Thursday, September 13, 2012

Doc

He burned bright.
I had three close friends up until my forties (lovers and wives don’t count being transitory by nature) and he was one of them.
His voice was loud and he would emphasize his points.  At work a phone call, I answer and “THAT HARDWORKIN’ PAT HUTCHINS!  How the hell are ya pal?”  For some reason I’ve associated his speech pattern with Seinfeld, we tended to speak that way with each other.  He could tell you every double plot thread from every Seinfeld ever by the way.
We loved lists.  A sample, here is a list we put together of favorite songs by year from 1975 to 2005:



https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AqC3XjD39gVRdEZRdndNVU9tbEpzYlNabnctV3dxb1E&single=true&gid=0&output=html



When he left Seattle there was a gathering of friends at a small bar downtown, I put together a top ten list of the Reasons Doc Was Going Back Home and shakily (have I mentioned my social anxiety?) read it to the group when it was my turn to speak.  It killed and he loved it.  Most of it was ball busting, I wish I remember it.
He was detail oriented when it mattered to him.  He knew the numbers of baseball players from ages back.  Baseball was his sport.  Often I’d see him watching a random game on ESPN and keeping score on whatever was handy, the back of an envelope, the TV schedule, back of a flyer, whatever.  We had shit all over the place because he was the messiest person I’ve ever known – when he moved out to go back east it took a full day for me to clean out the debris left behind and still ended up with a fifty pound box o’crap I mailed to him a couple months later.  I was not used to being the clean one in a household.
When you sent him an email it the reply as likely as not would be to a large group of people.  An example, after Roy Halliday pitched a perfect game for the Phillies I sent Doc (just Doc) the following:
From: Pat Hutchins
To: Doc
Sent: Thu, October 7, 2010 11:36:17 AM
Subject: Phighting Phils

So this Halladay fella seems to be pretty good.  Go Phils!
 Did I ever tell you that if you put the Pogues, the Replacements and Springsteen in a blender with a case of whiskey that you come up with Titus Andronicus?  Find The Monitor.  You’ll thank me.
 Love,Hutch

The reply (Header info simplified):
 From: Doc
Sent: Friday, October 08, 2010 9:21 AM
To: Pat Hutchins
Cc: 34 separate names
Subject: He will now be known as "Doc"
I imagine most of you are aware that if a person perfroms at the highest of levels over a long period of time and then does something beyond that superior level, then and only then, they earned honor of being forever referred to by the exalted title of
 "DOC"
 I, know I am speaking for my colleges ( Ellis, Severenson, Watson, Rivers, Meditch, Demeto, of the Bay, Tari, Julius, Livingston, Gooden, Street, your pay if you don't get off yer butt, Johnson)
 Welcome to the club, Mr. Haliday.  I mean, Doc.
Soon followed by an addendum (there were usually addendums):
1.  I confess, misspelled "Halliday,"  "Demento" and I'm sure plenty of other words.
2.  I think I spelled "Doc" correctly.  (For me, the ease of spelling this nickname continues to be one of its best features.)
3.  Julius Irving's teammates (and many if, not most fans) call him "Doc."  Think back to interviews with "Billy C" and reports by "Big Al" Meltzer.  #6 is a charter member of the "Doc" Club.  He shows up at most of our meetings. 
 He simply cannot be left off the list.  I would hope that even a guys named "Yellow Sleeves" and "Chemo"would know that.
I don’t know so many things.  I don’t know why jumping off things kept cropping up for me over the past few weeks.  I don’t know how to express all the stories:  the Wings challenge, the Seven Habits, the fantasy league, the darts, Austin, the Road Trip, the Hangdogs night, NYC, Pittsburgh, Gettysburg (he went to Gettysburg college for a short time and they would drink at night on Little Round Top), Mariners games, Pee-Wee, lesbian dating, the yogurt breakfast, Nerf bazookas, Ted Turner at the Goodwill Games, so much fucking more that is too mixed together right now to talk about.  I don’t know how to express how much it hurts to know how much he hurt at the end; and I don’t know how to express how goddamn pissed off I am at him.  I don’t know how to stop tearing up while writing this, and I am not a crier.
Besides, this is a music blog.  And maybe when you burn so bright you eventually just burn out.

4 comments:

  1. I know why you tear up when you write that. The same reason I tear up reading it, and I'm not even sure what half the things you write even mean.
    We all should be so lucky as to cause someone to write that way about us.
    My thoughts are with you.

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  2. I love the list (It's such a window into both of your music worlds). Such a loving and sad tribute to a friend who is gone.
    You picked the same song two years in a row! Were you guys really hanging out in 96/97?

    What did Doc think about your electronic phase?

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  3. What a lovely tribute to your friend. He'll live on in your heart, and in ours after reading that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks guys. It was good to get away to Vegas for a few days.

    To answer Marcy's questions, he was back east by the mid-90's but that's around the time he got me into alt-country, through the Old 97's.

    He was a singer/songwriter sort of guy. I don't remember that I even went there all that much with electronic. I did push Beck on him pretty hard, but he never warmed to it.

    ReplyDelete

What the youth of today are listening to

It's time for my annual Cognitive Psychology Music Club - they've picked their favorite songs!  Enjoy!