On Sundays I reflect.
This one is for Jaffee. It’s been a year since we lost our friend to his battle with cancer. I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately.
Andrew Jaffee grew up in Minneapolis with some of my friends from a summer camp I attended most of my life. In high school I used to take the Megabus for $1 to Minneapolis from Chicago to hang out with my friends. It was my escape from a place where I felt isolated and confined as a kid growing up in the suburbs of Chicago.
Jaffee & I
The more I went up, the more people I met expanding beyond my friends to their own social circles. We did typical high school stuff, partying in basements drinking and smoking pot. Certain individuals stand out from that group and many have gone on to do great things. I’m not in touch with many of them over a decade later, except for the occasional birthday wishes on Facebook or a phone call here and there.
We played guitar together at parties. Not only was he one of the best musicians in our group, but he had a great singing voice. I remember as a kid always thinking he had it all. He was so cool and composed all of the time, and a heart throb amongst our girlfriends. I can admit I had a little man crush on him and still do.
A few of us ended up in Colorado over the last few years, and Jaffee was one of them. We reconnected as adults, convening for brunch in Boulder most Sundays when I was living in Fort Collins. He was one of the only friends of mine that made the hour drive out of the way to hang out with me in Fort Collins during one of the lonliest times of my life. We saw shows together, played Settlers of Catan, and just hung out around Colorado. I felt very alone that year, after leaving New York and starting over in Colorado. My local friends were all at least an hour away. It was essential for me to spend quality time with good people that year, and Jaffee was always there for me.
Taylor Hines & I
I remember when he got sick. My dude Taylor Hines and I cried on the phone when he told me, and we cried whenever we saw each other for some time after. There were ups and downs throughout the battle. There were times we all thought he would pull through. Eventually it became clear he would not. All of our friends dropped everything for Jaffee. People moved to Denver to help take care of him and to be with him through the battle. At one point near the end, I offered to take him on the adventure he craved in an RV. Andrew loved traveling and exploring. He loved nature and he loved the excitement of the open road, much like myself.
Before he got sick, he was a teacher for young kids. He loved talking about his experiences with the youngsters, along with his dedication to learning about how to have the best impact on kids at such an early age. I always admired Andrew in those conversations. He had an energy that was contagious. He brought good vibes anywhere he showed up. I’ll always miss that. There will always be a void. Our friends gathered and it’s good to see everyone, but the circumstances suck.
On the bright side, I had Jason Gordon in the studio this week and we had an incredible two day session. He’s out here for a pendant light show at Creative Culture in Idaho Springs I’ll be attending tomorrow. It was a real honor to have him come through Bat Country Studios.
Speaking of bats, we’ve had a swarm of bats in and out of our studio this week that seems to be almost under control. It’s been an exciting week up here in the mountains, and now that Labor Day Weekend is ending we’re all thinking about winter. I’m ready for Vail to open and I think the feeling is the same all around me. Summer was fast, but winter can’t get here soon enough.
Tell the people you care about how you feel. Jaffee reminded me no day is guaranteed, so I’m trying to make the most of what I’ve got.
Enjoy your long weekend,
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September 08, 2019
I love the way you are open to sharing your feelings and your willingness to be vulnerable. Enjoyed seeing you and your family this summer.