Soundsmith notes the passing of Doug Cassara

I would like to post here the passing of Doug Cassara, of Mamaroneck New York, last evening.

Doug was one of my audio/engineer "students" back in the beginning of the 70's; he worked for Julius Futterman as well. Doug was severely injured in a car accident, and became a quadriplegic in his 20's. As many know, they don't live very long. Doug lived for more than 45 years in his wheel chair, his breathing created by wires to his diaphragm, his speech timed as it allowed. Doug was one of the few heroes I have known. He took up water color painting with a brush handle placed in his mouth; he collected and repaired tons of audio gear by teaching others what to do with their hands and minds. He came to Soundsmith to visit and listen -  I gifted him a strain gauge when he showed interest in it, which brought him some measure of joy. His love of music was deeper than anyone could imagine, and went to concerts as often as he could, and befriended many musicians.

He needed 24/7 nursing at home for all the years in that chair and in bed, in case the machine failed to make him breathe. He was hospitalized many times, and NEVER gave up. A recent hospitalization was one he could not recover from, and he asked that his support be terminated. I do not have one cell in my body that is as brave and courageous and determined to survive as much as his entire being did. He deserves to be mentioned here; he was an audio engineer and audiophile like few others. God speed Doug - I will continue to pray for you, and pray there is so much music where you are. I will miss you. You were one of the very few heroes left for us to admire in this age. 

Peter Ledermann/Soundsmith



Wow so sad to hear but what a beautiful remembrance of him, thanks for sharing Peter.

RIP Doug


Thank you for sharing your remembrance of a dear friend who has passed away. It is touching and genuinely sincere. What amazing perseverance Doug possessed to handle such a catastrophic hardship for those many years. 


People like him are a daily inspiration to me when I feel badly about some minor physical condition or limitation I may have. You friend had severe limitations but didn't let it slow him down. My sincere sympathies to you and his family 

Peter- your love for Doug is apparent. I did not know him, but what a brave soul. 


Peter - Thank you for sharing in a time of great loss. I wrote this for a friend saying goodbye in similar circumstances… Grace and Peace @retipper 



Even now

In my quickly fading light

The edge between

Long years

And the new salvation 

Is grey



Like the line



And slumber


Even now


I feel you there

In the foreground of my fitful breath

Stay awhile 

Watch me sleep

And remember me

As strong

As wise

As one who mattered







Is there a line to cross ?

Adrift in sleep

Yes, two who mattered

Shared trial


Some sweet victory 

And a raconteurs’

Good cheer


Yet, even now


I shall cross over

The line will fold


For a time

No blade can Pierce the veil

But even then

I shall feel you

My old friend

Until such time

As old dogs

Born anew

We meet again


Sorry to hear of the passing of your dear friend. When I read of such things, of the obstacles that some overcome, of the constant struggle just to survive, it gives me a much better (and needed) perspective on just how easy I've got things and to appreciate it all the more.

All the best,

We think we have it hard sometimes. What a wonderful eulogy and I hope I have the opportunity to meet and know someone of his caliber.


it gives me a much better (and needed) perspective on just how easy I've got things and to appreciate it all the more.

Well put and exactly my thought. It most certainly recalibrates one's perspective and appreciate the life you have. 




Thanks so much for your loving and tender remembrance of our friend Doug.

Doug was a dear friend for over 30 years. Possibly the toughest and funniest person I’ve ever known.

When I lived in NYC he loved coming to my place as it was a loft that was essentially one big room so he could rip around in his wheelchair with abandon..I’d bring him up on the freight elevator..

When he was at my place, he had a great way of making new acquaintances at a party...he’d roll up to someone and say funny crap  like " Hey, just cause I’m a cripple it doesn’t mean I don’t like potato chips. And I could use a shot of whiskey as well...." His way of putting people at ease and telling them, as only he could, that he was here to have fun but needed a bit of help from his friends..

I’ve spent a lot of today crying and telling my girlfriend just what sort of friend he’s been all these years.

R.I.P Turkeyburger, your friends loved you so much..


The Parting

there is no place where leaves can fall
where the Earth will not love to embrace
as no color deep could hope to enthrall
my heart more than the gift of your grace

for the seasons' not a time for change
but a change for time to draw a breath
and with its canvas rearrange
light from dark, life from death

as terraced gardens disappear
milkweed pods their children strayed
adrift on songs we’ve yet to hear
the invisible law to be obeyed

and with each part the parting goes
the autumn winds, the summer seeds
adrift beneath the winter snows
with noble dreams and daring deeds

So let time not into pieces go
where one without the other marks
a broken part of the heart we know
complete, and sails where love embarks

peter ledermann

An incredibly brave individual who never gave up on living his life … RIP  

The love between you both  is the ultimate in the eyes of GOD ,

Both of you will meet again ,   R.I.P 

Thank you Peter for posting this.  

may he Rest In Peace.  he suffered and endured a lot.

I am glad you remember him and celebrate his strength.

So sad to learn of Doug’s passing! I knew him from a chance meeting in 1977 at Audiocom in Old Greenwich, CT. Doug offered to sell me a pair of Futterman OTL tube amps and invited me over to his home for a listen. I paid him a visit on a Sunday afternoon. He had the pair of Futterman H3aa’s set up with the Quad 57’s, a Marantz 7 tube preamp, Thorens TD125 TT/Rabco arm/ Panasonic strain gauge cartridge. We listened to Brand X’s Moroccan Roll LP. I was quite taken by the sound quality! After listening Doug had me help him carry down a pair of KLH Nine ESL’s from the second floor and set them up in front of the Quads and connect them to the Futtermans. After waiting a bit for the Nines to charge up we then listened some more. After this I told Doug that I would think over his offer to sell the Futterman amps. He took me to the Harrison train station so I could return to Old Greenwich. The car was the BMW 2002 that he later had the bad crash that left him paralyzed from the head down. This first meeting with Doug took place I’d say about a year before the crash. I did not buy his pair of Futtermans but as a weird twist of Fate I did acquire them several years ago from another NYC audiophile as an EBay sale. Nos. 56 & 57! Well that’s my story of my meeting Doug all those years ago before the car crash.

I stayed in touch with Doug and visited him at home in Harrison. In fact it was there that I had my first home experience listening to CDs on an early Denon CD player. Doug had the Quads suspended on chains from the ceiling to free up floor space. I am glad to have met Doug! 

This was beautiful. What happened to these days of admiration and respect of others? 

Our Heroes are now gangsters, villains, criminals and sports figures. What did anyone expect would happen ? (sigh)...... peter

Condolences on the passing of your friend, Peter. Doug sounds like a wonderful human. He was a fellow Quad 57 user! Lovely outpouring of words from all. Fantastic story, Jason B. Love the Futterman twist at the end.

Doug is in a good place now and he is free. That was his test in this world and he passed with flying color's! He was blessed with true friends and was very respected.

thank you for posting peter and speaking so fondly and sadly of doug

my condolences on your loss of such a beloved friend

your mourning for doug aside, i hope you are well now, fully recovered from your bouts with covid

i wish you well, and hope you are...

Peter thanks for posting this.

I used to drive my Quad 63’s to Doug’s house whenever a panel needed replacing.

I was always inspired by what he was able to accomplish without the use of his hands. I tried on several occasions to invite him to a concert since he said he did attend shows, but it never happened. Whenever I went there I needed help getting the Quad I was having repaired out of the car so I had to bring my girlfriend at the time who was a nurse. I always felt like hanging around a bit and talking audio or music, but he seemed to want me to be on my way. Perhaps it was too much of a reminder what he lost in the accident, being around the same age he became chair bound, but it was also a reminder to me at an early age to be greatful for the simple things in life we often take for granted.

I eventually got sick of putting money into those speakers and sold them with panel issues, but I never forgot meeting him and how he persued his passion and earned an income.

Hopefully he got enjoyment out of life despite its many challenges, and is in a better place.


@retipper , contrast this with a perfectly healthy guy with a sore back on SSDI. Makes me sick. I have a patient who has muscular dystrophy. He is 48 now and wheelchair bound. Not as bad as Doug was. He still has some movement in his hands and is still able to drive a wheelchair van with hand controls. He is a music teacher at the local junior high school. He use to play the drums. People with this version of MD tend to die in congestive heart failure. 

Doug is no longer disabled. Rock and roll!