My wife, Bridget used to ask me, "Who's this guy who keeps sending you jokes on the email?" "Oh that's my buddy, Dennis from Memphis," I'd answer. We never met in person, but we emailed back and forth for more than 10 years. I guess that's the way things are done in these digital days in which we live. That's good and bad. Bad in the fact we never met. Good in the fact we never would have, if not for e-mail and message boards. Everytime I made it to one of the blues festivals nearby, Dennis had a conflict, and everytime he made it somewhere I might have gone, I had a schedule conflict, so we never got to shake hands and meet in person.
The other day, I sent Dennis an email, and received a response he had passed away suddenly of a heart attack. Needless to say, I was shocked, just like so many other blues music enthusiasts in the Mid South. There was a nice article in the Commercial Appeal.
For so many years, we emailed back and forth about his beloved Memphis Tigers and of course, the Blues. He was always trying to book me to play in Memphis, but I always had scheduling conflicts with clubs closer to home, which paid better than those on Beale Street, and other festivals. Of course, now, I wish I had taken him up on his offer, at least once. Nevermind the money. I wish I had done it for a friendship.
Maybe one day, we'll meet in the great Blues hereafter. In the meantime, I'll remember our friendship and will try not to put off any more opportunities to spend time with my friends. Friends and family are truly the most important things on this earth.