Best known for the Off-Broadway musicals, "The Last Session," "The Big Voice: God or Merman?" and "New World Waking," a song cycle for peace and justice.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Tragedy On Our Block.

I've been having a bit of soreness in my left knee, which is not good for walking up and down stairs, something we do a lot here. So, a few days ago, Saturday or Sunday because it was a matinee day, I decided to go look for a walking stick. A cane.

Don told me there might be one at the St. Clement's second hand store around the corner, or at an old watch repair/pawn shop on 43rd.

I left St. Clement's walking west toward 10 ave.

A few blocks down I saw, on someone's stoop, two lighted candles and a spray of flowers. I almost took a picture of it, but something told me not to. I don't know why.

Then, Tuesday night, Dan Wackerman, one of our associate producers, told me that there had been a murder on the block. I think I even saw something about it on one of the gay blogs. But still, with everything going on with the show, it wasn't registering with me.

Then, yesterday, I had sent a note to Rev. DeChamplain about the Sunday morning service, asking her what she wanted from me, i.e. song titles, etc. And, strangely, I didn't hear anything from her. "Strange" because she's usually very prompt.

Last night, during act one, I checked my email using the box office computer when I saw that the flowers, the memorial, the murder, the young man, was named John Lea. That he was a very beloved person. Mitties had been asked if she would help conduct a memorial for him, something non-denominational.

So, out of respect for their feelings and their painful mourning, she spent the day learning about him, and then wrote up a memorial which was held in a big room in an office building, which she described as packed.

I did a search and found the story on Towleroad. The story is that John Lea was a very generous person, and he was allowing an ex, who was "down on his luck," to stay at his place for a week, which turned into a month until, a friend of his said, he was going to ask him, that night, that he'd have to leave.

I see now that the man they believe to be the murderer has been picked up in Vermont and charged. He stupidly stole John's bank card and used it to hire himself a car for the getaway.

My knee is doing a bit better, but I still have to take it really easy on the stairs. I didn't find a cane. I wish, though, I had taken that picture of the flowers and candles.
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