The last note of a music blogger

Since December 2010, Larry Englund has been capturing the jazz scene in the Twin Cities, a genre generally ignored around here, on his blog, Rhythm and Grooves.

A few weeks ago he had to stop after being hospitalized twice for cancer and starting a new cancer treatment.

“I’ve no idea how side effects will affect me, or what ind of energy I will have for the next few weeks, and so I’ll just have to wait and see,” he wrote, noting also that get through the tough times, there’s still good music “out there.”

On Monday he posted one more blog post to announce he’s dead.

Well, it appears that I’ve died. Passed away, departed, checked out, left this earthly vale, kicked the bucket, left town… you get the idea. I went home, as it were on Saturday February 2nd, 2019, at the age of 73 after lengthy treatments for stomach cancer. I am survived by Liz, my loving wife of 23 years.

I was born and raised in the Bronx, the only son of Carl, a carpenter, and Edna, a housewife and excellent cook of comfort food. As a child, I was coddled by my three sisters. I have tried to live a life of kindness and understanding. Perhaps that is what led me to social work while in college.

Looking back, I realize that I’ve been an explorer of sorts, open to new experiences and adventures. My work life has been… varied. I stopped counting after 28 jobs, but can say I learned something from each job. Eventually, I got into tech writing and then marketing for hi-tech and medical companies. When I retired in 2007, I was working for Public Art Saint Paul.

He also provided a nice list of what he learned in life:

  • When working road construction, never, ever leave your lunch bucket where it can get run over by a truck
  • When the computer asks, “Delete file?” Always take a moment, and a deep breath, before hitting the key
  • Even if it’s after midnight and you’re dead tired from working 14 hours, always take a shower after spending an evening cleaning a turkey processing plant
  • Having the Pope in town is no guarantee for success in selling Pope T-shirts
  • Always be open to exploration — even if it’s just trying some new food
  • The more you travel, the more you understand the traits that tie us together are stronger than the traits that separate us
  • Having a partner that can use humor to point out foibles and miscommunications helps keep a relationship on an even, happy keel.

A celebration of his life will be held next month at the Hook and Ladder in Minneapolis.

(h/t: Andrea Swensson)