Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Tequila Cowboy » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:48 pm

Fucking love it.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Erdlivz » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:14 pm

Second that RevMatt. Amazing.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby BostonREB » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:49 pm

Tequila Cowboy wrote:Fucking love it.


X 1000!!
Send lawyers, guns and money....
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby chickenwingpuke » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:26 am

Wes Freed has outdone himself. That is one beautiful tribute to Craig. Please help out if you can... http://drivebytruckers.com/craig.html
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Beebs » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:36 pm

The tears mixed in the paint really set it off
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Mrs Swamp » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:09 pm

I am so much better at writing about happy thing`s and such but I just
can not seem to express the sadness that my heart feel`s...it`s just so hard.
I still cant believe it ...

It`s been a rough week with lot`s of smile`s, lot`s of tear`s ,lot`s of hug`s
and lot`s of fear`s ,...it`s been an emotional roller coaster from one day
to the next....

I have sat here day after day starting to write about our beloved Craig
and the only thing that I can do is cry and think about how much we are
all going to miss that sweet face, that smile, that laugh ,those crazy ass joke`s,
all of the wild and crazy music that he turned us on to, his sarcasm and wit ,his
music, his honesty ,his friendship, that crazy shoulder roll and that beautiful soul.... I could just go on and on.

Craig was one of a kind and I am so thankful that I got to call him
my friend ,my little bro and yes I called him son... we would laugh about
it as I am only a few years older than him.
We met him at the Athfest in 2007 and from that moment on I knew we
had a friend for life. He acted as if we were longtime friend`s. It was so very
hot that day and he was saying how he felt dehydrated so Robert and I immediately got him a couple of water`s and some wet paper towel`s to
put around his neck and he thanked us and such and we went on our way
to the wall to wait for DBT ....it was during that show , during People who died that we saw Craig rock out for the very first time ....he totally blew us away
with his uniqueness and his rock star attitude....he was totally like no one
I have ever seen... a couple days later I got a thank you from him saying he
wouldn't have made it without us and I was like anytime ...

The next show was In Asheville at the Orange Peel and it was called the Half Rock and Half Dirt Underneath show... we walked up to the Merchandise counter and said to Craig....do ya have plenty of water? Do ya need any food ? Do you need anything and he just chuckled and gave me that shoulder roll and said oh I`m doing good mom and from that day on he started calling me mom....
and I kinda liked it .

We drove to Birmingham Al, for a show and Craig knew Robert was wanting the Dirty South album and he gave it to him that night.
Craig and I shared the love of cooking as he was just beginning to find his place in the kitchen ....a lil over a couple of week`s ago he called me and said that his dad asked him to make a big pot of northern/navy bean`s and he needed some advice on what herbs and spices to use so I told him and we just chatted a bit while he was cooking,..,..later he said they were amazing.
He told me that he was learning how to cook for Melinda and could use any help that he could get so from time to time I would send him a recipe that he should try and he would try it and sometime`s I`d walk him through the recipe and he was always thankful ....one day he made some Mexican corn on the cob on the grill and he called me and said the recipe you gave me was so damn good,,thanks,,, ....he loved it and said that Melinda did to.

Craig would call me for cooking advice and he would call me on my birthday every year saying I`d rather call my mom instead of Face booking or texting the birthday greeting which was always so nice.
It was at a show one night when Craig and I were cracking up and he said calm down mom and a young guy next to me said "Are you Craig`s mom" and before I could say no Craig said yeah that's my mom and that guy looked at us and said wow nice to meet ya Mom Lieske and walked off, Craig laughed so hard
that night and got the biggest kick out of calling me mom....but I did once say "Hey Im to young to be your mom " and he said >> ok how bout being big sis
but Im still gonna call you mom and I said ok ok ok call me whatever ya like and he said oh dont tell me that and we both laughed ....
We then would see him at many show`s and our night would always start
with visiting with Craig,..I would always try and bring the band some goodie`s
and always made sure Craig got some ....he loved the peanut brittle and my homemade blueberry jam......I had to give him 2 jars because if I gave him one jar he would say " I will have this eaten in a week" so give me two so I can have it eaten in 2 weeks...lol......so Id give him 2 ..

During last years South east run we were never able to get a poster so
I asked Craig to please save us one and he did..a week later it arrived
in the mail signed by the band and the crew and it`s been on our wall ever since,... he was just so cool like that.


In October of this past year Craig, Melinda and Serson visited the swamp because they had some show`s in our area. I made sure that I cooked up a good breakfast for them and later for lunch I made them Paula Dean`s tomato pie that he was wanting to try and he loved it .
We have an outside shower and after he took his shower that day he said to me "we had a pleasant shower," best shower that I have had in a long time ...I was like WE ? ....and he said yeah me and the little green frog that was hanging out in there with me ....and he chuckled and gave me that shoulder roll...I said yep that's our lil buddy and we laughed.

He told us the story of how Patterson used to work for him at the 40 Watt and
now he was working for Patterson....he said Patterson pay`s much better though ...we walked around the swamp as he admired the plant`s and such , he said he felt so relaxed out here and that when they have more time he was wanting to bring Melinda back so that we could get our hand`s dirty in the kitchen and so we all could spend some time out by the bon fire jammin,..,now when I am sitting by the fire I will think of him as the fire blaze`s..............

We were lucky enough to catch the Jacksonville show and the Gainesville
show and totally enjoyed them ...I filmed both shows and they are on youtube.

Craig was such an amazing friend and I will never ever forget him ...
There were day`s when I`d post about losing an animal and he would always
call and ask if I was ok and there were those days when I just didn't feel like posting in Facebook and he would call to make sure all was well...he would say I`d much rather chat with ya then text or email ya which I fully respected and enjoyed. If I ever had a friend that needed a ticket I could always count on Craig to help out ... when we planned our DBT show`s we had to always
plan on some Craig time ,... we would eat or just hang out and when we
went into the show we would get our spot and then go see Craig ....
even if we had already seen him less than an hour ago ...it was a ritual ....we
just had to do it....the day before he passed I went to the merch table to say hello and I took this amazing picture of him and Melinda ,
Image
They were both so very happy that night . A few days before the show we talked and he was saying that he was having a time with some of those Bruce Springsteen riff`s and he said how he hated Bruce and he would just swing it and then he laughed.,...well he was so excited that night and he really rocked it hard ...we filmed the whole show and I will get it posted as soon as we can....
Here are a couple of picture`s that I took that night...
Image
Image

Well ....it`s been a wild and crazy week and it has not gotten any easier ...we both miss Craig and still cant believe that he has left this world but I am thankful and honored to have met him and to have had him as a dear friend and I am soooo thankful that we were all there for each other ...the hugs and the out pouring love were needed by all..

That is why I always say make sure you hug the one`s you love and let them know you love them as often as possible..
Life is so precious and you just never know..

Thank you everyone for being there for us , much love to you all and to
everyone who knew him.

Thursday night I gave Craig a big hug and said good night I will see ya
in the morning....he said >>haha if your lucky , more like 11 or 12 ... we just
laughed and all went to bed....those were the last word`s that I said to him.

Rest in peace my friend ...thank you for everything.
I've heard tales of what goes down there ...
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby pbr man » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:44 am

Yesterday I grapped a handful of this weeks special Flagpole if anyone would like one just send me a message and ill send it out to ya
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Slipkid42 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:48 pm

I love the colors and vibrancy of Wes' poster. It is perfect.

Mrs. Swamp, you write very well about the sad things too. You are so right: Life is precious, so hug the ones you love as often as you can.
Great pictures too.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby speedo » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:34 pm

Craig and I spoke four times. At the end of the show the night before he died, he chased me to the door of the 40Watt to talk to me about death and bereavement.

I live for music. I raised Mike. I remember the first thing I played for him and the last thing I played for him. Mike lived for music too.

'Pops, you gotta hear these guys' he said to me one time. It was DBT. He told me how cool Craig was and took me to a show. Mike traveled thousands of miles to see DBT.

Phone rings 5am, May 2010. Mike was gone. I was seventeen months getting back to work.

Craig said ' I lost my wife seven years ago,' eyes over the glasses flashing back and forth between my eyes - letting the implications sink in.

'The only thing you can do is accept death - everything about it. Then you can move on.'

Soul mates, spouses, children die and leave us profoundly mortal. We can only accept everything about it to move on.

http://www.threedimesdown.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=445&p=13934&hilit=mcwhirter#p13934
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby TDB » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:52 am

I don't know when I'll see DBT next....but, I now realize there has been a change of the guard.
Godspeed.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby uncle rickey » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:04 pm

speedo wrote:Craig and I spoke four times. At the end of the show the night before he died, he chased me to the door of the 40Watt to talk to me about death and bereavement.

I live for music. I raised Mike. I remember the first thing I played for him and the last thing I played for him. Mike lived for music too.

'Pops, you gotta hear these guys' he said to me one time. It was DBT. He told me how cool Craig was and took me to a show. Mike traveled thousands of miles to see DBT.

Phone rings 5am, May 2010. Mike was gone. I was seventeen months getting back to work.

Craig said ' I lost my wife seven years ago,' eyes over the glasses flashing back and forth between my eyes - letting the implications sink in.

'The only thing you can do is accept death - everything about it. Then you can move on.'

Soul mates, spouses, children die and leave us profoundly mortal. We can only accept everything about it to move on.

http://www.threedimesdown.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=445&p=13934&hilit=mcwhirter#p13934

I've been thinking about that moment a lot. Thank you for posting this, my friend.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby GW in IA » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:58 pm

Yeah. Me too. Thanks.
Reluctantly, our hero rises to the day, with a moan and a curse to an absent God.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Clams » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:41 pm

speedo wrote:Craig and I spoke four times. At the end of the show the night before he died, he chased me to the door of the 40Watt to talk to me about death and bereavement.

I live for music. I raised Mike. I remember the first thing I played for him and the last thing I played for him. Mike lived for music too.

'Pops, you gotta hear these guys' he said to me one time. It was DBT. He told me how cool Craig was and took me to a show. Mike traveled thousands of miles to see DBT.

Phone rings 5am, May 2010. Mike was gone. I was seventeen months getting back to work.

Craig said ' I lost my wife seven years ago,' eyes over the glasses flashing back and forth between my eyes - letting the implications sink in.

'The only thing you can do is accept death - everything about it. Then you can move on.'

Soul mates, spouses, children die and leave us profoundly mortal. We can only accept everything about it to move on.

http://www.threedimesdown.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=445&p=13934&hilit=mcwhirter#p13934

Damn. Thanks for posting that, speedo.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Sian-of-the-dead » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:12 am

Mine and my husband's time with Craig was only brief, we met him in 2010 in Manchester, England at our first ever DBT show. He was so convinced we looked like a couple he knew from Virginia that he took our picture to show his friends. We talked with him and then were lucky enough to spend more time with him at the Birmingham show the next night.
During our honeymoon planning Craig offered so much advice and kindness, the very same advice and kindness he offered when we knew that 2013 would be our first Homecoming. I'll always remember walking in Flicker on the Wednesday night and being greeted by a huge hug and smiles from Craig; he was genuinely so pleased we had made it, especially as we'd gone over a day early to see him play with Echo Canyon.
Our friendship was a mere drop in Craig's ocean of friendships but he was our friend. Our time was brief but we'll never forget him. The grief and hurt his passing has caused for so many is insurmountable but watching the DBT community, many of whom brought together by the very man himself, is reassurance; we know that people we respect and love are getting the support and care they need, irrelevant of distance.
And so thank you Craig, for you brief time on earth; we are honoured to have spent that time with you. You showed us all that people don't have to live on your doorstep, see you everyday or even have very much in common to be friends. The world is a sadder place without you and the kindness you showed each and every human being you met. I guess we all thought someone as special as you would live forever... but hey, many good musicians have sang it: only the good die young.
Rest in peace.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby CooleyGirl » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:48 pm

speedo wrote:Craig and I spoke four times. At the end of the show the night before he died, he chased me to the door of the 40Watt to talk to me about death and bereavement.

I live for music. I raised Mike. I remember the first thing I played for him and the last thing I played for him. Mike lived for music too.

'Pops, you gotta hear these guys' he said to me one time. It was DBT. He told me how cool Craig was and took me to a show. Mike traveled thousands of miles to see DBT.

Phone rings 5am, May 2010. Mike was gone. I was seventeen months getting back to work.

Craig said ' I lost my wife seven years ago,' eyes over the glasses flashing back and forth between my eyes - letting the implications sink in.

'The only thing you can do is accept death - everything about it. Then you can move on.'

Soul mates, spouses, children die and leave us profoundly mortal. We can only accept everything about it to move on.

http://www.threedimesdown.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=445&p=13934&hilit=mcwhirter#p13934



Thank you for posting this. I've been thinking about this a lot as well.
Craig gave smart advice. He knew how young Mike was when we lost him and what a horrible shock that was and all the emotions which come with that.
Now here we are again, in shock, driving ourselves crazy with asking why Craig had to go at such a young age, and here he is, helping us all get through this with profound advice.
It is so true, there is nothing we can do about death but accept it. We all need to help each other remember this, and hang on tight to each other.
Jay Gonzalez - the Swiss Army Knife of Musicians - Patterson Hood
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby sg207 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:04 pm

chickenwingpuke wrote:Wes Freed has outdone himself. That is one beautiful tribute to Craig. Please help out if you can... http://drivebytruckers.com/craig.html

Man, before reading that, I forgot all about the book he was working on. It had been a while since we chatted about it, and I didn't realize he had finished it.

I hope in one form or another, it sees the light of day. I thought it sounded like a great premise.
Just put the goddamn record on and enjoy it
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby bovine knievel » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:05 pm

GuitarManUpstairs wrote:Image


are these for sale?
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Smitty » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:41 pm

Patterson Hood remembers Craig:

I can't really remember when I met Craig. He was the grey-haired door guy at the 40 Watt, and he always seemed cool. I remember really getting to know him when I started working there, as a monitor guy, in '98 or '99. He managed the cleanup crew, and the door crew and I would pick up extra money helping to clean up after big shows. We bonded heavily during that time, which corresponded with a particularly bad time in my life. I quickly learned that he was one of the smartest, most well-read and well-rounded—and one of the kindest—people I had ever met.
Our friendship grew long after I quit working at the Watt. We all loved Craig, and saw him suffering while his wife Janet was battling cancer, a several-year ordeal of ups and downs that ended sadly, when she passed away at too young an age. It was soon after that when we hired him and took him on the road. He was initially hired to sell t-shirts and records, but he took his role way beyond that. He would always say, "I'm not a merch guy for a band; I work for Drive-By Truckers."
He wasn't our merch guy as much as he was our ambassador. Our band has a very loyal following that often follows us from town to town, and Craig knew everyone's name. It was unbelievable. I've had countless fans come up to me telling me how Craig had touched their lives.
A fan from the Midwest came up to me Saturday. She said that she had met Craig twice, a couple of years apart, and when she saw him the second time, he asked her about her daughter Alex. She couldn't believe it: "How could he remember from two years earlier that my daughter was named Alex?" I've literally heard dozens of those types of stories in the the last few days.
I've always been the most nocturnal one in the band, and Craig was the night owl of the crew, so very often we would be the last two up on the bus as we traveled into the night. Many a night we would be sitting in the back, listening to something loud and just hanging out, sometimes not saying a word, and sometimes having the most amazing conversations.
If you never had a conversation with Craig, it was an art form unto itself. He was so unbelievably knowledgeable, yet totally inclusive, truly one of the most astoundingly interesting people I ever had the pleasure of talking to. We had hundreds of hours of deep talks about everything from art, music, food and books to movies, people and stories. My life is so much richer for the hours I spent talking to Craig, and I haven't even begun to process that aspect of our loss.
Our band and crew are like one big, sprawling, dysfunctional family. We can fight, but are very close. We all ride together on one bus, 11 of us crammed together. Sometimes folks can get on each other's nerves, but I can't remember Craig ever getting on anyone's nerves, or acknowledging anyone ever getting on his. He was always a joy.
In a bus full of really smart people, Craig was probably the smartest. An avid reader and, lately, an employee at Avid Bookshop, which was perfect. At night, you might see Craig holding court with a guitar, his crazy grey hair flying. (We called him Greythoven, a name he seemed to really embrace.) But the next day you might see him working at Avid, his hair tamed (sort of), looking positively professorial, glasses down by the tip of his nose, looking over the lenses and helping you find what you were looking for or recommending something great.
He was often my sounding board when I was writing. He was one of my most trusted sets of ears, and he could be a tough taskmaster, which I really loved and appreciated. We're about to start a new DBT album, and I will really miss having him to bounce ideas off of.
I really wanted to write something that would be worthy of his memory, preferably something that would elicit that chuckle we all loved so much. Alas, that may have to be something I write later, as today I'm still too choked up and sad to really do him much justice.
I can say we all loved him and will miss him forever. We are all reeling from the loss of our dear friend, and we all hurt so for his beloved Melinda, who truly brought him a level of happiness, in his last couple years, that we had never seen. We can take comfort in knowing that he left us from a great place. He was infinitely creative to the end. He was very much in love, working on a book, writing songs and playing at a peak of greatness. His last night on Earth, he played an amazing set, opening for DBT as part of our crew's band, Thundercrack. He was at his beloved 40 Watt, surrounded by close friends and doing what he loved best. He rocked hard and loud and was walking around on top of the world.
R.I.P., Craig!
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Cubfan06 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:08 pm

It has to be impossible to write the perfect obitituary and tribute to as close of friendship as Patterson and Craig had. It's difficult to right in a manner that isn't too long or too short and have that impact that you'd like it have. I was a journalism major in college and love writing. Now in my corporate world, I only write in the form of a journal or poetry when I have the time. I have such a strong appreciation with how Patterson (and Cooley) can explain the depth in their view on life so simply.

To me the eulogy couldn't have been told better than this though:

We can take comfort in knowing that he left us from a great place. He was infinitely creative to the end. He was very much in love, working on a book, writing songs and playing at a peak of greatness. His last night on Earth, he played an amazing set, opening for DBT as part of our crew's band, Thundercrack. He was at his beloved 40 Watt, surrounded by close friends and doing what he loved best. He rocked hard and loud and was walking around on top of the world.


This is beautiful. And Craig was beautiful. We will all die someday, but few will spend their lasting moments in their element, without fear of death or panic. To all of those whose hearts are aching, I hope that you take some comfort in this.
Last edited by Cubfan06 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby RolanK » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:26 pm

Yes, Ambassador for DBT, that's what he was.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby dogstar » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:32 pm

Great words from Patterson. This bit stuck out for me

He wasn't our merch guy as much as he was our ambassador. Our band has a very loyal following that often follows us from town to town, and Craig knew everyone's name. It was unbelievable. I've had countless fans come up to me telling me how Craig had touched their lives.


For most people Craig was the only person connected to the band that they were likely to meet and for a lot of people I would imagine he is the reason why we feel closer to this band than any other on the planet.

Anyway I've been struggling to write something coherent so I thought I would just put down some of the things I remember fondly about Craig

I love the rather bizarre way he used to pronounce my name. To say it was unique doesn't quite capture the essence of his pronounciation.
I love the way he used to put on a very bad English accent when he talked to me about 'Birmingham'
I once had a conversation on facebook with him about Detroit Techno music, who would have guessed he knew about that stuff too
When I asked him this year if he wanted me to bring him over anything from the UK to Homecoming all he wanted was some candy for one of his friends.
The first time I met him was at a show in Birmingham in 2010. The show was on UR's birthday so CG had arranged for Craig to come out for a few beers after the show and before the bus left for the next town. We went round to the back of the venue where the bus was parked and waited outside. Eventually EZB came out and started chatting to us and he ended going back on to the bus to drag Craig out for the night.
On the Sunday after 2011 Homecoming I got to go round to Craig and Melinda's Home and just chill out with them (and a few other people) watching the football playoffs and eating mexican food.
This year on the Saturday of Homecoming RolandK and myself went up to Avid and chatted to the guy behind the counter about Craig. We'd had no idea that Craig had started working there but it was just great to share memories with someone outside the DBT community who had also been touched by his generosity of spirit and allround awesomeness.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Fool No Where » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:55 pm

Smitty wrote:Patterson Hood remembers Craig:

He wasn't our merch guy as much as he was our ambassador.


Unlike so many of you, I did not share a deep emotional connection with Craig. Because of that, I have been struggling about what, if anything, to post here. I remembered the weeks before Homecoming, noticing that Craig would "Like" people's Facebook posts that they would be attending various shows. Ambassador indeed.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Kudzu Guillotine » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:01 am

I didn't really know him all that well either but I thought Patterson's words were very well put in regards to his last night being spent at the 40 Watt surrounded by friends, fans and family doing what he loved best.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Maluca3 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:12 pm

All these Craig stories are so beautiful. They show over and over again what an incredibly special character he was, and how he touched so many lives. I feel like Craig was always planting seeds: giving nudges, making connections, offering encouragement, sharing a little bit of a burden, reinforcing joy. We are all witnesses to and beneficiaries of what has grown from these seeds: music, laughter, tears, art, friendship, love.

I met Craig in 2006. I don't think we ever *really* talked about music. Maybe about how I learned to love music sitting next to my dad on the piano bench before my feet touched the floor, or he would talk about his projects and how he was trying to fit everything in or was really excited about something they had done recently, and once I even earned a disapproving rabbit look (over the glasses) for telling him I really enjoyed a live show (the band will remain unnamed). But not about what we liked and why, or about technical aspects, or records. Mostly when we talked about music, we talked about people. Which band was "good kids" or "good people." One of the things that always struck me about Craig was how he talked about his friends, and was always a cheerleader for people he cared about. From people I'd never met to members of DBT to many members of our DBT fan family, there was always something kind he had to say, or "so-and-so does this isn't that cool?" or bringing up some unappreciated aspect of someone's personality or an expression of concern about someone who was struggling. Such a mother hen.

Many of my favorite memories of being with Craig always revolve around meals. Sometimes with a table full of people, other times just a couple, a dive, a fancy white tablecloth restaurant, fine wine, cheap beer, afternoon, late night. Talking about books, politics, travel, food. Laughing and smiling, that goofy sideways grin of his, and the ridiculous giggle, and the cackle. I will so miss hearing the "HA!" When DBT had a multi-night run I would always designate a "Craig night" where I wouldn't try to get on the rail, and would plan to hang in the back and visit. It didn't always happen, often because he would be mobbed with work and I didn't want to interrupt, but we would talk while he was setting up or taking down, always planning for a more leisurely conversation. Phone talking has never been my strength, so I used to give him shit about his old phone that didn't have texting. From time to time I'd forget he didn't have a text plan and text him something, and he'd remind me with a laugh and a "Dammit Jamie!" that I'd cost him 20 cents. Later, when he got a smarter phone, I'd text him a picture of the highway exit whenever I'd pass near Craigsville WV, and chat about where he was that wasn't named after him, and how things were going. He knew my travel zone and when they were headed that direction, he'd check in to see if I was coming, and when I couldn't, he give me the "Dammit Jamie!"

There was a stretch of time where Craig and I talked a lot about "retirement" and making life changes. How to re-group, how to deal with loss, how to move on, how to be happy. I knew he had been through a lot, and we had talked about it, but never so much as when my dad passed away after an extended illness. I had tickets to a couple DBT shows for a few days after he passed, and debated going, but decided that something life affirming was the way to go, even though I felt completely lost. That weekend, I spent more time together with Craig than I ever have before or since. I know he was busy, and I know he had a lot of people who wanted to hang out and have fun, but he stuck with me like glue. We ate, or, he ate and I stared at my food, and talked and talked about loss, and going on, and loving people, and being there when people need you and how to pick up the pieces after they go. I will always be grateful for his friendship, but especially for his ability to be in the moment, and just sit with it, whatever "it" might be. When we talked about retirement, he would quiz me about changing careers. He said he thought about something professorial, and I said I thought he'd be an amazing teacher. We talked the most about what I do now, being a counselor, and whether that was something he could or would pursue. But I told him then, he would be amazing at helping people, something that he clearly did not need letters after his name to do. He had such a gift!

The last couple of years it had been a joy to see how happy Craig was. We didn't have any conversations about struggle, there was lightness and joy to him, and he would just shine around Melinda. I love all the pictures people have posted here of them together. I hate that he is gone, but am so glad that he was so loved and loving lately. This last Homecoming weekend, I only saw Craig for a quick minute. I had driven down late and caught him and Melinda briefly while he was setting up on Thursday, and they left before I could get to find them after the show. I had planned on Saturday being a "Craig night at the 40 watt," and could not wait to visit with him and Melinda on Sunday. Craig and I had been talking about this summer, and getting him and Melinda to come to my family's place in the Pisgah National Forest, where we had a rustic cabin with (at one time) no plumbing or phone, but my dad had dragged a piano out there. There was talk of cooking together, wine, books, music... one of the last emails Craig sent me was "Our visits are always too short, but I'll remedy that soon enough." Now it's my turn to say "Dammit Craig!" and miss our dear, sweet, brilliant, humble, gifted, loving friend.

Here's one of my favorite pics I took of Craig, and a link to a bunch more.

Image
Craig by Maluca, on Flickr
...a long day of improbable and grotesque mischief
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby one belt loop » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:17 pm

Jamie, that was so beautiful. Thank you.
Matt playing like an evil motherfucker w/ rhythm with a capital MPLAEMWR.

- bubba
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby beantownbubba » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:06 pm

one belt loop wrote:Jamie, that was so beautiful. Thank you.


Yeah.

Damn girl, you oughta write more.
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Smitty » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:38 pm

This is for Craig:

Fuck Greenday
All this beauty and just enough time to figure out how to destroy it
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Lurleen McQueen » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:00 pm

Beautiful, Jamie
Consistently holding bullshit up to the light of reason
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Re: Craig Lieske Memorial Thread

Postby Jonicont » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:04 pm

Always go to the show
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