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Remembering Sarge, Wild Bill, Greg Haymes

Greg Haymes
Richard Loverich

On Sunday, May 19th, several hundred friends of Greg Haymes gathered at The Egg to pay tribute to a true hero of the Local 518 music and art scene.  The event started with a late afternoon reception in the lobby of the Hart Theatre.  Folks gathered, and greeted one another. Some even donned white stuff on their noses. Thanks, Paul Rapp.

Around 4:50pm, the people began to ride elevators to the floor where the Swyer Theatre held a nearly bare stage.  There was a podium with a microphone, an acoustic guitar sitting in a stand, and a lone microphone waiting to be sung into.  A few minutes after 5pm, the lights lowered, and the slide show that had been showing all sorts of images of Greg in the various stages of his life and career was turned off.  Peter Lesser, the Executive Director of The Egg took the stage and introduced himself.

Peter took a few moments to say a few words about Greg, and how he would often be warming one of the seats in these two theatres. Peter reminded us that this tribute, or memorial, could have been held at any one of the venues across the Local 518.  Greg had graced the stage, or sat in the theatre - maybe there to review the show.

Then Greg's dear wife, Sara Ayers, an amazing artist and musician in her own right, took the stage to share with us some loving words. She let us into the space and time in Greg's final weeks. She shared stories and images, and even some of the amazing artwork he was creating right to the very end of his life.

Keeping our eyes dry this evening was tough.  But we needn't have worried. The entire audience would laugh, cry and sigh aloud together as various friends and colleagues shared a story, or two.  Some were able to hold back their sorrow for a few moments. Some were unable to fully contain. There was no judgement.  All loved Greg. All understood.  If you could characterize this evening, one that was to end by 6pm, but didn't, you could say it was a giant group hug, followed by a second line with Dixieland Jazz to end the night. We even all played kazoos (you know...we had to).  And some even broke their vow to never sing aloud as the entire crowd sang "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" in the lobby as the band played on.

Applause.  Then the elevator doors opened, and people stepped on. Some going home. Some were going to a hang at McGeary's to continue the celebration.

Dear, Greg. RIP, brother.  Thank you for all you did for WEXT, the Local 518 music scene, for art, for the community. Your individuality and your singular passion for all art will be unmatched, but we will try to carry on in your spirit.  The community misses your devilish smile, and your amazing words.  Thank you for making us better.

Below you will find words by those who spoke that evening.  (Please return as we are still gathering the pieces from those who shared stories.)

Paul Jossman, aka Bowtie Blotto

Bowtie Blotto
Credit WEXT

  Let’s go way back to Greg’s days in high school…which as you know, he remembered as the best 7 years of his life. Greg was very proud of his first “job” in the late 60’s as the Sherriff’s deputy in the Wild West Show at Fantasy Island Amusement Park outside of Buffalo, New York. It involved swaggering around in a cowboy outfit, charming the kids and grandmothers, and helping the Sheriff round up the bad guys. When he was unlucky enough to be gunned down by Black Bart he would drop with comically exaggerated histrionics onto his knees then fall face down in the street. But, on a really good day, he got to fall off a roof onto a mattress, of course with the same comically exaggerated histrionics. He was quite good at it and found himself greeting fans and signing autographs at 16 years old. A bit of retrospective consideration reveals this “job” of falling off roofs as an apt metaphor for his style throughout his life: 1) he always made it look easy 2) he did things his own unique way 3) he earned and enjoyed the attention and adulation of his fans and followers.

Inspired by The Jim Kweskin Jug Band at the Mariposa Folk Festival, Greg played in the Zing Kings Jug Band in high school. It was in this band he developed his completely unique, double spoon style of playing the washboard, with accompanying knee kick, that was a wonder to watch - the first of his many great “moves” on stage. Try as I might I found it impossible to copy but he made it look easy. Even in high school he was learning, in different ways, to fashion his stage presence and discovering and developing his many performing skills. Of course there were disappointments as well, Greg got great amusement recalling how he auditioned for West Side Story and was given the only non-singing role in the entire cast.

Our paths first crossed at the Inside Out Coffee House in Troy, NY in 1971. His college band was looking for a banjo player. I was just out of college and looking to play fun music so I joined up. We auditioned for a summer long gig at Gaslight Village Amusement Park in Lake George. Since the sign said “Long haired freaky people need not apply” we put hats over our hair, adopted the name Star Spangled Washboard Band (after the stars on Greg’s Washboard) and got the gig playing 4 shows a day, 6 days a week for $100 per man. However Greg also got a role in the Mellerdrama as the cantankerous, tippling father of the heroine. Now he was doing an additional 3 shows a day – that’s 7 shows a day, 6 days a week all for the same $100 per week. But we were in show biz!

The Washboard Band was extremely entertaining and fun and found work quickly as an acoustic quartet. Soon the band electrified and developed a style akin to putting a fiddle, a banjo and a Firesign Theater album in a blender on the highest speed. In this setting Greg created his first complete stage persona “Wild Bill Hayes”, his inspired evolution of the teenage cowboy falling off roofs a few years earlier, now clad in fringe shirt, black hat, jeans, cowboy boots, big belt buckle, holster for his harmonicas and a black beauty mark stuck on his cheek bone meticulously cut out of a piece of black bumper sticker material. Every song he performed he inhabited, perfected, owned with his unique vocal interpretation, gestures, turns, nods, facial expressions, surprising props, dramatic movements…people could not take their eyes off of him! I recently watched videos of him from that time and am still amazed no matter how often I have seen him perform.

Greg, rather “Wild Bill Hayes”, was in character from the minute he walked on to the minute he walked off. He had command of a thousand details and everything he did: taking a drink of water, wiping his face with a towel, moving his cymbal stand, or even looking at someone else in the band was compelling to watch. Always fresh and durable his performance fit the myriad venues we played throughout the 70’s such as: The Bitter End, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Disneyworld, Mike Douglas Show, Maury Povitch Show, 1976 People’s Bi-Centennial in Washington DC, countless bluegrass festivals, colleges, showcase clubs and state fairs.

Leaving a trail of debris in its wake, the Washboard Band dissolved in 1978 and after some decompression and wood-shedding reemerged as the skinny tie, new wave, witty, pop band Blotto. Most of you are probably more familiar with Greg’s second great stage persona “Sarge Blotto”. Greg created a new punky-but-friendly look. Simplified, more compact, more muscular, tighter pants, spiky hair, leather wrist band, rock edge, more sexy than cute. Building on what he had perfected earlier, his every action on stage was the embodiment of “Sarge Blotto”. Not limited to live performing and recordings, the new music video medium was perfect for Greg who thrilled countless fans with his timeless performances in Lifeguard and Metal Head which were in heavy rotation on MTV. His iconic “smoking headphones” clip from Metal Head was used in a long running promo for the channel.

Slight aside for a moment, of course we all enjoy the attention and adulation from fans. Who wouldn’t? Greg liked the attention very much….a lot…a whole lot. In fact we had a little joke in the band: “Bowtie thinks everyone’s looking at Broadway. Broadway thinks everyone’s looking at Bowtie. Sarge knows everyone’s looking at him!”

Blotto stopped playing regularly in the mid 80’s and Greg moved into his next career - writing about music. Other people will elaborate on this, but he seamlessly carried his style that I described over to this new pursuit: 1) He did endless research and preparation to make the job look easy 2) he had a unique style and voice and you always knew it was his writing 3) he developed a new base of readers and fans and enjoyed the pleasure they took in his writing.

Greg was my friend, band mate and brother since 1971. We toured for 11+ years, and since one band touring year is like a dog year it really adds up. For the last 12 years we played in a much more relaxed fashion in the Ramblin Jug Stompers. The pain of his loss is with me every day, but my life was so much better for knowing him – I accept that hurt as the price of a great friendship and I’m happy to pay it. He left the building before the rest of us, so we’ll do the check of the dressing room, gather up whatever he left behind, load up the gear and catch up with him back at the hotel.

Bill Polchinski, aka Broadway Blotto

Broadway Blotto
Credit WEXT

  Sara, Von, Honored Guests, Bowtie, Party crashers & those who are here on the Empire State Plaza tour...

We’re here to celebrate the life, the talent, the spirit, the influence & genuine kindness of Gregory Charles Haymes, aka Sarge Blotto, master of stage, screen, the written word, artist canvas & whatever household items he could get his hands on. Welcome to Greg at the Egg.

Back in 1970, Greg was a 2nd year theatre major at Albany State. We worked an anti-war play together. I was a recent transfer who knew nobody on campus while Greg knew plenty of people & invited me into the circle. Before long a bunch of us started spending time talking & laughing in the dorms, doing dumb dorm stuff like moving furniture, making a lounge in an elevator. In Spring of ‘71, we really got to bond when we played pirates in the musical Peter Pan doing dumb pirate stuff like having a different buccaneer wear the eyepatch each time we made an entrance. Once Greg & I were in a K-Mart toy section...it was back when things weren’t shrink wrapped so we opened boxes of GI Joes & posed them in various stages of escape; sneaking out of their boxes, helping each other out, climbing down the shelf, etc

That summer, as Bowtie mentioned, the Star Spangled Washboard Band was born in Lake George & came back to college in the fall as a force to be reckoned with....a campus sensation. Musically polished & hysterically funny, a rollicking great time. By a stroke of fortunate timing, a personnel change meant the band needed a guitar player. When they asked me to join, I was ecstatic, came on board & started spending time with some of the greatest guys on the planet. Greg became Wild Bill, then eventually Sarge & the rest is show biz history.

As an entertainer, Greg, Wild Bill, Sarge was a combination Elvis, Johnny Cash, Tom Jones, Bobby Darin, Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison & Aretha Franklin. He was an amalgamation of all the Beatles personalities  John, the smart one, Paul, the cute one, George, the quiet one & Ringo, the one who hit things. Sarge was tops at hitting things: cowbells, tambourines, bongos, cymbals woodblocks & all the high notes in the songs which he turned into rock anthems. He bedazzled all who saw him play. Once after a show, an older gentleman mused about Sarge saying, “I don’t know what it is he does, but he’s really good at it.”

As a creative performing artiste, Sarge was driven...primarily because he didn’t have a license, so the rest of us had to take him places. Regardless, he was always in motion in mind or body. Walking around the bohemian district, Lark Street, Sarge was a presence who made many friends with whom he shared his knowledge of music & added to his own cerebral catalog. The friends he made were friends for life as evidenced by all of us here to remember him & the positive effect he had on everyone even toddlers.

In 1994, the band was having our pictures taken in a playground when my 3 year old son, Will, slipped & fell. Like lightening, Sarge raced over, picked him up & made sure he was okay. Fast forward to 6 weeks ago when I told Will about Sarge’s illness. He said, “Tell him get well for me; & thank him for picking me up in the playground.” He remembered Greg’s caring gesture from 25 years ago.

All good things must come to an end & the band stopped touring. Sarge became GC Haymes, mild-mannered entertainment reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper. He also became enamored with musician/artist Sara Ayers. They married & built a life together, supporting & enjoying each other’s creativity. Two beautiful & lucky kids.

Greg left us peacefully as he lived. Spending so much time with someone, occasionally becomes routine & we take each other for granted. Everything that he did came from his heart directly to the hearts of others. Sarge we miss you, we love you & wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, we all know that you’re really good at it.

Michael Eck, musician/writer, Proctors Theatre

Michael Eck
Credit WEXT

This is a century-old, mother-of-pearl, extra-fine Mabie, Todd & Co. school pen. It’s for dipping in ink. It implies process. It implies thought. It was given me by Greg and Sara, in 1991, just after I’d moved, briefly, to Austin, Texas. Greg had written the foreword to a book of poems and lyrics of mine—which he’d also helped to compile just before I’d left—quoting both Gram Parsons, whom we loved, and Chris Whitley, whom we’d just discovered, and would devour in coming years. 

The pen was for writing. Like the foreword; like comments he’d made, in private and in public, about my music; and like the encouragement he would later lend my visual art, the pen acknowledged creativity. 

That was like breath for Greg Haymes, acknowledging creativity. 

If you are a musician in this room, he wrote about your band. If you are a writer, he whispered in your ear. If you are an artist, he stood in awe before your work. He participated in beauty. He offered support. He gave joy. 

If you knew him, he was blue—always, just under the surface. If you knew him, he was funny—sometimes with a sideways glance. If you loved him, as I did, you knew you didn’t know him at all. 

The last time I spoke with Greg, when he could still respond, he was sitting at his rustic dining room table, Sara glowing by his shoulder. The table was an organized mess. If you knew him, he saved everything. If you knew him, he didn’t eat. We—Greg, Bowtie and I—sipped Bob Dylan’s bourbon and dreamed about the future. 

Greg acknowledged creativity. He had promised himself to make more art, his truest calling. He sat that day making coffee paintings, reversing the image with rubber cement, letting the murky liquid make a case for itself; letting the coffee, or the bourbon, your choice, tell its story. 

I have too many stories. I can’t tell them here. I don’t have that many years. 

This is a set of Oblique Strategies. You could look it up. It’s a worthwhile dilemma. 

Sara handed me these, shortly after his passing, written, obsessively, in Greg’s beautiful hand, on sticks of cardboard—sly testament to both his invention and his frugality. Each is a suggestion, a path—“self portrait,” “coat of many colors,” “bulletproof heart.” We had spoken about these cards, Eno’s invention, years before. Greg’s interpretation—“pink and gray,” “lunatic fringe,” “sound and fury,” “the long road home”—will inspire years on. 

Each card acknowledges creativity. 

Fuck sorrow. Fuck cancer. 

Write the words. Sing the song. Paint the picture. Create.

Greg Bell, Guthrie Bell Productions

Greg Bell
Credit WEXT

I first saw Greg Haymes when he was playing in the Star Spangled Washboard Band. They played fairly regularly at Siena while I was in attendance there and I loved that band. When I met him through a mutual friend, I was starstruck. He was one of the coolest people that I had ever met. He was talented, funny, friendly and handsome. His smile would light up a room and he had a wonderful laugh. We became close friends from that moment on.

He introduced me to the Albany music scene as well as the Lark Street scene, which at the time was pretty much the same thing. Through him, I met the other members of the band that would eventually become Blotto as well as almost every other local musician in the area. As a musician, he never failed to entertain. As a friend, he was always there if I needed him.

When I needed somewhere to stay for a couple of months while waiting for an apartment to open up, he took me in. When he worked at Ticketron in Stuyvesant Plaza, he would pull Grateful Dead tickets for me when they went on sale so that I didn’t have to sleep out over night to get them.

I cannot imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn’t met him. For years, every Thursday I would pick up a Metroland and later the Times Union to see what was going on in town. If Greg said that a band was worth checking out, I did so without question. I never even thought about going out without reading his column first. When I started promoting shows, he would always give my shows a needed push. I could always count on him for information and his opinion about certain acts that I was thinking about bringing to town.

As far as I am concerned, there would not have been a music scene in the Capital District without him. I am pretty certain that there would be no Guthrie/Bell Productions without his influence. I am going to miss him tremendously. He was a musician, a writer, an artist but most of all he was a wonderful human being and a great friend.

I have many stories that I could tell about Greg but the one that sticks out in my mind was once I took a date to see the Washboard Band hoping that she would be impressed that I was friends with the band. While the band did their version of Rocky Raccoon, Greg decided to help me out. At the point in the song that "Rocky collapsed in the corner", Greg left the stage and fell across the table we were sitting at, knocking over the girl's drink. While his intentions were good, that was my last date with that woman.

RIP, Greg. I love you.

Kirsten Ferguson, writer



Kirsten Ferguson
Credit WEXT
Kirsten Ferguson

  I’m a music writer, so although I’ve been here at the Egg a lot, I’m usually off in the back somewhere, scribbling in a notebook.Greg and I often reviewed the same shows, whether I was with Metroland, the Daily Gazette or Nippertown, and he was writing for the Times Union or Nippertown.


I first met Greg through Andrzej Pilarczyk, the photographer who was with Nippertown from the beginning. Thank you, Andrzej, and to Sara for being such an important part of Nippertown over 10 years.


I thought about how I could write this to honor the spirit of a great life and person – someone we loved.


Every year before the holidays would be Nippertown list-mania,when Greg posted lots of “top ten” lists. “What moved you this year? What made you think or laugh or dance?” he asked the site’s contributors. And we all compiled our lists, a favorite activity of music nerds.


I thought it would be fitting to write a top ten list of my favorite things about Greg as an editor and friend. This is in no particular order, as they are all equally important. 


10. Greg’s “live and let live” attitude. When I first started at Nippertown, I asked him about what he was looking for in posts, and he said, “The only rule at Nippertown is there are no rules at Nippertown.” Then when I was getting ready to send him my first review, I asked what kind of word count and format be wanted. He said, ‘Kirsten, there are no rules at Nippertown.” Hemeant it. 


9. Greg’s love for animals. Both Greg and Sara loved their pets, and some of my favorite posts at Nippertown were the ones featuring their animals, in photos that Sara took and posted at the end of the week. Sometimes the dogs were wearing funny hats, or sunning out in a field somewhere, and occasionally the cat made an appearance. I always loved those posts.


8. Greg’s incredible stamina. I mostly knew him when he was in his 60s, but in any given week he’d be attending an art opening, a play, a Ramblin’ Jug Stompers gig, a friend’s social occasion, and the 2,3, 4, or 5 shows he was reviewing or attending. Not only was his schedule this crazy, but on any given day he could be hitting three things at once – going from a jazz festival downtown to an art show to a benefit concert at Valentine’s.


7. Greg’s mentorship. He was a reluctant editor in some ways. He wasn’t always fully comfortable taking on the role of an editor providing instruction. But he was a mentor for many in how he welcomed us all to Nippertown and made us feel included in this great platform.


Biker Greg
Credit Kirsten Ferguson
Motorbiker Greg by Kirsten Ferguson

  6. Greg’s sense of humor. One of my favorite memories of him is from an Alive at Five show with Bootsy Collins. It was a beautiful sunny day, and everyone was in a good mood. A biker came up to Greg and asked him to pose with his motorcyclehelmet and jean jacket on, like Sarge Blotto from the “Metalhead” video. And he played along with good humor, of course.  


5. Greg’s kindness. He embraced all of us at Nippertown with a sense of warmth and inclusion, making us feel like we were an important part of the website and fabulous array of events happening around the area.


4. Greg’s supportive nature. He and Sara were both there for me at one point when I lost my job. He said he was rooting for meand gave me references. That meant a lot. I know he providedthat kind of support to others too. 


3. Greg’s positivity and fairness in his reviews. He didn’t spend much time dwelling on the negative, and I think people appreciated that he didn’t take cheap shots. He never did hatchet jobs. He could sum up a show and capture the spirit and emotion of it so well. He would go home after a show and write and post his review, sometimes at 1 or 2 in the morning. I would usually write my reviews the following day. I would check his first and think, “He said it all. What’s left to say?”


2. Greg’s humility. There was always room for more bands on the local scene, and for more people to be involved in making music and art or writing and photographing what was going on locally.


1. Greg’s enduring appreciation for art and culture. If he wasn’t out, he was home watching movies, or making art or listening to albums. He lived for the transcendent moments that can come from experiencing great art. I’ve started compiling a list of his many recommendations, ones he made to me or posted on Nippertown. It’s going to be a long list. 


In closing, I’ve had many people come up to me and say howmuch we’ll miss Greg’s presence in the music and arts scene. But his spirit lives on. What I’ve learned overall from Greg is that a life filled with music and art and friends, family and animals is truly a life worth living. 


So, get out and see some shows. Thank you.


Chris Wienk, WEXT


Chris Wienk
Credit WEXT

  The first time I saw Greg Haymes was at The Continental in Buffalo. I was DJ of the Local Show for WBNY at Buffalo State College. Greg was from Tonawanda. So, we claimed Blotto as a local band. To us, he was a superstar.

The band came to the studios a few times. I think Blotto was our chief engineer’s favorite band. We’d all wear white stuff on our noses when they came by the station.

To this day, I smell sunscreen and think Blotto before the beach.

Fast forward a bunch of years: March of 2007. At this point, it’s a bit blurry, but I hope I remember it right.

Dave Michaels and I were cooking up what would become WEXT Radio.

We decided that what could set us apart from any other station was to play local music. This led to lunch with Bryan Thomas and anonymously reaching out to Greg.

Why anonymously? Remember, Greg was a journalist. We weren’t ready for anyone to know what we were doing. We still hadn’t completed thoughts or sentences. We weren’t ready for the scrutiny.

I had an old Yahoo email account. I logged in and drafted my first email to Greg Haymes, the guy from Blotto. I was nervous to write it. What would he think? Would he answer?

He did answer, almost immediately. He was a bit incredulous. His journalistic mind tried to ferret out who I was, who was behind this supposed radio station. "You really want to mix local music all through the day of regular programming?" He asked.

But even though he didn’t seem to believe me, he answered all of my questions and gave us tons of information. Band names, favorite records to look for, and he even helped us narrow and fine tune until we decided which record might be the Local 518 artist and song we’d play first.

Greg gave freely of his time. To be having this email exchange was thrilling.

But what later impressed me, besides how generous and how kind he was to help two guys trying to create a radio station (a station I wonder if he thought was real or would ever see the light of day), Greg told us about every band, every artist.

His sharing was selfless. It didn’t seem that he was telling us just about his friends; it was every artist; it was every genre, every style, everything.

My story comes down to this realization. I thought he was so generous because it seemed he stepped out of his friend circle to give us a full view of what was going on. I didn’t get it at first. Only later did I realize that he did give us the information about the people in his circle of friends.

It was you. Each and every one of you. Whether he knew you personally, or had just heard of you, or stood in the back to watch you do your thing and then write a piece about what he thought, he cared about this community. He loved all art. It was his passion.

I’ve said it before. Without Greg Haymes, there would be no WEXT. His love and passion is the heart and soul behind our vision to play the music of the Local 518.

Every time I play a song, I think about that. I try to measure up to his passion for everything created here. To Greg. To us at WEXT, the musicians of the Local 518 - you are all superstars.

Thank you for listening. And Greg, wherever you are now, thanks to YOU. 

Ed Conway, writer/photographer, Nippertown.com

Ed Conway
Credit WEXT

What can I say about Greg that hasn’t already been said but better ..... 

I wrote something similar as my full review of Blotto for their show at the Tulip Festival back in 2011. Greg let it stand. He knew it was a send up to a previous review by Bowtie in which he wrote “I saw Peppino D’Agostino at the Woman’s Club of Albany and sat immediately next to Paul Rapp, who was reviewing the show for Metroland. Since we saw essentially the same show, I will simply refer the reader to his review. However, since I left at intermission, to be fair, I request that people only read the first half of his review.” 

That was the kind of editor he was. He allowed a non-writer like me to have fun. 

I first saw Blotto back in the late 70’s, I believe, when Blanche Blotto played keyboard. They quickly became one of my favorite band (I’d sit and watch MTV to see their videos). One of my early dates with my wife, Kathy, was a Blotto/Sharks show at the Colony Coliseum, and they became one of her favorites as well. I even took my kids to shows when they were around, also becoming one of Evan’s favorites. 

I didn’t know at the time that I would end up being friends with most of them and “working” for Sarge. Back in 2010, as Kathy and I were on our way out the door to see Blue Oyster Cult in Pittsfield, Kathy noticed a blurb on Nippertown about adding your name to the list of contributors. So I quickly grabbed a small notebook and point and shoot camera and wrote up the review and sent it in, along with my pics. To my surprise, Greg put it up. Of course, without the pics as they were truly hideous. From that point on, I was hooked and Greg would critique my writing and helped me develop something I had always tried to avoid, 

writing.... I majored in accounting to avoid writing in college. As the opportunities arose, I started to try to develop my photography. Other photographers at the time, such as Andrzej Pilarcek and Rudy Lu helped me along the way. Greg continued to give me a platform to display my new found passion as well as helped create a fraternity for the photographers where we could share some of our stories and enjoy each other’s work. Along the way, we were joined by Stanley Johnson, Tim Reidy and Amy Modesti and others, who also enjoyed the friendly open atmosphere Greg and Sara Created. 

To give an example of the influence Nippertown had. I had sent in a review and photos of Nick Lowe and the Los Straitackets at the Egg. The last pic I shot that night was of the whole band backing Nick Lowe. The manager of both artists, Jake Garalnik, saw the photo in Nippertown and wrote to Greg, as well as Mark Gamsjager and Eddie Angel trying to get in touch with me. All this happening on my birthday, no less. Apparently they wanted this photo for the back cover of the Nick Lowe Quality Holiday Review Live album they recorded during the tour. Wow, my first album cover photo, all thanks to Nippertown. 

Greg was always there to help me out, whether it was to correct an error I noticed in a review, or to make an encouraging comment. Although one review I put up, he must have thought I was illiterate. I had made changes to a review of Wayne Hancock and stupidly forgot to save them. I sent it in without looking it over. I talked to Greg about it after it appeared and apologized, but all he said about it was, Yeahh, I thought something was strange about it. 

Recently, I began a look back at my photos and have been assaulting my Instagram and Facebook friends with my daily images. Once I posted my photos, I rarely looked back at them, and this 365 day project was an excuse to revisit them. The last time I spoke to Greg, he mentioned he was enjoying my posts, so 

I apologize in advance, but I’ll be intruding on you for the next 200 and some odd says. 

When Sara invited me to speak today, I was very nervous, I’m not used to speaking in front of so many people, many of whom have known Greg for very many years. I quickly realized, however, how could I not speak? It’s a chance to express just what he meant to me. I tried to thank Greg for posting my stuff whenever it appeared, but I never had a chance to thank him for the difference he made in my life and my new found passion. 

Through Nippertown’s encouragement along the way I’ve had two album cover photos, several promo photos for both musicians and some comedians. With Sara’s help, I was issued a photo pass for the Viva Las Vegas music festival. So, from sending in blurry shots of Blue Oyster Cult to an Eddy Nomination alongside photographers I admire, it’s been a long journey that I wouldn’t have even started without Greg, Sara and Nippertown. 

Michael Eck has a line in his song Dead Man’s Shirt that really hits home 

The Things we take for granted 

They take us by surprise 

Sometimes the best things are hidden 

Right before our eyes 

I can’t think of too many things this would apply to more than Greg. 

Thank you.

This radio station started on July 7, 2007, and has been funded by awesome listeners since then. Thank you!