The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #12000 Message #3610219
Posted By: GUEST,Debora Selinger
17-Mar-14 - 07:35 AM
Thread Name: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
At 5 am, I awoke in my hospital bed from an epileptic seizure and heard Tex's voice. This is the time when we would finally say goodnight, because all our frequent phone calls lasted most of the night. Unable to return to sleep, I put his name into a search engine and found this thread. Thank you for being there. I am one of his hundreds of best friends.
When I read the Whippoorwill poem, I heard it in Tex's voice. I read posts for an hour, pausing to reflect on each one, waiting for someone to mention the pocket chopsticks, with which he ate everything, not only Chinese food.
I met Tex in Toronto, don't remember exactly how, but we saw each other every Saturday because we both busked the Market, him in the farmers' north building, me in the one on the south side of Front St. I knew much about all of you before I found this thread, because he told me your stories. In fact, the Tranzac memorial party for him was the only gathering I've been to where everyone voluntarily wore a name tag. We milled about reading strangers' tags, only to exclaim "Oh! You're THAT Mike (or Tom or Mary or....) You're just like Tex described you! And how is your [Mom, career, dog, injury, etc.]-- though the tales were never as mundane as those nouns.
When it was my turn at the stage (near the end because it took me a long while to be able to get past the honoured lump in my throat and heart), I led the assembly in a song. I'm not sure now if I explained why I sang that one, and I'd like to tell you now.
Tex heard me busking this old classic country weeper, and with his typical dark wit, said "Play that song at my funeral." He was not dying, but always expected to any time. One of his apartment walls was stacked high with multiple duplicates of pill boxes of supplements and Chinese herbs, hoarder-style, "so I won't forget what to buy next time".
I was startled by the request, and asked why. "Because I want to hear all my friends to finally admit what they really are and promise to love me and each other forever."
The song is (Now and Then There's) A Fool Such As I.
Note the Hank Snow recording changes the second "You taught me how to love and now...." to "You taught me how to LIVE and now...."
Years later, I honoured that request, everyone sang along, and I heard Tex's deep chuckle.