For David, November 2011

During the summer of 2005, David Grubbs was one of several young high school interns that I hired to work and play with kids in a local fine arts camp. He was wonderfully patient with the younger children, respectful to his peers and cohorts, and whole-heartedly kind to everyone.

Because he was so composed, David was frequently assigned duties that included guiding some of the more rambunctious students throughout their activities. He would quietly step up, grin at the kids, and engage them in whatever task was at hand. The young campers adored him.

Like every intern, David brought many skills and a particularly special talent to camp that summer. His bass fiddle showed up by his side each and every day, and he stood ready to accompany younger musicians whenever called on for a good beat and reliable backup. Between the relaxed, humble, yet “cool” way he would rest against his fiddle like it was an old pal, and his solid good-nature, David was easy to admire and even easier to care about and genuinely like.

The day that the spontaneous lunchtime jam session occurred, with all the kids resting in the shade under big pine trees, I knew we were a part of an indelible memory moment: summer sunlight, live jazz, inspired musicians, a rapt audience and peace.

Today, in the wake of David’s death, I am both saddened and deeply honored to have been able to see him shine in such a special way. My heart goes out to his family and the friends who knew him better. David was a tender spark of light, and he will be missed.

About Martha Phelps Studio ~ creative on purpose

...a meandering journal of a changing life and the unexpected graces it brings. Earlier posts may provide some history, but this series of writings aren't likely to follow a straight line as I explore topics such as raising kids, making choices, self discovery, the impact of change on a family and how to (hopefully) live with balance and purpose.
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14 Responses to For David, November 2011

  1. Thank you Martha for posting this. David was a good friend of my boys, Cory, Mike and my “other son” Brandon aka (“Clover”). David was a “mainstay” at my house during grade school and middle school. I have visions etched in my mind (an some in pictures) of David and the gang sitting on my floor in front of a 13 inch TV with a game controller in hand and a smile on their face. David was always so polite and respectful. One year in middle school, I chaperoned on a Orchestra trip with Michael. David knew I had a back injury and was always there to open the door for me and help carry my bags. He always had a smile on his face and kept the group laughing with his jokes and humor. He will always be remembered and sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his friends.

  2. Laurie Rawlins says:

    Thank you, Martha. This is a beautiful way to remember and honor a golden young man.

  3. It’s an honor and a blessing to cross paths with youth such as this. Beautiful.

  4. Gerry Pare' says:

    Thanks so much for posting this tribute. David was in my Orchestra for seven years. You really captured him in your words.

    • Gerry, thanks for posting. You were lucky to have been able to spend so much time with David, and to have helped him cultivate his love for music was a very special gift. I’m sorry that you have lost your friend and student. Sending blessings, M

  5. This gives those of us who did not know him an insight into who he really was to those who knew him and to the rest of us who did not…thank you Martha. This honors him and makes the rest of us wish we had met him.

  6. Kim says:

    That was beautiful Martha. What a gift you have given in this post

  7. Michael Bianca says:

    Wonderful testament…we just have the greatest kids in this town.

    • Laurie Rawlins says:

      Michael, That kind of attitude is what made you a perfect Police Chief. You are missed in that capacity. I raised 4 children in this town and they all speak highly of you. Thank you for your recent editorial.

    • Michael, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Ashland has great kids and an amazing community that surrounds these kids in light as much as possible. Thanks for helping create the safe circle that holds our children. All will be well. M

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