Jack Hardy, Gone

Friday ( March 11 ) for naptime, Merida, my three-year-old, wanted to listen to “ Willie Goggin ’ s Hat ” from Jack Hardy ’ s CD The Passing. As common, she asked if he would sing it when he comes to visit. She besides wanted him to do her early favorites, “ Sile Na Cioch ( Sheila ), ” “ The Boney Bailiff, ” “ May Day, ” “ Blackberry Pie. ” She says that about Ringo Starr and “ Yellow Submarine ” excessively, but with Jack it ’ s unlike. She ’ s seen the pictures of him at Rebecca and my marriage. She knows he ’ s been in our family .
once she was asleep, I went to my calculator. I looked at Facebook, which I hadn ’ metric ton done in a couple of days. person had tagged Jack in a photograph. I clicked on it, and was about to close the window when I saw that whoever had posted it had put dates, 1947-2011. I thought that was an odd way to date a photograph. I looked at it again. Maybe it had Friday ’ mho date—I can ’ thymine remember…I was starting to realize…I literally felt a clench in my abdomen. ( This is one of the feelings that is unmanageable to convey in fabrication without drifting into cliché. ) But I felt it. I went to his Facebook page and saw the posts .
I met Jack the way many others did : with a group of people playing their songs. I was living in Manhattan ( having moved from Austin to NY at the begin of 1995 ). In 1996, I went to the Kerville Folk Festival, in Kerville, Texas. I was sitting outside the tent I was sharing with my friend Dale Barnard. A singer-songwriter ally of Dale ’ mho named Andrew McKnight was there, playing a sung .
Jack was walking by and recognized Andrew ’ sulfur voice. He stopped and sat down with us. At the time, he was involved with a songwriter named Wendy Beckerman. I had seen her do once at the Fast Folk Café in NY. She showed up a few minutes later. Jack played his song “ twentieth Century ”. I was pretty amazed by the sung. And however am. I had some of my writing with me, a short musical composition called “ Fenster ’ second Wisdom ” that I late ( ten years later ) incorporated into my report “ Sidewalk Factory : A municipal Romance. ”

Reading: Jack Hardy, Gone

Jack invited me to come to his hebdomadally songwriter ’ sulfur meetings. He said he liked it when all types of artists came, not precisely songwriters. I attended every workweek until I moved from New York to Massachusetts in fall 1998, and then occasionally if a trip to New York coincided .
I never felt like I was a complete contribution of the songwriter ’ mho meetings, chiefly because I don ’ thyroxine play an instrumental role. Sometimes I would read my fiction, but largely I ate pasta, drink wine, and listened. A bunch of people passed through, some I got to know, some I didn ’ triiodothyronine. Some probably wondered who was this guy who didn ’ thyroxine play a song or say a lot. I didn ’ t have any script out at the clock time, with only a couple of stories that had appeared in obscure journals. Before having a ledger published it was harder to be populace about my write. I felt like the introvert amongst the performers. Which besides happened to be a trait of the character from my first novel, Circus of the Grand Design. confidence has come with publication. I ’ m distillery an introvert, but I ’ m a more assertive one .
Though not a fabrication writer, Jack had an influence on my writing. He encouraged me to have assurance as an artist. He said I should quit my day-job so I would have more time for writing. Which I did .
I reference him in my first two books. In In Springdale Town, Richard Shelling remembers an old girlfriend who wrote a song for him called “ Only One Sky. ” The annotate informs the reader that Jack Hardy is the song ’ s real writer. And in Circus, Joseph Dillon, the ringmaster and owner, approaches some musicians at a party, pulls out a can whistle, and asks if they know “ The Tinker ’ s Coin. ”
Over the years, I stayed at his house a few times, got to know his children. He visited me after I moved to Ohio. After Merida was born it became more unmanageable for me to find the time to keep in touch with people, Jack included .
One day, in give of 2001, Jack called and asked if Tipp City, Ohio was anywhere near me. Which it is. Turned out there was a branch of the Studebaker family in this sphere. They hold a bad kin reunion in Tipp City every five years and asked Jack to come play. He brought some musicians, and they all stayed with us. The end clock I saw him, the last time he came through town, was for the reunion, July 2006 .
My final communication with him was May 2010. He had just returned home from playing some dates in Italy. His flight home was delayed because of the vent in Iceland, so he spent a few excess days in Italy .
I said :
Glad you were someplace where you would want to have flights canceled. Anyone who would complain about extra time in Italy is person we wouldn ’ t want to know. And the tour was good besides ?
It would be courteous to get you to play somewhere around here, but I don ’ thyroxine know where that would be. I might check into the nonstop institute, which is a laud name for some of the former faculty of Antioch, as a transitional thing between the school ’ second shutting and alleged re-opening. You could do a concert ( with some talk ) of by and large political social comment songs ( that ’ s what would concern them the most so that ’ s what I would propose ). But I don ’ thyroxine know that they have money to pay. I think they make their events barren. possibly could do it as a cover to pay the artist thing. Anyway, will look into it if you ’ ra interest .
differently, how ’ randomness things ?

And his answer :
robert, the closest iodine might get to you in the approximate future is port city in very southerly ohio. i am constantly matter to in playing anywhere but it is nice to get payed for it. ah, the lucrative worlds of folk music. the italy go was fantastic. how ’ s the lucrative global of novels ? – j
possibly I wrote back, but I don ’ metric ton think thus. many times, I meant to call him. You always assume there will be another find .
I still don ’ thymine know all the details of what happened. The New York Times ran an obituary on Sunday. Christian Bauman has a bang-up web log post here. There are early notices on Jack ’ s website that I haven ’ triiodothyronine had time to read .
Jack never received enough taste for the art of his writing. He believed that poetry ( song poetry ) was a shape of conjuring. He said that some of his songs, such as “ I Ought To Know ” had all their meaning on the coat, but others were metaphorical, and were meant to transport the hearer. unfortunately, we live in a time of surface .
He much said he wouldn ’ metric ton be celebrated until after he died. I do hope that happens. But whatever attention comes now, I ’ five hundred rather have a opportunity to hear him play some songs for Merida .

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