Must have been sometime back around 1998ish I think.

I had the great pleasure and responsibility of touring with Pandit Ravi Shankar and taking care of his instruments while touring over a four year period. What an experience! Among the many unforgettable events then was a concert stop in Chicago. I was always up for these trips. Greeting us at the airport on arrival was Mr. Patric Marks. Even before being introduced, I got a very good warm feeling about this man. He was to be our host and general point of reference during our stay. He had arranged our hotel, all transportation, dinners, etc. Everything, I mean EVERYTHING was taken care of. No small accomplishment given the range and magnitude of logistics necessary to have everything go according to schedule. Patric pulled it all off without incident. Everything was where it needed to be and on schedule. The business end of everything was covered. What impressed me was the manner in which this was all done. Such charm and grace--and from such a big guy!

He took a shine to me as we are both "gear heads," collectors and lovers of the sitar. We swapped many stories of our times in India and horror stories of past concert screw-ups. He informed me he had a battalion of sitar students and a lot of their instruments needed maintenance. Along with his personal collection of deluxe sitars and other instruments. there was a lot of work waiting for me if I'd like to come back to Chicago and get busy. What an offer! Well. of course I jumped on that. It was a few months after that initial meeting that it was arranged I fly to Chicago from my home in the San Diego area and stay at his house for a few weeks. There I would work on the collected instruments. Patric was once again on station with greetings at the airport. Perfect! Off we go to his house to get set up for some serious work.

Sure enough, sitars everywhere! Gasp! I get going sorting out the high priority instruments and get all my parts and tools laid out (all over the floor). Along with the wonderful home surroundings was Patric's wife Margaret who made me feel most welcome. What a relief! To have someone invade your home with a bag of tools and loads of parts, pieces and all kinds of odd stuff, would have rattled anyone. No problem with Margaret. I'll always remember her bottomless cappuccino pot. That alone increased output by at least 30%! Thank you, Margaret! I have since made a few other visits to the Chicago area to fix sitars and just "hang out." Good people here. I plan on return visits in the future.

Patric's departure is, of course, a great loss to us all. What a wonderful man. Without a single exception, I have heard nothing but the highest praises for him. I had seen on many occasions where he would go out of his way to accommodate students. That's rare, as we all know.

Even with his passing, he continues to teach. Through one of his students, I was shown the "Patric Marks" correct method for plucking the sitar's strings. Once I got around to trying it, I realized he was right. The sound produced is now much more even and balanced. Thank you, Patric!

I had also heard of his arrivals in Ahmedabad, India and the flock of well-wishers there to greet him. No doubt he was loved and admired wherever he went. I think it is this kind of personality and manner that makes such a grand endeavor as regional- sitar instructor and concert master possible. He carried it off brilliantly! I sure miss Patric. How fortunate I am to have met and known him. Yeah! He will be missed but remembered most fondly.