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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rembering the Tuba Man

This evening, when I stopped at Bank of America in Gig Harbor to deposit some checks, my husband appeared at my elbow and asked the clerk if he could contribute to the Ed McMichael fund. The young woman in her early twenties stared blankly.

Ed McMichael, 53, was a Seattle institution, but any South Sounder who’s attended a sporting or theatrical event in our big sister city has probably passed by the tuba playing busker outside sporting venues, McCaw Hall or the Opera House.

On October 25th McMichael was set upon by five young hooligans, savagely beaten and robbed near a bus stop in the 500 block of Mercer Street around midnight. Two of the youths, fifteen were caught and three more are being sought.

This gentle musician who chose to make is living playing for tips in the open air was treated in the hospital for three days and released. He died sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning as a result of his wounds. He was discovered by his landlady when his brother arrived to take him to a doctor’s appointment.

An informal grassroots memorial to McMichael will be held Saturday at 11 AM outside McCaw Hall. Interested musicians are invited to come and play in his memory.

A memorial fund has been set up to defray funeral expenses for McMichael’s burial. Any balance left from the fund will go towards a possible memorial for the musician. If you want to help, you can visit any Bank of America branch and contribute to Ed McMichael, the Tuba Man or send donations to:
Edward the Tuba Man McMichael Memorial Fund
Box 4985
Federal Way 98063

The clerks at the Gig Harbor branch of Bank of America found McMichael’s memorial fund and Dave plunked down his donation. We'll miss the Tuba Man when we attend events in Seattle.


JosephMcG said...

Thanks for highlighting the one of those folks that bring us all a great deal of delight but, so often, I just walk by them, without a smile or a thank you...


Stephanie Frieze said...

Everyone has a story. In our busy daily lives it's easy to forget that. Maybe, as a result of the election, we will begin to look at each other in new ways and listen to each other's stories.

Lorraine Hart said...

This story saddened me so much to hear.

Performing on the streets is a joy and a hardship...bless this sweet man and all street musicians.