The MonkeyGirl calls those “bonus friends.” I’ve always thought that an apt description. And it’s why an email from her today shook me to the core. One of those bonuses has been lost.
Joe Longi died Saturday, May 23. That’s all I know. It’s all I really need to know, I guess. He has a memorial page on Facebook and I will invariably contribute some photos to a collection that one of his closer friends started. I have quite a few, though they’re a bit scattered and I’ll need to find them.
Some of the tributes there and on this blog are emotionally crushing. These people remember Joe the musician or Joe the artist. I can attest he was talented in both cases. That’s not, however, what I will remember Joe for. I will remember him as the man who introduced the chainsaw to the annual Pumpkins & Powertools party.
And I will remember him as my dance partner. (For the record, I don’t dance. Or, more correctly, I don’t dance often or well.) Joe was forever trying to get me to dance. I used to call him Denny Terrio. Surely you remember Dance Fever? Joe did.
Because he would tease me about so many things, though never maliciously – always in jest, I thought my clumsy awkwardness at dancing would be added to the list. Instead, he was patient and encouraging. I told Joe I would always be his Solid Gold dancer and we both would laugh.
Of course, Joe always seemed to be laughing. He was one of those people you couldn’t help but laugh at or with. And movies? He and I talked some trash about some movies.
Laughing, dancing, making faces, or just generally making others laugh … we’re going to miss you, Joe. I guess now you truly are dancing (or drummin’) with the stars.