For Those Still Standing: Episode 4

We're proud to bring you the fourth column from Mike Hale. Mike just packed up all his belongings and headed out on the road with no plans to return.

For the better part of the last 10 years, Chris Wollard, of Hot Water Music and The Draft, has been one of my best friends. Safe to say, one of the best friends I've ever had. Literally! I mean, when my wife left me, Chris was the very first person I called when I needed support. We've been through a lot of really emotional shit together: break ups, poverty, hard times, band dilemmas, long tearful nights, and all that sort of shit. Never once have I ever had a reason to doubt this persons loyalty and love.

Nothing could have prepared me for the horror I'm watching my friend live through right now. I was getting ready to leave Montreal and start the east coast leg of our tour that would eventually put us in Gainesville, HOME! When I got a call demanding that I find a quiet place to sit down. "Something has happened," the voice on the other end said. Chris' ex-fiance had been murdered the night before.

My blood ran cold, I couldn't move, my eyes began to flood. I was completely numb…. and then frantic! I knew right away, this was going to destroy Chris and I was hundreds of miles away. I started dialing and dialing and dialing to no answer. I don't know what I could have done anyway. What do you say to someone about this? At one time just a few years ago, he was planning on spending the rest of his life with this person. They had a connection beyond anything I've ever known with another person, and I've been married!

What would I say? What could I say? I would rather die than let this person suffer, and I can't do a goddamn thing to help. Gainesville is a town in emotional ruin right now. This individual who was so tragically lost was loved by so many here. Everyone I know loved her. Although I'm writing this with full permission, I'm choosing to keep names and details private out of respect.

What I want to share with you all this week is a song. You won't find it on a record or in a store. It's not available for sale or distribution. I don't know if it will ever be recorded again.

Chris shared this with me so that he could share it with all of you.