We've created this Gofundme Page to help Barbara Thayer (94), the wife of the legendary Orla "Ed" Thayer (D. June 3, 2009).
For those unfamiliar, Ed Thayer revolutionized the trombone valve world when he created and patented the Axial Flow Valve. For many in the brass and trombone world, their lives forever transformed for the better because of Ed and Barbara.
What many people may not realize is that behind Ed's brilliance was his loving wife, Barbara. Many may never know that she ordered supplies, handled shipping, spoke with many of us on the phone and, she personally fit and finished countless numbers of Valve kits.
The Thayer legacy is complex, to say the least. We could write books on the subject, but that'll be for another time. Due to several unfortunate circumstances surrounding the patent and production of the Axial Flow Valve, Barbara and Ed found themselves with only Social Security for support. They faced their golden years with debt, no home and very challenging financial conditions. Now, with Ed gone for over 10 years, Barbara desperately needs our help.
Barbara knocked down nearly all their debt, all while refusing to file for bankruptcy. Only $4,285.99 remains left on her credit card. However, she has no place to call "home" and, lives by renting rooms month-to-month from various places that she can afford. Think AirBnB. Unfortunately, her Social Security income is too low to keep up with rising costs of living.
We're reaching out to folks, especially those in the music community, brass players, trombone players, music educators, instrument makers and, instrument repair technicians.
Our goal is to raise sufficient funds to:
1. Eliminate Barbara's remaining $4,285.99 credit card debt. 2. Ship her and Ed's legacy papers and prototypes to the International Trombone Association (ITA) Library in Columbus, SC. This step will allow anyone access to Ed's Axial Flow Valve documents, history and legacy. 3. Generate enough additional donations to purchase a tiny-house design (200 sq feet) so Barbara may live out her life in comfort in Oregon.
Any help you can send is appreciated by Barbara. I also know that Barbara personally appreciates everything that everyone does to keep Ed's Axial Flow Valve legacy alive and playing in the halls and studios throughout the world.
Ken Novotny (I'm writing on behalf of Barbara Thayer)
PS: The picture shown on the Gofundme Page is of Barbara Thayer at 94, with the famous Samsonite Suitcase. Ed took it to every trade show. He used it to show how his valve would help trombonists improve the airflow and performance of their F-attachment sections.