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2018
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John Mahoney's Free-fire Zone
John Mahoney
John Mahoney
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is editor of the Log Cabin Chronicles.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 03.03.16
Muskrat Lake
Cobden, Ontario

JOHN MAHONEY

Safe Journey, Old Pal

Shimon

SHIMON ASH ~ 1930 - 2016
ARTIST. MUSICIAN. FRIEND.
Until The Next Time...

COBDEN, ONTARIO | Shimon died in Montreal on Wednesday morning at age 86. Born in Willomore, South Africa, he emigrated to Israel in his early '20s where he served in the Israel Defense Forces. With his then-wife, Niema, he moved to Montreal, Quebec. They had a beautiful daughter, Ronit, now of California.

He and his partner, Haim Barr, a former Israeli, owned the Finjan folk club in '60s in Montreal (Bob Dylan played there once), and for many years owned and operated The Sign Center in Montreal and in Fitch Bay, Quebec. Shimon was both a sign painter and an artist, and a singer/guitarist. He had a deep, rich voice and over the decades entertained many people in South Africa, Israel, and Canada.

He did the wonderful illustrations for John Mahoney's children's book Horatio, The Duck Who Thought He Was a Dog. Over the years, he and I had many, many lengthy discussions about world politics, music, and art. Safe journey, my old friend.

And Jane writes...

Shimon came into our lives early one summer morning in the mid-'70s when I was working in the garden. A beautiful deep voice and guitar music carried on the breeze from around the bend.

Soon a bearded man came strolling down the road and waved. I invited him to stop in at the log cabin to meet John and he stayed for coffee. That was the beginning of a 40-year friendship.

Shimon and his business partner Haim Barr soon decided to relocate to our valley and found land overlooking Lake Memphremagog, where John built Shimon and his then-companion a cozy little house. He stayed more than 20 years.

Shimon came from Montreal for our going-away party in 2007 at friends Jason Krpan's house in Fitch Bay -- he came to wish us well, and say good-bye I think.

Today I listened to Shimon sing January February on a CD we got from the Smithsonian and I remembered all the parties in the valley. Thank you Shimon for enriching our family's lives.

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