Friday, November 4, 2016

An email I received. Subject line: Old Fan

November 4, 2016

I was very moved by the following email that I received this morning. This comes at a pretty difficult time for me and it really made my day, year, life.

Hey Jerry!

     With all the people you meet I would find it crazy if you remembered me and my friends, but I wanted to reach out to you. I went to MSU from 2006-2011, and was in East Lansing for the next few years. My friends and I went to Crunchys every now and then for a couple years but eventually heard you one Sunday night and LOVED your performance, probably around 2007 or 8. We started to go every Sunday night for about a year and we got to know you and your life about playing music with your kids. But we used to tell all of our friends about this amazing singer who would drive from Chicago and back to play at as many places as he could and that they needed to see him. We probably brought 20-30 people to Crunchys who would have never come out, just to hear you play and play Euchre with us over a couple beers. We did a lot of Tequila shots with you and would yell out at you on stage when you stood up to play at Harpers behind the bar. It’s one of the stories of college that I still tell my friends now about how great Michigan State is, and even though they don’t fully get it, I tell them anyways.

Anyways, a friend of mine here  this morning had a song stuck in her head and couldn’t figure out what it was, and when she sang it I immediately yelled “It’s Africa! Africa! By…… “ And I honestly had to think for a second about who the actual singer was because I associate it so much with you singing it and all of us stopping our Euchre game to sing along. I really cherish those memories. So tonight when I got back to look up your website and saw that you had to have surgery on your finger/hand, and wanted to send my well-wishes to you. I don’t know when you posted that, or if it’s been a long time or yesterday, but I wanted to say best of luck and I really really really hope that your recovery goes well. You’ve made a lot of people’s lives a lot better through not only your playing, but by how genuine of a person you are, and I really hope you can continue that for more people in the future. Even if it seems like it’s just for a couple hours, people remember when someone is a special talent and person, and you’re the only one I remember from all those years ago (apart from Star Farm, but that was at Rick’s and Dublin…which is a whole different animal, haha).

But I hope you’re doing great, and to let you know, all of us are too. The rest of my friends who were there at Crunchys are all very successful in various fields buying houses and starting families. I’m doing great too, I’m studying in California right now, but I’ll be back in MI a couple times a year and one of our goals with my friends is to have a reunion at Crunchys or wherever you are playing and have a beer/ tequila shot with you again.

Sorry if this was too long, I kind of got carried away, but again, I hope you are doing well and that the surgery goes/went great.

PS- forgive any typos, I wrote this in one go and don’t feel like going back through to correct them. I’m sure you’ll be ok with it, haha.

My response:

I've heard people say things like this to me but never have received such an eloquent description. I'm very moved by this letter and it comes as I'm experiencing one of the most difficult times in my life. 

Please let me know if you all have a reunion at Crunchy's. East Lansing is changing and live music is no longer viable. Rick's no longer has bands, Dublin has them occasionally but the students seem to prefer djs. It's a different time. 

After surgery, I may not return to Harper's because I'm not really drawing there or anywhere for that matter. There are still a few handfuls of people that come into Crunchy's but nothing like it was when you went to MSU.

I really love your story and I hope you don't mind if I post it as an abridged and  anonymous letter. I would not mention your name as I feel it would be inappropriate because of your position.

 Thanks for this. You really made my day, and thanks for living to keep all of us safe.


Here are few things you might enjoy. In the first video I'm performing with my grandsons and my son, (their father) Joshua. He joined us on stage to play conga. Three generations all at once. Josh and his brother were in a band with me in the late 80's early 90's. It's cool that it went full circle with his sons and I.