One of my favorite jazz fans passed away January 22. Paul Hemingway, 51, a West Branch farmer listened to KCCK in his combine, tractor and at his home. Have you ever met someone and at that very time had a feeling of true familiarity? That was my experience when I met Paul. We were church friends, both attending Quaker Church in West Branch.
A busy husband and dad, Paul was dedicated to his family and was involved with Boy Scouts. He was the guy who kept the scout bus running. He was selfless and self reliant. He taught that to his young brood.
He introduced me to Chris Botti, expanded my interest in Latin jazz with our two trips to Cuba and was excited when he learned of the Grammy going to Herbie Hancock for his production of River, the compilation of Joni Mitchell pieces.
Farming is a day and night profession. Paul listened to Jazz 88.3 out in the field and doing his book-keeping by the wood fire. He was a dedicated and generous KCCK supporter, too. And he remembered the station even in his last days, asking friends remember his favorite jazz station in considering memorials for him. He was a man of action, living his faith and life to the fullest.
Thanks for being part of my life, Paul.