I had known Michael since 1991. We had become friends through the many times he met with J Bartell and also because of the different jobs for which J and I would hire him, such as creating a military quiz for one of our websites and becoming one of our “pros” on guns and safety for a different site.
One year I drove down near San Diego with Michael to visit Karyn Holt and her mother Mary Speaker, the family of Chauncey Holt with whom Michael and J had a close relationship (see 231club.com). Michael and I stayed at their house overnight. We were there gathering information for a film project related to Chauncey’s life.
I had a great opportunity to pick Michael’s brain about certain events on the drive down. And while at Karyn’s we watched many hours of videotapes about Chauncey that Karyn had made just prior to Chauncey’s own death. I will never forget how Michael drank his coffee – about 4 ounces of coffee to 4 ounces of half-and-half. When a hefty salad was offered for dinner, poor Michael almost choked. This meat and potatoes man had to make due with Karyn’s leftovers of spaghetti and a little meat sauce. And when Michael was offered a cot to sleep on, he took to the floor instead, wrapped in the sleeping bag he had brought with him. He said he’d be more comfortable that way.
And finally, even though Michael wasn’t a diehard animal lover, I have to say I was surprised how well he took to our dog and the dog to him, proving once again that Michael inspired loyalty with whomever he met. I miss Michael and wish I had been able to spend more time with him. We made each other laugh. — Ginger Marin