It's only in the last few years that Easter has once again meant something to me, no I didn't find Jesus. However, I do believe in the resurrection.
In 2005 my wife Sarah and I were running Spoken Word Nantucket, it was our first year of really being able to afford to book the best in the field, month after month. That year we hosted Brother Blue, Taylor Mali, Regie Gibson, Franz Wright, and others. One booking above all the rest has stayed with me ten years beyond. If you were thinking that our list is good but it's shy one Jack McCarthy, well no; it wasn't. Jack was booked that year for Easter Sunday (our shows were on Sundays) but as you might recall Jack had a minor setback that year in the form of major heart surgery.
Which leads me to divulge Jack wrote me from his recovery room to assure me that he would be on Nantucket, have no doubt! It turns out Nantucket was important to him personally because back in the 50's his dad had run a summer baseball camp on the island, as a matter of fact his poem over takers (meant to compete with Patricia Smith's "Undertakers") was about Nantucket. If you haven't heard it or read it, GET IT!
In total Sarah and I booked Jack 5 times, each time was a blessing in the truest sense of the word. I have an e-mail from the first booking where Jack asked me to promise to re-book him if no one showed up to hear him on Easter. Hell, you could see the line of cars coming from the Polpis Road all the way to the little classroom on the bluff as if it were that scene in Field of Dreams. It was our first overflow crowd and all that came will tell you how much of a revelation his words were. I treasure that bit of electronic keepsake, it gives me pause to be thankful.
Today, Sarah and I took a ride to Taylor Reservoir, just a few minutes from where we now live. We stopped and took some pictures and thought about all that's happened and how very lucky we are. Tonight I'll put on Jack's last CD and I'll hear him again and he'll make me laugh, cry, and think. Happy Easter.