The memories we lost in 2016
Nineteen years since I have seen him, yet the face in the photos is so real I can hear his voice, remember his manners, sense his body heat emanating from the mixing board, read his language. Harvey has been dead for three years, but I didn’t find out about it until 2016, so it’s been a shock getting used to his absence these past few months. Harvey was nine years younger than me. He is not supposed to be dead and me alive. The last time I talked to him was by phone. Dallas to Denver, long distance. He was getting married, he said. Honeymooning in Colorado, he said. Did he need to rent a four-wheel drive to make it to Georgetown safely? That was 18 years ago. His eulogy said he was married for 15 years before his death. I found the video of his funeral online. I recognized several of the photos in the section titled early years – the ones taken during the brief years we worked together. Wrote music. Recorded music. Wrote musicals. Directed children’s musicals. Those years are still real to me. Moments of success and fulfillment. And that is how I found out Harvey had passed. I went looking for him via Google one night. My musical life had taken yet another U-turn, I was playing in a band, reconnecting with a musical acquaintance from 1984 and I found myself wanting to reconnect with Harvey of 1996. I left contact information on the website of the DJ service he used to run. His former business partner got back with me and broke the news. Harvey is gone. Who will validate my memories? Harvey’s widow had barely entered the scene when I exited for Colorado in 1997. She knows nothing of those years we spent as musical colleagues in shared studio space, though pictures of his individual musical successes proliferate.
2016 has been a year of loss for so many. When you lose someone, you lose a part of your memories. I am aging, increasingly losing more extended family members and high school peers. Who would have thought learning of the loss of a cowriter with whom I had lost contact would come as such a jolt? But it does. We are all intrinsically connected – especially those with whom we have made music. There is no going back. There is only forward. Treasure the music you make today. Treasure the people with whom you make music. Sing a new song every day.