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TWA crash touches the lives of local residents

The death of famed French guitarist Marcel Dadi, one of the passengers on TWA Flight 800, has affected the careers of two musicians who play locally.

Dadi, a world-class finger-style guitarist, had recently been in Nashville, Tenn., at the annual convention of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society. With him at the convention was his friend and student, Clyde Walker of Homosassa.

Walker, well-known among local folk musicians, was trying to arrange for Dadi to hold guitar clinics locally, according to Walker's friend Margaret Longhill. Walker was out of town and unavailable for comment Friday.

"(Dadi's) death affected many people," Longhill said from her Dunnellon home.

She said Dadi, dubbed "The Chet Atkins of France," was working with St. Augustine guitarist Sam Pacetti to line up a concert tour in Europe. With Dadi's death, those plans are in doubt, Longhill said.

Pacetti is also a well-regarded guitarist who regularly performs in clubs in St. Augustine and at the Will McLean Folk Festival.

Other Citrus County residents also were affected by the Wednesday crash of TWA Flight 800.

Two youth groups from local churches were flying home in the hours after the crash, but officials said no changes were made to their itineraries.

A group of 10 adults and children from the New Testament Baptist Church of Floral City arrived from Wales on Thursday night, school administrator Dennis Peeples said.

Church members had prayed for their safe return, he said.

Also, a group of seven students from Inverness Church of God returned from a two-week missionary trip to Nicaragua on Friday. Their plane landed safely in Miami, much to the relief of their families and fellow church members, a spokeswoman said.