My friend Tim Considine died in a fire earlier this week.
Click here for the obituary.
Tim made me a better writer and helped me find my voice.
I’m not sure when or even how I met Tim, but it was probably though two of his brothers. Matt and Steve were every-morning CATH customers. Tim lived right across the street from coffeehouse and I’d often see him in the neighborhood.
Soon we got in to a routine -- Tim and I spent years of Sunday mornings together. I would arrive at the coffeehouse around 7:00 to start making coffee around the same time he would finish his morning run. We’d discuss music, relationships and solve most of the world’s problems in the half an hour it took me to get the shop ready to open. I’d send him on the way with a day old muffin and a, “see you next week.”
Tim was a musician and wrote clever and quirky songs. We sold his records at the coffeehouse and Tim was delighted about the number of Derelicks CDs we sold.
Through our weekly talks we discovered that he had worked for my brother-in-law Ron’s dad at a funeral home. He told great stories about Mr. Trojanowski and watching Chicago Cubs games in the family room of the funeral home. After Mr. Trojanowski died, Tim wrote a great note to Ron’s family.
We also shared our great love of our nieces and nephews. There aren’t too many of us in our age range that have never married or had children, so we could relate to the heart-bursting love we had for those kids and what an honor it was to be part of their lives.
After the coffeehouse closed Tim would occasionally pop in to the Red Key to check in. I don’t remember telling him my birth date, but he walked in with a birthday pie one year - it was such a sweet thing to do that I didn't have enough nerve to tell him I was allergic to apples! Tim would always make sure to invite me to parties and keep me up on the news of his family and would leave long messages full of music updates good cheer.
After I started writing the column in the Broad Ripple Gazette, Tim would write me note or call with feedback. My first columns were full of apology and uncertainty. I would write about how I felt too old to be out hearing music or how I wasn’t a music critic or my lack of musical knowledge. Tim encouraged me to dump that stuff and focus on what I am good at – writing about the musicians and music scene and the community. I started writing my column with the thought that I was writing to Tim and suddenly it all clicked. I have one of the notes Tim wrote me hanging on the inside of a cupboard door that I open several times a day.
I especially loved the columns where I got to write about Tim’s band or quote him.
Tim became a fan of Second Helpings and volunteered for my favorite event - the Tonic Ball. I loved having him there. I knew that I could pull him from job to job and he'd be okay. Last year I took him from helping manage a stage to standing in the cold and working the door and he was happy to do it.
Tim started reading this blog a few years ago. He’d read it at the library and e-mail me comments. He encouraged me to comment on his band Web site and also sent me many links to his nephew, Austin’s writing. Over the years I’ve gotten meet all of Tim’s siblings – they are all great, fun and supportive of each other and a blast to be around.
I last hung out with Tim in May at the Willie Nelson concert at the Vogue. He and Novella and I had fun hanging out in the alley after the show watching the folks hoping for an audience with Willie. It was a beautiful night - Tim walked Novella and I back to her house and we spend an hour in her living room laughing and catching up.
Tim moved to Northern Indiana this summer and I hadn’t had the chance to chat with him for months. But I continued to write my columns as he was reading them. And I imagine I always will.