Friday, January 16, 2009

Shadow Games: Life Away From Here


Dear Todd,

Hey, it's me. I know we don't know each other that well; as a matter of fact, we don't know each other at all, except for what we read from each other. I often wrote comments on your posts whenever your turn was up at Bronx Banter; usually silly and joking in nature, but hey, the way you wrote compelled me to write back. See, everyone has a quality that draws people to them, whether they realize it or not. Yours, to me, is compassion. You introduced us to many characters from your daily walk in this life that no one would have given a second thought to otherwise, lending a spark to bring their experiences to life for us. That's nothing to scoff at, believe me. A lot of people try and even more don't, but you succeed.

Yunnow, when Alex Belth was ready to debut the new Bronx Banter, among the things he shared with me was his excitement about you coming aboard. You could actually read the giddiness in the note, which was interesting because I think Alex is a superior writer, and for him to be excited about another writer joining the Banter was a fine endorsement (even if I had never heard of you before! >;) But yeah, he was right about you. The quality that you have that draws people to your work worked PDQ.

I think what it was for me was whenever you talked about riding the 2 train. You see, I live near the 2 train, and your observations about it were usually the same as mine; especially about Mark James, the homeless man. If I recall, you liked what I had to say about that. Well, I think everyone has the Common Man aspect, and some people have a unique way of touching base with that element. I could learn a little something from you about that.

It's no small thing to lend your energy to someone else so that they can be seen and heard. But what's even harder is to remain unseen yourself in the process, and I could tell you had a very good sense of modesty. I thought to myself how cool it would be to bump into you on the 2 train one day, neither of us having any indication of who the other, but somehow realizing who you were by just remembering the things you talked about, related or even championed. There'd be a knowing look followed by a pound and a wide-ranging conversation about how funny life is.

Or maybe not. I'm actually pretty quiet in "real life", my life away from here. Seems like the best writers are the ones who can't stand people on principle, but I doubt you're like that. No one who observed the things you did could be bothered by people that much. Irony comes in many forms... and I never liked this particular form. I know you'll have something intersting to say about that when I do see you on the 2.

Take Care and God Bless,
Chyll Will

Todd Drew, creator of the blog Yankees For Justice and regular contributor to Bronx Banter, passed away after a brief illness. To know more about Todd and why we have so much respect for him, go to the following:

Bronx Banter - Tributes (I compiled a short tribute list of songs I thought of at the time)
Bronx Banter - Shadow Games (A compilation of his posts at BB)
Lo-Hud Yankee Beat Blog (Tribute by Pete Abraham)
Yankees For Justice

1 comment:

Mr. OK Jazz said...

Hey Chyll, good stuff as always on your blog. Sorry I don't comment more often, I just have to limit myself or else I spend the whole day on the web! (Seems I spend half my work day at the Banter anyways, especially when talking music with you and thelarmis :)

It's funny how much of a community the Banter site has become, I was quite surprised and touched by all the emotional responses to Todd Drew's death. 42..I can't imagine it..I'm mid-30s myself, with a one-year old son, will I be able to play ball with him? Take him to a jazz bar? life is precious, man..

let me think over some tunes and get back to you. Good luck with that neighbor problem! Unfortunately over here in Tokyo, it's me, the wife and the little one who are the noisy upstairs neighbors! you can't silence a determined toddler..
peace, and check out the new headeron my site, let me know if you think it works www.tokyojazzsite.com