As I was saying in part one, my old friends Kevin Burns and Jan Duggins showed up at the showcase to see me perform. I adjusted my set to begin with River That Flows, which Tim Duggins and I co-wrote. I got in touch with Tim three years ago to update his info for song registration purposes. We tried to get together, but he had lung cancer and it was hard for him to get around.
When Jan showed up with Kevin and not Tim, I was afraid the news was not good. When I sat down to talk with them after my set, Jan confirmed that Tim died a couple of years ago. She said Tim had been glad that I’d gotten in touch and he was happy I was still playing. He had gone downhill after that, when they started treatments. I was also glad that I’d gotten in touch with him before he died. We had a lot of good times.
As I also said in part one, Kevin was one of the people in the group of friends that began in West Hall at NTSU (now UNT). I met Tim at Richland Junior College (now part of the Dallas County Community College District). Richland had just opened the year before. I was able to share stories about Tim that Kevin and Jan hadn’t heard.
Tim and I instantly began playing music and hanging out. Sometimes when we should have been in class. Truth be told, there are some substances that, when consumed, render going to class a useless activity. We transferred to North Texas, and so began the West Hall chronicles. I may share some of those stories. There are some I’ll never tell anybody. Unfortunately, as I found out through our conversation, I’m the only one of the original group not dead or missing.
Kevin was at my first wedding. What I didn’t remember was that I had met Jan. When Desperados on Greenville Ave. opened, Tim had a friend that he introduced me to. She was the bartender at Desperados and said she could use help. So I became one of the first bartenders there. At the time, it was a service bar behind the stage, which faced the front door. If you go to Desperados now and sit at the long side of the bar, look to your right. There is a door that goes into a closet. That used to be the bar.
I also played there with Joel Nichols and with Tim. As it turns out, when Tim and I played there, Jan and a friend were in the audience. They were just friends at the time, so I didn’t think anything about it.
So the three of us spent the time sharing memories and celebrating Tim’s life. Good music, good friends, and good memories – a nice way to end a whirlwind trip and showcase.
Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.
Peace be with you.