Thanks everyone for the condolences and the complements. My friend, Eric, as stated earlier, was an incredible bluegrass fiddle player. He never ceased to amaze me. He also played a mean, lead electric guitar and mandolin.
He was a World War II U.S. Navy fighter pilot, served as a fighter pilot during the Korean War, and was one of those folks that could land a jet plane on a postage stamp floating in the middle of the ocean. When he left the Navy he went to work as an electronic engineer for Aircraft Armaments until he retired at age 72. He then switched to doing some gentleman farming on a 17-acre patch of land surrounding his home.
We performed together in a 5-piece country band for many years, and when the band broke up, we continued to get together and have regular jam sessions until just a few years ago when macular degeneration rendered him nearly blind. He still played the guitar once in while, but said he just couldn't seem to handle the fiddle anymore.
Eric was 96 years old when he passed away, and up until the very end he was always looking forward to the next day and something to do. He was a creative genius in every sense of the word, he loved life, and never forgot his friends.