A Fiddle Tunes Icon Moves On

Warren Argo
Nov 4, 1942 – Sept 27, 2010

Warren-Argo“Is there not a certain satisfaction in the fact that natural limits are set to the life of an individual, so that at its conclusion it may appear as a work of art?”   – Albert Einstein

We have just received word that our dear friend Warren Argo passed away yesterday after suffering a heart attack. The quote you see above appeared on the invitation to Warren’s 50th birthday party, appropriately held at his best friend’s house, Littlefield Farm.

Warren was a huge presence on earth, and certainly a small part of that was felt by the Centrum community. In Seattle in the 70s, as a member of the Gypsy Gyppo String Band, he helped to turn on a whole new generation of urban enthusiasts to square dancing and contra dancing, people who had never been anywhere near a Grange hall or rural community centers.

In 1976, the Gyppos played at the “4th at the Fort,” a mini-festival at Fort Worden dreamed up by Joe Wheeler, which became the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes the next year. Warren was on staff at the event, he became a Centrum board member, a volunteer, and eventually he managed Fiddle Tunes for more than a decade. Often he ran the sound system for the legendary dances held in building 204, and he was part of the awesome crew that stripped two layers of linoleum from the big halls in that building, revealing maple dance floors.

In 34 years, the Fiddle Tunes Festival has never taken place without Warren.

Warren traveled in many circles, and in all of them, this was his feature: he always made you feel good about yourself.

A memorial service will be held at noon, Saturday, October 16, at Littlefield Farm in Arlington, Washington. Other memorial activities include an overnight dance planned for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23 at the South Bay Grange in Olympia.

Memorial contributions to defray expenses may be made at warrenargo.com or by check to: Chuck Pliske, 3808 39th Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98116. Check should be made payable to: “For the benefit of Warren Argo.”

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