ford sedan is my favorite car of all time.  Marty was always having problems with the rear axles, and the transmission.  Dave knew all about the tranny, it was a '39 transmission.  A '40 tranny had a column shifter, and the '39 shifter was on the floor.....a "cool factor" about Marty's '40.   I was so surprised to learn that about Dave.   

I was saddened to hear about the death of Dave.....as I was looking forward to talking about car stuff....and Marty's old '40.   

On the "In Memory" file for Marty, I posted a picture of him cruising in that black '40.......picture was taken in '65 or '66.  It's interesting to note that David Ross played a big part in keeping that car on the road!   RIP David Ross.........

Donald Sailing Sailing has left an In Memory comment for Martin Ford.
Jul 05, 2017 at 4:33 PM

Don Sailing here..........I'm the guy who entered the information about Marty's death.  For some reason, my name never showed up. 

Anyway......I thought I'd tell a little bit more about Marty.  I met Marty at the age of 14 when I joined The Downbeats.  All the great things you read and hear about Marty are true.  

We got the band back together in 2000 and played several gigs in Missiouri near where Marty lived.  Getting the six original guys back together and playing again was absolutely one of the best experiences ever....for all of us. Marty and I talked daily via emails.....and many visits.....and we talked and laughed a lot about the good old days.  We played music together....Marty became quite a good guitarist!   And, we loved shooting guns at his range in the woods.  Marty talked a lot about Curly Hall.....all the water skiing the two of them did back in the '70's at Marty's parents house on TableRock Lake.  Curly's dad owned "The Bunny Club" on south Broadway where we played a lot back in '68-'69.   Bill Rickman, we talked about you and your beautiful '53 Chevy!   And, we both remembered the black Corvair that you owned, Chuck Shields!   It's interesting that we became closer than ever while living 300 miles apart!  

I had spent a few days at Marty's just a couple of months before he got real sick.  I took two guys from the Downbeats with me to see Marty on the day before he died.  I was honored to accompany his daughter Sarah on the piano as she sang so beautifully for her great dad.  Lot's of people there from all walks of life.....nothing but great things to say about good old Marty.  

You can look up a you tube video of The Downbeats from 1968.  We played on Your All-American College Show.  Marty was the first band member to go.  We recently lost Lanny Gaston who played the trumpet.  Lanny attended West High.            www.Your All-American College Show The Downbeats you tube.......that should get you there.    Marty's been gone four years, and I will miss him for the rest of my life.  "Good Times" Marty!  

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