Monday, May 07, 2012

Dottie Grossman

Dottie Grossman was a great friend and a great poet. She passed away Sunday, May 6, 2012. Dottie and I became friends in the early 90s at the Alligator Lounge New Music Mondays. We bonded over many things, an appreciation for certain musicians (especially her late husband Richard Grossman and the ever-wonderful Michael Vlatkovich) and my love of her poetry. I am definitely a fan, enjoying her reading solo, or with Vlat or other musicians (even me) responding to her words. Dottie was also an incredibly supportive friend, but she could be a brutal critic as well. But both her support and her criticism were seldom without basis: you could count on her honest insight to any aspect of your life, and your music as well if you were a musician. Even critics were fair game, she once wrote the following about a glowing review of her and Michael's first CD, "Who is this asshole?!!!  How DARE he say Michael has 'improved'!!!"After a nice article on me in Cadence she wrote, "By the way, congrats on the Cadence interview. You sound fascinating." Delightfully implying the other, of course. I will miss her dearly, and our regular phone conversations. We would talk all the time, no matter where I was, in fact, that was almost always her first question when I called: "Where are you?" She could find poetry anywhere, from Henny Youngman, to me driving my car to Bakersfield (really, she wrote a poem about that). I received an email from her on Saturday, I had just sent her a funny pic of me making a face overlooking a canal here in Amsterdam. Her reply, "If you're not careful your face will freeze that way! Love, Dotaceous." At one point I made her so angry we didn't talk for a few months, her choice. This was shocking because we would usually speak a few times a week. I don't even remember what I said to upset her. But one day, she called and resumed as before. The only other time I remember her getting angry was the time I took her to a vegan restaurant. She never forgave me for that. I will miss those talks. I will miss the performances together. I will miss hanging out with her. And I will write more about her later.

Here are some pics: Most of them were post-gig shots, hence the cocktails....from Ventura City Hall, Alva's in San Pedro and some unknown locales...enjoy them...click on any to enlarge them.
Dottie Grossman having a drink with Vlat and Kaiser
Dottie Grossman having a drink with Vlat and Kaiser
Brad Henkel, Brian Henkel, Dottie, Ted Mills
Brad Henkel, Brian Henkel, Dottie, Ted Mills
Me, Vlat, Dottie
Me, Vlat, Dottie
Me, Vlat, Dottie
Me, Vlat, Dottie
Dottie at Ventura City Hall
Dottie at Ventura City Hall
Dottie at Ventura City Hall
Dottie at Ventura City Hall
Dottie Grossman
Dottie used to tease me about becoming an academic, that I should be smoking pipes and wearing tweed...so I made this pic and sent it to her.
Gwendolyn Alley and Dottie Grossman
Gwendolyn Alley and Dottie Grossman
Dottie
Dottie
Dottie with Vlat
Dottie with Vlat
Dottie with Vlat
Dottie with Vlat
Dottie with Vlat
Dottie with Vlat
Dottie with Vlat
Dottie with Vlat
Vinny Golia, Wayne Peet, Vlat and Dottie
Vinny Golia, Wayne Peet, Vlat and Dottie

4 comments:

artpredator said...

I am sorry to hear this, Jeff. I loved Dottie. She was a delightful person to share a drink with and she was such a wonderful, original, pithy poet.

Tim Tipton said...

I will miss Dottie terribly.

SeaSon said...

i like nice post ^^

american nomad said...

Thanks for making such a beautiful post. I hope you don't mind, but I linked to it in my own reflection on Dottie. http://travelingmarla.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/remembering-dottie-grossman-1934-2012/
She will always resonate in my life.