Michael Anthony Groteke

Well i was working on this nice long verbose brain dump entry with stories and anecdotes on my friend Michael who was killed in a car accident 12 years ago today when my browser died and lost it all. Ghost in the machine perhaps? Mike.. you fink! I worked hard on that! Anyways..

So I’m going to keep this short. For those of you who knew Michael from Antioch, or those of you who trust my judgement in who I count as a close friend, join me in a virtual tip of the hat in honor of his memory. He was one of my closest Antioch friends, we shared alot of adventures and stories together, and while I count myself lucky that I’ve only lost one person this close to me in the past dozen years, I still am deeply affected by his loss in ways I don’t have the words to describe.

He was killed on February 8th, 1992 on an icy road just outside Yellow Springs, OH. I remember getting an early morning phone call (6 AM or so) from Karmynn K., who was with his wife Stacy at their house. She told me that hours ago Michael had been killed in a car accident returning from renting videos in Xenia, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Pretty much in shock I walked down to Willet Hall and woke up Brian Jenkins, who was also close with Mike and we sat in his room talking for a long while as this all sank in.

In the spring of 1992, shortly after I ‘saw’ him in a dream laughing and smiling, I took my guitar to the Science Building stairwell around 2 AM one night and sat there with its wonderful echoing acoustics and wrote a song for him. I never wrote down the lyrics or recorded it, not sure why, I guess cause it was my first (and only .. to this date) ‘serious’ song and also, at the time, I wasn’t writing it for anyone else but me and him.

What I remember from the chorus was …

“Hey Michael, I know your there…
Hey Michael, you know I cared…
and when in my dreams i see you,
your laughing right out loud
that’s how I’ll remember you,… Michael”

(trust me.. 2 AM .. echo chamber stone stairwell, with tears running down my face, it sounded alot better. The verses told stories and lessons we learned together. Really wish I had at least written it down now. sigh)

It’s getting late and I already lost about 2 pages of writing telling stories of some of our road trips and adventures so I’m not going to tempt fate again.
In an earlier entry here in my journal I wrote a short bit about how I would describe my spirituality. Do I believe in spirits, ghosts, life after death etc? Not really.. but enough of me wants to that I hold a small glimmer of hope so I occasionally talk to no one or write things like this when I feel so moved.

In closing, the Fred Small song ‘Everything Possible’ has the line “… and the only measure of your words and your deeds will be the love you leave behind when your gone.” Michael left me with a lot of love, he was a great friend, and as I said above, hats off to you Michael, it’s been 12 years and I still think about you all the time. You are missed.

and Mike.. if it’s ok with you.. I’ll save the silly stories and memories for another post later on, perhaps on your birthday, 2/23.