My friend Al Rawlins died yesterday morning.
I met him in 2000, when I started singing in the church choir in Hartford. He was a bass in the choir. He also taught music in the Hartford school system and at the church, where he was Monkey's first music teacher.
Al reminded me of my husband in so many ways. They are both tall and thin, they both are great conversationalists, and neither one of them are ever on time.
At Thursday night rehearsals, he would routinely show up 20-25 minutes after rehearsal started. Sunday mornings, we often wouldn't see him until just before the service started. At our concerts, we would always have to wait for Al before we could "melt" into place (it was our way: we are a choir that hates processing, so we would just go to our seats in the minutes leading up to the concert start time, in no particular order.)
We had a Pops concert every spring, and the year we were singing songs from Disney movies, no one could find Al. We were all in our seats, and there was no Al. All of a sudden, he came running into the room, dressed as the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, singing "I'm Late". The audience loved it, but I think the choir loved it even more.