Ring The Bell for Chet O’Keefe

Chet O'KeefeAnother member of our extended bluegrass family has suffered a loss from fire, perhaps the most fearsome and unforgiving predator we can face,

Chet O’Keefe from Washington state, who wrote Ring The Bell for The Gibson Brothers, had been loading his trusty road van preparing to spend the summer traveling. All of his instruments, CDs, recording gear, laptop, and a slew of personal belongings were either in or alongside the vehicle when an electrical fire ignited on June 1 which quickly engulfed not only the van but everything in or near it as well.

Fortunately neither Chet nor his dog, Willy, were injured in the fire. It started at a pace that gave O’Keefe time to remove the valuables from the van, but as it grew in intensity, the gas tank began to leak and a trail of gasoline dripped down to where he had set them near the van. Soon they were all aflame just like the vehicle.

So all was lost.

Chet O'Keefe's van and instruments go up in flamesBut as you no doubt expected, friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money to replace his van, instruments, and belongings. Two days in, almost a third of the $10,000 goal has been reached and perhaps the bluegrass world can ride in like the cavalry and put it over the top.

Any contribution, regardless of size, will surely be welcome.

Donations can be made online, where you can also read more about the fire and see a number of photos Chet snapped as he watched it all go up in smoke.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.