It’s that sad date again. It’s now been 19 years since I woke up to a phone call hearing that one of my best friends at Antioch College had been killed late at night in a car accident on Dayton Yellow Springs road returning from renting movies in Xenia, a trip I had done with him countless times.
Karmynn Kimble called me from Staci & Mike’s house to share the news and I immediately walked down the hall and woke up another friend of Mike’s, Brian Jenkins, and chatted with him for a long while. The days after that, leading up to the funeral, are all a blur. I recall brief memories about his funeral, that his family had some of his favorite clothes they were going to cremate with him, including that airbrushed t-shirt with a thousand little smiley faces on it (that he always insisted there was one sad face in there though I never recall ever finding it). I so wanted to beg them to let me have that shirt but they clearly knew it meant a lot and had plans for it. Months later we ended up taking over the lease at the house in Yellow Springs that Mike & Staci had been renting and Staci had also left Mike’s unstartable car which I was never successful in getting the title to. It sat in the Science Building parking lot for a number of years and I eventually gave the keys to a plumber at Antioch who had plans for it. No idea if it ever rode again.
For a few years after the accident I would have vivid dreams of finding out he was alive and had faked his death to avoid paying Antioch money he owed for tuition (something I suspect if he could have pulled off without hurting anyone he would have 🙂 ). Emily also reminded me that sometimes I’d wake up thinking he or his ghost was in our apartment though I don’t recall this specifically anymore. Maybe he was there, keeping an eye on me for a few years to make sure I turned out ok 🙂 It’s been years since I’ve seen him in my dreams, at least as I recall.
I still think of him often, especially with all the Antioch turmoil going on these days I find myself wondering what he would think about all that’s going on. He’d either be part of the bunch of us fighting for the formerly tenured faculty etc, or he’d have washed his hands of anything Antioch and would be razzing me for still caring about it.
At some point I really should stop remembering this day and change these entries to February 23rd, his birthday but for now the 2-8-92 digits still haunt me.
So this is yet another virtual tip of the hat in his memory on this day.
Photo above is of Mike & Staci, I believe from about 1991 or so. Thanks to Mike’s brother, Mark, for sharing this photo with me a few years ago.
Here’s to you Mike. You are still missed. Wish you were here.