The kind of company a person keeps says a lot about him/her. Like it or not, we are defined by our friends and family. As social creatures, something as tragic as a person's death sends shockwaves felt by everyone in that social web. A few Friday's ago, I had the privilege of performing at a benefit concert at Sweeney's Saloon in Philadelphia held the loving memory of one Jeff Hauser, a man I did not know.
|Gifts, T-shirts, and raffle prizes! (Photo by Noelle F.)|
|Words of kindness. (Photo by Scott P.)|
|Hugs and dancing. (Photo by Noelle F.)|
|Rocking a Zappa tribute in Jeff's memory. (Photo by Scott P.)|
|Hustle and bustle. (Photo by Noelle F.)|
|Lap steel. (Photo by Scott P.)|
I played keys with Honey Juice, a band of musicians and friends I first saw perform about a year ago at the very first Honey Fest. In addition to our usual repertoire of Grateful Dead, Phish, and several other phunky, groovy favorites, we were asked to cover some Frank Zappa songs as Jeff was a huge Zappa fan. Friends of his hopped on and did their tributes. The night went long as did the dancing, cheer, and merriment.
|Me jamming away on keys. (Photo by Scott P.)|
|Honey Juice and friends. (Photo by Noelle F.)|
I returned home parched, exhausted, and smelling of cigarette smoke. As I drifted to sleep, one thought lingered in my mind: I might have never known Jeff, but I got to know the people he held dear. Seeing the support, love, and smiles that this gathering brought-up really spoke to his character, the kinds of people who were drawn to him, and in turn, what he meant to them all.
|Poster board of memories. (Photo by Noelle F.)|