Dwain B. Bond died suddenly from a heart attack on March 5, 2007, at the age of 64 in Big Spring, Texas. During the last several years of his life, Dwain could be found at events around the country celebrating our Western heritage. And those who had the opportunity to enter his Old West saloon tent and listen to him pound out over 100 "honky tonk" style historic songs on his vintage upright piano, observed a master at re-creating the sound that served as background music in dusty, frontier saloons across the American West in the late 1800's. Playing by ear and with his authentic close-handing style, Dwain brought back the look and the sound of those frontier saloon piano days that have been all but lost to the annals of time. Dwain was born in Decatur, Texas on March 16, 1942. After spending his early childhood in Lubbock, Texas, Dwain and his two brothers and his father moved to central Ohio. There he attended Canal Winchester High School and later, after serving in the National Guard, graduated from Capital University with a Bachelor's degree in Geology. Dwain was a good student and athlete, playing football and running track throughout his high school and college years. Following his graduation from Capital, Dwain attended graduate school in geology for one year at the University of Alaska. He later hired on with Pan America where he managed oil and gas wells being drilled in the Gulf of Alaska. From there Dwain began his 30-year career in the oil and gas business, a career in which he worked for major oil companies and small independents, developed his own consulting business and his own small oil company, "wildcatting" and traveling throughout the western US and South America. He called several places "home", including Anchorage, Denver, Midland, Corpus Christi, Abilene, and finally big Spring, Texas. Dwain also had a good ear for music as well as an ability to play any musical instrument he laid his hands on, without instruction. From banjo to bagpipes, trumpet to fife to piano, Dwain had a natural talent for playing music by ear. So, after retiring from the oil business, Dwain began doing what he truly loved: playing music. Dwain formed a Civil War era drum and fife corps and played at historic and civic events in Texas an New Mexico, and participated in Civil War re-enactments at Gettysburg and other battlefields. Ultimately, he moved on to his final "gig", laying his honky tonk frontier saloon piano at Western heritage shows across the country. And not only could he play, but he also composed lyrics, with one of his compositions being considered for national recognition at the time of his death. People were drawn to Dwain because of his humor, his talent, his sense of adventure, and most of all, his authenticity. Dwain created good times and fun, no matter where he was or what he was doing. He will be missed by his friends, his wife Koko, his two daughters Lara and Kirsten, his son Christopher, and his brother Wendell. We all wish him Godspeed as he beings his next "gig".
Dwain Barker Bond, 1942-2007
his remains can be found at Walnut Grove Cemetery in lot 322 - section B - space #1 north NE corner (view map) .
Arrangements were made by Trinity Memorial Park (Big Spring, TX). The burial took place on Friday, October 3, 2008.
Contact Walnut Grove and Flint Cemeteries for more information.