I received this kind note yesterday. I’m posting it here with his permission.
My name is Steve Benne and I just heard about your father’s death through your automated reply to email messages addressed to him.
I wanted to thank you for that.
I first met your father when I was in my mid-twenties (1988-90) and playing bass with the New American Chamber Orchestra. He was our Spanish management and was committed to our orchestra. He had us play in his festival in Deia and got us a residence in Granada.
He spent a lot of time with the orchestra and eventually had me out to his place in Deia.
I’ve been in touch with him off and on over the years and saw him when he came to the States in 2015 (I think) and was staying with your sister in Maryville, TN.
Here in the U.S. today is Father’s Day. I was lucky. I had two dads, Patrick and John.
I lost John in 1990. I still grieve for him, look at his self-portrait and the things he gave me, and ask questions that he can no longer answer, but that loss has lost the harsh edges, worn down and smoothed by liquid time.
One year ago today, at this race track, in this tower, with these cars on course, I lost my father.
Now, snug in his undershirt, carrying his satchel, with his ring on my finger and his love in my heart, while stewarding the Red run group, I think about all that has transpired since that first flurry of phone calls.
This morning during our flag team meeting, I thanked my racing friends for their support, beginning a year ago and continuing through today.
Here I thank the rest of you.
There’s no denying that this has been an emotional, difficult year, and the practical and family complications have only added to the strain.
However, because of all of you I’m able to enjoy the view from high above the track, overlooking the kind of mountains he loved, beneath a brilliant sun that so nourished Stephanie’s gardens, with my eyes dry and my focus mostly centered on the cars circulating at speed.
Because of those family members that understood Patrick and his final wishes, his amazing collection of friends, and my own support group, I’m functioning as a regular human being, not a quivering heap of grief, though I still grieve deeply.
I am sorry Patrick is gone, but I am thankful he was here. What more can one hope for a life well lived?
Darrell Jonsson from Prague sent this wonderful story and gave permission for me to share here. It encompasses almost 40 years and everything that Patrick loved: Stephanie, music, Deia, and writing. I’ve included some of Darrell’s affiliations at the end, since, as he says, “it gives some context of where I’m coming from.”
Was very sorry to hear of Patrick Meadows passing, I first met Patrick Meadows & Stephanie in 1977.
At that time they had an apartment on the main street of Deia. The door was open and some beautiful piano music was pouring into the street. A young woman was playing the piano and I asked if I could sit under the piano and listen. Unabashed by Continue reading “It Began Beneath a Piano”
I sat at the piano a few minutes ago, as I do too infrequently, teasing and hammering the keys into giving up some sort of acceptable sound. I drifted through a few pieces I commonly abuse like Beethoven’s 7th/2nd, Linus and Lucy, a six-note blues riff, and Erik Satie’s Gnossienne #2.
A memory suddenly came back to me. I first heard the Satie in April 1986. It was my first trip to Europe, and my first visit with Continue reading “Gnossienne #2”
Today was a very special day here in Cincinnati, Ohio. We met this afternoon at the cenotaph for Patrick and Stephanie, in the Shepard family plot. In addition to Stephanie’s immediate family (brother Tate, niece Alison and her husband Evan, nephew Carl and his wife Brittany, Stephanie’s son Tim and his family Kelly, Zoe, Nicolas, and Jillian) were Kathy, a long-time friend of Tate and of Stephanie, Lee, Patrick’s high-school and college friend, and myself.