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Goodbye, Doug

When I first started the Dayton Slam at Canal Street Tavern in '99 (I think it was...maybe '98), on the first open mic list was the name Doug Collins. He was a somewhat older gentleman who had to leave early to catch his bus, but he wanted to read and he wanted to support what was going on. Doug showed up every month or, more recently, every show (however sporadic), with VERY few exceptions. Doug was a fixture, a regular, a supporter with no interest or dream of making the big time. He was there to support the poetry scene in Dayton. He would show up and read at other shows when there were open mic lists, and he would happily come in and read at other events if he was able.

Doug could tell you stories all day. His life was full of stories, and just a passing reference in a poem would get him sharing. He also showed up for any cookout or organizational meeting or get-together we ever arranged because he knew that a poetry scene relies on community, and he wanted to be part of the community. Not just the Slam one, either. Doug showed up to any poetry reading he heard of, ready to read.

Doug was in his 50s and had a few health problems a few months ago that hospitalized him for a few days. He'd been to all the readings since then, but I got a call today from Link. They found Doug's body in his room today, and I'm guessing they called Link because they found his number when they couldn't find anyone else's. He'd apparently had a heart attack a few days ago, and just like that, he's gone. He was the nicest person I've met in Dayton, never had a cross word to say about anyone, and now that he's gone, the city's just a little bit meaner.

Goodbye, Doug, and thanks for everything you did.

Comments

krawczykuxy
Oct. 31st, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your share! very impressive!