No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
In my neighborhood when I was a kid, my best friend was Bill Haile who lived at 3116 Northampton St. in D.C. We hung together from elementary school to High School when he graduated a year before me. Through Bill and hot rods, I met Chick Casady. We bonded over his getting a driver’s license a year before me… that and his 1934 Ford two door sedan. Through Chick I met Michael Oliveri who turned me on to the guitar and gave me my very first guitar lessons. Thanks Mike. I learned Jimmy Brown The Newsboy and Down In the Willow Garden. Mike Oliveri lived up the street from the Casadys and as we all hung together, I wound up becoming friends with Jack Casady who was playing the guitar as well. Mike died of cancer about a decade ago. Bill Haile died of a heart attack about three years ago and last night Jack’s brother and my old friend Chick, died in San Francisco.
Indeed, I am moving into a part of my life where there are times when you say goodbye more than hello… I remember when that time occurred in my Father’s life… he would talk about the vanished, and those who remained. So it goes indeed… there is nothing new under the sun.
Without the people I have mentioned above, I would not be the person I am today. Thanks guys… I hope to see you again sometime, just not too soon.
Chick certainly lived life on his own terms and if there is an afterlife, he’s giving whoever is in charge a run for their money. Bon voyage brother, may your path be filled with light.