Lat night we attended our friend Ricky’s charity event for a scholarship fund on behalf of a great friend of his –Coleman Mellett– who died in Continental Airlines flight 3407 crash in Buffalo on February 12. Coley was a very accomplished jazz musician who at the age of 34 was already considered one of the best jazz guitarists in America. Ricky said that when he phoned Coley’s family to ask if they had any words to pass on to the London crowd, Coley’s brother said: “tell them 26 seconds.” Meaning: there were 26 seconds when the plane lost control before all passengers would have been killed. 26 seconds that would be any person’s worst nightmare. Coley’s family believes he would have been totally content in those 26 seconds- achieved everything he wanted to professionally and shared a great love with his wife of 8 years (Dizzy Gillespie’s daughter no less). Ricky then said that if anyone in the room would not be content in those 26 seconds, it might be something to work on.
The event consisted of an intimate space in Home House– what appears to me to be a very exclusive private social club on Portman Square (where Madonna and Guy lived), a square not far from us and where I actually viewed a flat once for renting. As if.
We were sitting in that room with a fantastic international crowd, listening to the live music of Fastback and surprise guest Jamie Scott. And the usual people from Bryan’s work, the faces as I see as we move in the same circles, were all in attendance. Another reminder for me that expats are a self-selecting inspiring group of people to be around. It takes something to live abroad. To state the obvious.
The same Ricky that would put such a great evening together (people like this inspire, exhaust and shame me!) leaves today to run like 17 marathons consecutively in the Namibian desert with all his clothing and food on his back and rationed to 4 liters of water per day. It’s part of the 4Deserts series from RacingThePlanet’s extreme running events. It’s his world, I just live in it.
And probably very content in my 26 seconds. Um, with some screaming.