My son Forest Arturo Dunn had a fine guitar teacher in Amarillo, Texas named Frank Hardcastle. At Glendale High in Arizona he had one of those outstanding band and orchestra teachers whose name escapes me and I can't find online. This man got Forest playing a sousaphone in marching band, upright bass in orchestra, and electric bass in jazz band. The lessons and schooling topped off a natural talent that exploded when Forest began recording his own songs on computer.
There is no praise too high for a school district in a city that funds music education. I'm not sure Forest would have finished high school without that incentive. He would have had these chances in his beloved Amarillo, Texas, too had we stayed there. I almost added, ‘as we should have,’ but there are few things that can tear up one’s mind better than the “would’a, should’a, could’a” thing. It’s harmful enough, but if you do it over a lost child it can drive you to suicide.
In the wake of Robin William’s death, no one needs reminding that money and talent, children and a wife are no guarantors of happiness. I’m not hinting that Forest committed suicide or that he did not. There are some things that hurt too much to pursue. I’ve only asked his older sister and his widow. It was a drug overdose. No note. I’ll stop there to avoid causing pain in my children, his widow, or his mother in case they read this.
Forest began multi track recording right after high school on a Teac four track cassette recorder I gave him. By the time he worked with me on some songs he really knew his stuff. I’ve put together some pictures and my song Williwas for you. Forest is playing a cheesy keyboard and singing. He never in his life had a piano lesson. Willie Was is based upon my experiences on the Bering Sea and Bristol Bay in Alaska. Forest was conceived in a cabin in the woods near Juneau, yes in a forest.