Noooo, ugghhhhhhhhh and fucking damn it. I was the fuck devastated on Saturday morning when I found out about your fatal heart attack. Mostly numb that morning and day. Been cycling through different stages of grief – heavily defined by denial and depression. I had just talked to you like a few weeks ago, right!? Then I looked at my phone history, and it was actually on Sept. 17 that we last conversed, which was more like nine weeks ago. Time is amorphous.
You know what’s whack-a-do, friend? On Nov. 18 when I was checking my voice mail, yours from Sept. 17 came up and I was asked to save or delete. And I saved it with a smile, thinking, I need to get another phone call in with Mr. Kerr.
When Daniel and I went for a walk with Merle on Saturday morning, I looked up into the blue sky. Your eyes are even blue-er. And your eyes sparkle with intelligence, curiosity, creativity and wonder – with knowing and mischief. Dancing with ideas and authenticity, and smiling – la joie!
Over the weekend, I was thinking about the projects we collaborated on. It was mostly booking your awesome, imaginative, kooky, a bit off kilter, coolness for downtown music gigs. Lots of times, that was with you and Mik doing y’all’s groovy, goofy, interesting, introspective, fascinating, funny & charming bus station performances. I started combing through a bunch of 2nd Saturdays Downtown Tucson line-ups to see your various bands that busked – d’Vie and Scotto, The Technophobes, Kerr Bros, and of course, Mik & Scott. I giggled so much scrolling through our decade of FB messages. We had already been good friends for many years before your first FB message to me on 5/9/2010. We were working on gigs in the early aughts, I’m thinking about Beatnik Dream Vacation (with Brian & Duncan) playing in front of Erin and Emilie ‘s Preen in like 2007.
And, there was the time I shot photos of you and Glenn for a Zocalo Magazine story on Bike-A-Stra. I just found out, by searching my mac book, that was in April 2011! I need to find those shots and video – we took ‘em at BICAS when it was at Citizens. Is that warehouse even still standing? Wait, I found this pic of you (^) from that shoot playing a bike wheel. Damn, you are so the bomb.
Fuck, dude – and then there’s the two decades of memories of silliness and hangs! And all of the other bands you played with and I’m sorry I’m forgetting them!
And, the last time we talked, we talked about missing friends, and missing hugs, and looking forward to hanging, and we would stay in touch…
You answered the phone, “HI JAMZ!” (I always love that you spell and say my name that way) with your uplifting, enthusiastic lilt. Hearing your greeting always makes me smile. We yammered about the crazy state of the U.S. of A., and what we were doing, and reminisced about building a solar cooker for that June 2012 Zocalo article. Such a fun and funny project we did in my downtown backyard those years ago. Your engineering, carpentry, and building skills super impressed me! It was a functioning solar cooker for a solid four years, even sitting in the elements! You are that good.
And, I have to say, your kind, sweet, musical, down-to-earth – yet whimsical – qualities are so delightful! I can hear you responding, “Oooo, Jamz, gosh, thanks,” and see you smile shyly and gleefully as you tilt your head – covered by the curly, grey-speckled brown locks that frame your darling face.
Yes, I’m talking about you in the present tense, because your energy still abounds.
Until we meet again, when we’ll be groovin’ to the tunes and dancing among the stars.
Your friend forever,
Jamie L. Manser, aka, Jamz