Re: [Harp-L] Re: Chris Michalek RIP
Oh God, poor Laurie. My heart breaks for her and the Michalek clan.
It was this same time of year that I lost my only son and 4 days
later my mother, and had to look at 2 empty chairs at Christmas. It's
a sickening feeling. Trust me. Like having a wrecking ball plunge
into your stomach.
My plan for the day was to get up, have some breakfast and then go
back to digging around in the yard to find the pool leak. I had been
letting it slide because for 3 weeks I was fighting what I thought
was merely a bad cold.
Aaanyway, the wife (Mama Cass..the live one) woke me up and handed me
the phone and said "It's Scotty". (Elizabeth S. from Long Island). I
thought how odd, I was going to call HER as it is her birthday
(shared with Richard Sleigh, Bobbie Giordano, and Paul Butterfield).
She gently broke the news to me that Chris had passed away. I had to
ask if this was some cruel and tragic joke and was she s*****g me.
I guess it was 91 or 92 when I first caught sight of Chris at my
first or second spah convention. I could tell in 2 bars that he was
going to be an immense talent. He was already quite accomplished and
couldn't have been past his early 20s? Given the level at which he
played, I feel that with any other instrument he would have already
been a big star. Well. he's a big star as far as I'm concerned. I
still feel he was the best at what he did. One of a kind. That's for
certain. Arguably the most under rated harp player out there.
Over the years we became closer and closer and if you didn't
understand Chris it's because you didn't spend time with him.
Frankly, I liked his shoot from the hip style. You always knew where
you stood and there was nothing fake or plastickey about him. He was
the real article. I could respect that.
My last vision will be the bunch of us sitting in the I-Hop at
Minneapolis at 3 am having an early breakfast. I will treasure those
(too) scarce precious moments we had together. When I go to a fest
there are a number of people whom I MUST see. Otherwise my fest
experience is bland, lackluster, and empty. Chris was definitely one
of my major 'draws'.
I think the inscription on my son's stone fits Chris as well as it
"The candle that burns twice as bright..only lasts half as long"
Thanks for lighting the way Chris, God bless you.
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