Readers of the print edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will notice that there is no column from me on the Wednesday Voices page this week. After getting the news Monday that friend and colleague Michael Storey died Sunday, I just couldn’t make myself be snarky this time, so subbed in a guest writer.
For those who don’t know, Michael was our longtime TV writer/critic, as well as writer of a weekly feature on Arkansas trails and a satire column “written” by his dead cat. Otus was once living, but passed away long ago and gained the ability in cat heaven to dictate his thoughts to Owner (that’d be Michael).
Michael was one of the first people at the paper who welcomed me with open arms, and we soon figured out we had a lot in common—weird sense of humor, a love for the works of Joss Whedon, and cats (the best thing that came out of his first marriage was that he became a cat guy), among other things. On a visit to his house once with our writers’ group, he showed me a picture of him running the Pike’s Peak race, pointed to the guy in the picture running behind him, and told me that the guy died just after that was taken. I wrote a short story about it, I think. I need to dig that out.
Michael was one of the best people I’ve ever known (as is his lovely wife Celia), and could always be counted on to make me smile. I’ll miss his goofy smile and habit of planting himself where I could see just his eye between the curtain and window frame of my office to see if I’d notice I was being watched. If it were anyone else, it would be creepy. But Michael? No. What I wouldn’t give to hear a last, “And I’ll just tell you one more thing, and then I’ll let you go.”
Everybody could use a Michael in their lives.
In his honor, let’s look at some kitties. I know right now he’s cuddling with Otus and Mackie (who died around the same time as my boy, and was about the same age).