|Janet, Husky Burnette and Kathy Fiedler... Rest easy Kathy|
Since I began writing these blogs for Rusty Knuckles they have all been music related. It's the one topic I know the most about so it's what I write about. Though on a completely other level, this one is no different because music is how I came to know the people I'm writing about.
That being said, I got a call yesterday from a guy that's more than just a friend of mine, he's like my brother. A friend that I would put before most people in my life. He's at the top of my "list". This friend, Mike Fiedler from the Shore Road Tavern in Philadelphia, PA, is more than at the top of my list and heavy on my mind today because the call was to inform me that his wife had passed. So I want to take a moment to reflect on the life of Kathy Fiedler. I'm not trying to drum up old memories to make folks sad, this is simply to remember Kathy for the remarkable person that I knew her to be. If any of you reading this, especially in the northeastern part of the country, have ever been to the Shore Road then you have met Mike and Kathy and know what extraordinary people they are. Kathy was an amazing, loving person who always did right by me. She and Mike went out of their way to do good and to help the people around them, either at the hospital saving lives or at the bar saving the musicians' souls. Kathy was 50% of the reason that I call Philly my second home (Mike being the other 50%). She always had a smile on her face and a big bear hug waiting on me every time I rolled into Philly on tour. She always asked about my family, my music, my life...myself in general. It wasn't just your basic mumbo jumbo conversation from a bar owner who barely knows you. That's because she was a friend. They have always been there for me and they've always been more than supportive of my career in music. That means more to a guy like me than anything. She truly was a genuine person. Her hard work and sweat went into saving the Shore Road Tavern with the intention of keeping it going and afloat. All of my musician pals and I owe Kathy a great deal and a huge "Thank You" for providing us with such a warm venue with an outstanding atmosphere. I don't call that little neighborhood dive my favorite spot for nothing.
Mike and Kathy had that "Johnny and June" type of love, the kind of relationship everyone wants. They were each others everything and you could see it clearly. Personally, this event has really put things into perspective for me. After I got the call Tuesday I found myself lying in bed that night, holding my girlfriend as tight as I could. I recently got the love of my life back after being apart for 14 years and this unfortunate event has made me realize a few things. One being how we're not guaranteed tomorrow. We are promised nothing in life so hang on to the people you love the most with the tightest grip possible. Let it be known that you love them and show them everyday exactly how much.
On behalf of me, my band members and the entire Rusty Knuckles record label and family, we send our condolences out to Mike and Kathy's families. You're in our thoughts and prayers. I think I speak for all of us who know them when I say we're here for you, however and whenever you may need us.
Kathy, you will be more than missed by many. Rest easy darlin'...
- Husky Burnette