A Cyber-Wake for Kailyn Dammit Blog Home
Posted by Maroon the Shantyman
May. 05, 2009 10:29 AM  

Yesterday, former Bilge Pump Mike Younger (aka Kailyn Dammit the Gunner) died in Robert, Louisiana. I won't go into details about what was going on in his turbulent last few days as I'm only privy to a small bit of the big picture, and I don't want to paint the wrong image. However, I did want to confirm what everyone is sure to find out sooner or later through the lighting fast ren faire grapevine assisted by myspace/facebook. It's a shame, a tragedy, and a ridiculous waste.

Mike and I had worked together since the early days of Hawkwood and, despite our not really getting along well the first couple of years, we were placed as co-Cast Directors of the festival until its dissolution in 2001, working together on things like the Human Checkers Match, the Dragon Attack Stunt Show, and the Bilge Pumps. I didn't think we would work well together, but to my surprise (and to his as well) we meshed pretty well and after a bit, I began to regard him as my friend. Mike had the ability to be completely charming to people he talked to. He could suck you in and make you believe in him and what he was saying. Now, as many of us who knew Mike could verify, you had to take what he was telling you with a huge grain of salt as he tended to tailor his stories to fit who he was talking to and he was the unequivocal master of the "one up". That didn't detract from his charm, however. You might be forced to roll your eyes a few times listening to his stories, but that didn't make him any less fun to be around. In fact, it probably made it more fun. Problem was, you wondered where the real Mike was in the middle of all of his charm. He would be your best friend when he would talk to you, then when he would talk to your enemy he would pretend not to know you or to disparage you so he could be their best friend as well. That's the thing with Mike, he just wanted to be everyone's friend. I wonder now what his life would have been like if he'd let people like him just for being him and not the "him" that he thought they would like. I guess we'll never know now. One thing I can say about him, if he was your friend, he was your friend. There was very little he wouldn't do for people.

Well, I've never cared anything for funerals, I'm more of a wake kind of person. When I die, I'd much rather have a party thrown for me where people can gather together and tell funny stories about me and the things we had done together. With that in mind, I'd like to start something similar here, kind of a cyber-wake, if you will, for our departed pirate friend. I'll get the ball rolling with a few anecdotes of my own from the 13 years I knew the man.

Back before I even knew who Mike Younger was, he had already given me the nickname of "Fabio" after seeing me walking around Scarborough Faire in my Scottish garb. Then when I auditioned for the cast of Hawkwood, he was part of the "judges" there, being the Music Director at the time, and he reinforced the nickname then. I didn't find out about it until a year or so later when my boss at my work came up and called me that. Apparently, he had heard it from someone he met at a Sci-Fi Con who knew of Hawkwood and when he mentioned me, the person said, "Oh yeah, Fabio". I give Mike credit for never even giving a hint that I had that nickname the first 2 years I was at Hawkwood.

Back in the 3rd and 4th years of the festival, I was put in charge of the Living Checkers match, as Hawkwood was too low class for chess you see, and Mike was playing the character of Zippo the Fire Wizard. His arch-enemy in the match was a Water Wizard being played by Mary Dossey, aka Fanny the Flagmaker. During their showdown on the checkers board, each of them had a "magic" staff. Mike's was a carved wood staff with a flash paper rig on the end that would ignite a burst of flame and sparks when he fired it. Mary's was made of a thin PVC tube that held pressurized water in it so that when she fired it at him, it would dose him in water, effectively dousing his fire and winning their battle. Believe me, in the 100 degree plus heat and sun of Hawkwood, he was happy to have the dousing. However, in typical Mike bad luck fashion, something went wrong one day. Whoever was in charge of the magic staves accidentally left them out in the searing sun for a good hour before the show. Obviously, it didn't affect Mike's staff much, but when Mary opened up her geyser of water on him, he wasn't quite expecting to be hit in the crotch with super hot water. In the true tradition of Hawkwood, it was painful, but hilarious at the same time.

Now, Mike worked for me on the Dragon Attack Stunt Show from 1998-2002 and one has to wonder how someone as accident-prone as he was could possibly survive being in a stunt show. I mean, I went to Six Flags with this guy and he dislocated his shoulder trying to navigate over the line dividers to get to a ride, for crying out loud. Well, I can say this, he did tend to find out all the weak spots in the rigging. In fact it became a superstition among the crew that no one was going to be safe for the season until he hurt himself somehow as that cleared the way for the rest of us. One time back in '98, we had a well that was actually a tunnel that went under the stage and out the back. The well had a good 8 foot drop to the bottom. However, the script called for him to do a backwards roll into the thing which would not be healthy for anyone. So we installed a heavy-duty cargo net about 2 feet down to give him a nice soft spot to land on. During rehearsals one day, though, he did the backward roll into the well, and 1/2 the net gave way causing a very loud crash and a yell. I immediately ran into the other side of the tunnel so I could get to where he was and see how hurt he was. I find when I get there that I am looking at him face to face, but upside-down as he had caught one foot in the net was just dangling there with a smile and a look of pain. Another time, we had rigged up a life line using a hemp rope that we bought from an auction of stuff from the Barney show. It was used quite a few times during rehearsals and both Mary and Dave Ruffin (our own Harvey the Corpsman) used the thing during the script. However, one day during rehearsal Mike decided to give it a try and it snapped on him about 1/2 way up, causing him to come crashing back down the ground. In retrospect, it was good that it happened to Mike and not Mary or Dave as Mike seemed to have amazing recuperative powers after he got hurt. By getting hurt, I mean like the time he fired a cannon at our show back in 2001 and the entire back of the cannon (which consisted of a stove top drip pan and a spray-painted softball) fired off backwards into his chest. He might have had a huge bruise, but the show went on fine and he barely showed it even hurt.

One time, I think he actually wielded magic. It was the 2000 stunt show and he played the character of Jerricho, the evil ogre sorcerer. He had just sent me falling to my death on a 20ft high fall and I lay there in the crash pad listening to the remainder of the show and watching Mike do his lines from up on top of the wall of the stage. His line was something like, "Now I will destroy you all with my most powerful spell!" and he would raise his arms as if to cast a big spell then would be interrupted by Yohko the Dragon. This time however, he said his line, raised his hands in the air... and a huge blast of wind whipped through the forest, causing the trees to shake back and forth and a deluge of leaves to fall from them covering everything. All of us, including Mike, kind of just froze and looked around with our jaws dropped. Then the audience broke into a standing ovation and Mike smiled and took a few bows before finishing up the show.

Well, that's a just a few stories of the many stories that I have about Mike, do you have any?

Because it's all for me blog. Me jolly jolly blog.

Truly a wonderful man, I am going to miss him but I shall make a toast to him for all of the good times, that truly outnumber the bad. I miss all The Pumps, its not the same without singing a Little Johnny Jump Up with ye! Shall you be in Lawton this year? Love Everyone!

Queen Katherine of All Of The Seas
Posted by Queen Katherine of All Of The Seas on May. 05, 2009 12:10 PM

Mr. Mike Younger....Damnit!! Well, to toss my few cents in on this cyber wake I also had quite allot of memories of the man. Back years ago at Hawkwood, The Bilge Pumps, Wilde Western Days, you name it, Mike always made his presence known.

I guess my best memory of the man was his soulful rendition of Johnny Jump up. He was as close to an old blues singer aspect as a man could get when he'd belt that song out.

Rest in peace mate and may the winds forever be at your back.
Posted by E. the Bosun on May. 05, 2009 01:17 PM

In 1998, I was wandering about Scotland with my sister and a few of our friends. We'd booked our seats on the train to Inverness well ahead of time, but as it will go, one of the seats had been double-booked. When we'd at last managed to find places for all of us, we began to chat with the person in the double-booked seat. Her name was Joan, she was an aspiring actress in Chicago, and she was going to meet her brother in Skye. She mentioned that she'd recently moved, and a few strapping lads who'd moved to Chicago from Texas had helped her out.

We all thought that a bit coincidental, since we knew a few strapping lads in Texas who'd gone up to Chicago, so we began to compare notes, and realised that we were, in fact, talking about the same people: Ray (Prince Charming), Toadie (Chris), and Mike Younger.

During the course of removing Joan from one flat to another, they all ended up at a restaurant. Amidst the friendly chatter, Mike turns to Joan and says 'You know, I'd rather date somebody who is intelligent like you, Joan, than somebody who is pretty'.

We all shook our heads, sighed, and promised Joan that we'd never let him live that down. Watching the blood drain from his face when I recounted that story at workshops before the next Hawkwood season was a riot.
Posted by Gypsy on May. 05, 2009 01:30 PM

I've loved Mike since I was introduced to the Bilge Pumps. My fondest memories are of him with my niece Aimee. She was smitten by Admiral Donald Ducksworth of LARF (Mike) He danced with her, paraded with her, and watched the fireworks with our family. He even offered to officiate at my wedding. At least I assume that was his offer when he said he would marry me. =)

Ever since the last time we saw Mike my niece has been collecting rubber ducks for when we saw him again.

Mike, I'm going to give you the same message you gave me last week: Remember you are not without friends. Just remember, I love you too.
Posted by Luscious the Pumpette on May. 05, 2009 02:02 PM

Mike was going to sell me his whip, but I could not pay the whole amount all at once so I was going to pay him in installments. After I gave him the first check, he said, "Forget the rest, Merry Christmas." Just one example of his generosity.
Posted by Terrie/Natty Nell on May. 05, 2009 02:08 PM

I first met Mike Younger when I was 13 years old, in Denton,TX at a Halloween party thrown by a fellow friend of ours, Gina Bacon. He showed up dressed like the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, along with fellow friends dressed as Dorthy, and the Cowardly Lion. My first interaction with him was actually when we were both standing in line for the bathroom. He struck up a conversation with me about...well, nothing in particular. That was the beauty of Mike. You didn't have to have a subject, you could just talk about dang near anything. He had his own sense of charm that could suck you into any story that he was telling, and you could follow it as if it were a movie in your head. It didnt always make sense, but it was definitely entertaining. After talking with him for about 5 minutes or so, whomever it was finally came out of the bathroom (noting that they were in there for a long time) Mike gave me a thumbs up and a "Well, nice talkin' to ya, and enjoy your piss!"

That was my first impression with Mike.

Flash forward a few years later, and we find ourselves at the majestic wonder that is Hawkwood. A lot of us youngins' remembered Mike and Craig as the assistant casting directors to the dark overlord, Dave Ruffin (A.K.A. Harvey the Corpsman) As Craig said, Mike was the musical director and later moved to casting, which could of been a demotion depending on how you look at it. Mike was the only one crazy enough to put on the "Jerricho" costume that looked like a skinned buffalo, and towards the end of the season, smelled like one too. There was a scene in the one of the shows where I had to help pull "Jerricho" up from the back wall. When he came over the wall he was supposed to say his line and shoot a pyrotechnic that was attached to his wrist NEAR my face to the side to look as if he shot fire from his hands. Well, Mike aimed it DIRECTLY at my right eye and it went off with a loud boom and frightening flash. After I slowly regained my vision and doused my eye with water and had a few laughs, I see a fuzzy vision of Mike in the Jerricho costume approach me and utter the words that would forever be his trademark in my world...."You okay der', bubba?"

Towards the start of the new millennium when The Bilge Pumps came about, Mike and the rest of us joined the group. Always a jokester, he had a tendency to constantly screw with whatever drink I left on the counter during rehearsals and put random ingredients he could find it in. My favorite so far was the day I brought over a large Dr.Pepper, left it for 2 minutes, came back and it had the most GOD AWFUL taste I had ever tried. I open the lid to find about three beef bouillon cubes resting at the bottom of my once tasty beverage. Oh the humanity, but the ending result of course was a good laugh from everyone.

A few years after I had retired from The Bilge Pumps (the second time) Mike and I eventually became closer friends. I worked around the corner from where he lived and we'd usually find ourselves drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and playing Ninja Gaiden on XBOX until 4AM. He always gave me a place to crash as well. Usually on the weekends, Mike and I would take a trip to the Windstar Casino on the border of Texas and Oklahoma. Mike had this special rule that was brilliant for guys who couldn't gamble, like me. No matter how much money one person one, we both would walk out 50/50. That paid off HUGE because I couldn't play slots (as if there is a strategy) or blackjack to save myself. Mike would whisper "Hit" or "Stay" to me while I was placing bets. Somehow or another, I usually would walk out with about $40 dollars, after spending $80, and Mike would usually have about $180. It never mattered, because he always split it even though he did all the work. He insisted. I remember one day after losing ALL my cash, he handed over half of what he won and said "Do you ever win anything?" I just usually replied "Well, yeah, but I lose that, too" We'd follow the trip up on the way back home with a late night/early morning breakfast at iHop. Then back home for more Ninja Gaiden, and then pass out for 10 hours.

The day came that Mike and Mary were moving to New Orleans so Mary could take up her residency at Tulane University. It was saddening to see Mike go, but he was VERY excited about being in the swamp country. I had the pleasure of helping him move, with his son Chris, all of us packed in a U-Haul for 9 hours, with barely any A/C, and an angry cat in the passenger floorboard.......wait, did I say pleasure? The trip was actually a blast, and we all had a great time. I recall falling asleep in the front and I had placed my Dr.Pepper on the dash as there weren't any cup holders. Well, the vibrations of the truck started moving the drink closer off the edge, until Chris was about to grab it. Mike looked over at him, smiled and said "Nah, let it go and see what happens".....a few seconds later.......BAWOOSH! I wake up to the feeling of ice cold Dr.Pepper on my legs and crotch, and Mike cackling his head off. Chris looked over at me and said "Sorry dude. It was his idea"

With the passing of Mike, we've lost a good friend, father, grandfather, and husband. These stories serve to remember not only his sense of humor, but his friendship that he bonded with all of us over the years. We can mourn, grieve, and say goodbye to someone who graced us briefly in our lifetime. OR, we can celebrate, rejoice, and share the good times and life of Michael Younger that will live on and on through all of us. Maybe next time when you see The Bilge Pumps perform, you can share a personal story with us about Mike. And don't forget to raise a toast the next time you hear "Johnny Jump Up'

Cheers Mike. Thank you for being my friend.

Posted by Patrick A.K.A. Squeegy on May. 05, 2009 02:54 PM

Met the Bilge Pumps at the Castle in Muskogee in May of 2002. They were a wild bunch and the kidding between Kailyn and Maroon made my day. I remember going to every show they put on and then spreading the word to all my friends. We bought every cd, button, dvd and magnet of the guys we could...Life has never been the same since. My grandson wore a Jack Sparrow costume I made for him and Kailyn started calling him Jack's younger brother...and it was a standing joke for the rest of the day... We'll miss him...
Posted by Gloria Silver on May. 05, 2009 03:50 PM

So sorry to hear about Mike. My condolences to his family and all his loved ones. A glass or two accompanied by "Johnny Jump Up" shall be lifted in his honor with the memories of all the fun and laughter his time with the BP's produced.

Pax my brothers,

Posted by Talia Gryphon on May. 05, 2009 04:08 PM

I met Mike at LARF in 2000 when The Bilge Pumps performed that year. The rest of the guys were great and I'm glad to have stayed in contact with some of them over the years, even though I've moved several times and they've since stopped playing LARF regularly. I remember Mike coming over to sit with a friend and I after one of the shows, and we just started talking. I had been giving some friendly heckling during the show and I guess he just wanted some fun folk to relax with for a few and cool down before the next one. I noticed his ear ring that he almost always wore, the star, and recognizing what it was, I commented on it. It was like he had found a kindred spirit. We talked for awhile about our beliefs and about all of the silly people who kept asking what it was. From then on, whenever I saw him there was a smile on his face and no matter how long between visits, he always managed to remember me. I guess I am a little odd and hard to forget...lol He was a special kind of guy. I'm going to miss him. I just can't believe he's gone. To quote one of my favorite rennie tunes, "Let's raise up a glass, to our friends not around, and lift up another, with the new friends we've found. As the day fades to night, we must bid you ado, but we'll always remember this time here with you." ~written by Jon Baade - Seelie Court. Raise up a glass Mike, wherever you are.
Posted by Shadowbane on May. 05, 2009 04:14 PM

I met Mike at Hawkwood and he made me feel like I belonged and had a place at the fair. He had a crazy knack for always being able to tell when I needed a hug. He would let me kick him in the groin again when I missed and he would let me shoot him with the water hoping that it was cooler next time.

Oh Mike, whatever are we going to do without you and your funny adventures to make us laugh? I don't guess you knew how much we loved you for it. We will miss you.
Posted by Mary/Fanny on May. 05, 2009 04:43 PM

Well, I typed up a nice long message relating my experiences with Mike and the damn thing never went through.
Suffice to say, Mike was friend and I will miss him.
Posted by Dave White on May. 05, 2009 05:04 PM

I never thought I'd hear this sad news. Forever will Kailyn be a Pump - he entertained me and made my own transition from patron to performer so much easier. You will be missed for a long time to come.

Fair Winds and Following Seas to you
Posted by Capt Emerald Shaunassey on May. 05, 2009 05:35 PM

My favorite memory of Mike has to do with my son. Nick was about 4, and had been to see every Bilge Pump show since the Louisiana faire started. When Mike heard that it was Nick's birthday, he invited him on stage to do "Johnny Jump-up" with him. Nick didn't sing a note, but his moves perfectly mimicked Mike's, right to getting down on one knee at the end. Mike was laughing so hard he had a tough time finishing the song.

Fast forward a few years. Mike is now cast director for LRF, and Nick is 7. We were at a cast workshop, and Mike had paired people up to give introductions. When Nick stepped up, stated his name in a clear voice and did a perfect bow, everyone around him laughed. Not because it was so funny, but because there were grown men who didn't do that nearly as good as a 7-year-old. Nick started crying and tried to leave the stage, but Mike stopped the class, got down on Nick's level, and spent 10 minutes calming him down and that it really was a good thing that people were laughing as that meant that they noticed that Nick had done it right.

Sail on, my friend, and always remember -- QUACK!
Posted by Mama Margaret on May. 05, 2009 07:00 PM

I never met a man who could crack a whip...or a smile ;)...quite like Mike. All I can think now is Kailyn Damnit!!!...lol That was his name and he lived up to to hear Craig's tales of all his accidents. :) I have a lot of fond memories of the man. Long talks about nothing in particular. Deep conversations where he seemed to let go a little of the mask he wore so well. Whether being a Bilge Pump or keeping the cast at LARF in line, he did an amazing job of it. LARF wasn't the same without him last year. I don't know how they're going to get the cast back on track now that he's gone. He never missed a chance to flirt with the pretty girls I'd bring by either...and the look on his face was priceless when finding out one was underage...lol
Posted by Shadowbane on May. 05, 2009 07:55 PM

On behalf of Robert and myself and the rest of our FMP Merfolk we send our condolences to all his family and friends. We loved him dearly as a friend and fellow Renfair performer. We will missed him when he left the group but kept tried to keep in touch when we could. I know that many of us have memories that we will always cherish thanks to both him and the rest of the crew.

No matter what the situation was he will live on in our hearts and the hearts of all our friends with fond memories and respect.

Rest in Peace
Posted by Angela (Fae and Merfolk) Mullens on May. 05, 2009 08:33 PM

Kailyn will be sorely missed. He was a good friend & a sweet man.
Posted by Isara on May. 05, 2009 09:42 PM

Am a truly sorry to hear this. my and the Doxie Chx condolences and prayers to ya'll and Mikes family. i hope he is at peace now.
Posted by McAleen on May. 06, 2009 01:20 AM

Hawkwood, the old forest. Oh, how summer thunderstorms could reek havoc on the trees. After a series of wild thunderstorms had blown through, we arrived at faire to find limbs all about and hurriedly began clean up before opening. One broken - yet still attached limb - stretched across a stage and sitting area. There was nothing to do but cut it down - and noone to do it but Mike! Unfortunately, not until the limb was severed, did he realize he had braced against the very limb he was cutting. Or perhaps more accurately, not until he was riding the limb down did he realize...
Mike, we will miss you. I hope you have found your peace.
Posted by jill jones on May. 06, 2009 01:55 AM

Mike Younger. What can I say? I always loved the stories. Mike was like that brick wall you talk to, but he would always talk back! It didn't matter who you were or what you were talking about, Mike always knew something and had something to say. He was a good man and he will be dearly missed. My heart goes out to his family and the rest of the Pumps.
My favorite story [of] Mike was when he was a Navy Seal submariner carrying a submarine across the Mojave Desert to help the French Foreign Legion. He could always make me smile, even if I didn't want to. To echo what Craig said, if he was your friend, he was your friend. I feel sad for his loss. The world seems to be a blander place without him in it. I'll smile for you again Mike, and have a drink or twenty for you.
My true story of Kailyn Dammitt. A couple years ago I was on the crew filming, it was hell. Nothing was going the way it should have or anywhere near it. Our props guy fell off the face of the earth and his job was left up to me. So I would call on the help of my friends. Mike and Squeegy answered the call. I think it might have been the worst day for me if they didn't come. Squeegy and I did the work while Mike did the running, mostly with his mouth, as only he could. But that day on set everyone was happy, smiling and laughing, mostly because of Mike. He really saved my ass that day.
Mike was a good Pump. You could always laugh at him but mostly you laughed with him. I can't wait for the day when we can share a couple barrels of ole Nelsons Blood together

So raise your rum and throw it overboard for one of the few bright torches in this dark world and give one last "Hurrah!!!" for the man that will still make us smile when we think of him in the future.

Here's to you!!!! I'll miss you my friend!
Posted by Blue the Lookout on May. 06, 2009 07:47 AM

My condolences to you and and his family. May his spirit be at peace wherever the wind takes him....
Posted by Mariah on May. 06, 2009 08:50 AM

On behalf of my husband and myself, we want to offer our deepest sympathies. Mike was a great performer and a great man! Memories of OKRF with Mike are fond to our hearts here @ Castleton. Once a pump, always a pump!

God Speed Mike!
Posted by Lauren AKA Fleur De Lis on May. 06, 2009 10:15 AM

Iam Megan the Pirate Queen. I have known Mike since I was five years old. I will always cherish the time I spent with him and the pumps. I remember one time I got to sing on stage with him. We were singing Johnny Jump, and my pants fell down Thank goodness I had on a long shirt!!!!! I will never forget him he will always have a place in my heart and I will miss him.

Dear Mike,
I just wanted to say you are special to me and have made a difference in my life. I looked up to you and respected you and truly cherished you. I hope you find the comfort you were looking for.
Love always,
Posted by Megan on May. 06, 2009 10:38 AM

Kailyn... It's always sad to hear of another loss to the 'locker. I didn't know him as well as most, but I'll toss my words in as well. I remember Muskogee faire... I was there to support my fellow Pyrates as well as work the popcorn booth. I hung out with Kailyn quite a bit there, and he always knew how to make you laugh. You'll be missed mate, I'll pour a ration of rum overboard for ye... May the wind be ever at your back.
Posted by Cap'n Mac on May. 06, 2009 04:27 PM

Thoughts and prayers go out to you and his family and other friends. Fair winds...
Posted by Velvet Dreams on May. 06, 2009 05:01 PM

Our deepest sympathies to his family. It is a sad loss. He will be missed. May he rest in peace. They will be in our prayers.....
Posted by Elswythe on May. 06, 2009 05:54 PM

Mike i will miss you...you were a good friend at Hawkwood and i loved your stories.. we at Lion Heart Relics will never forget your laugh and the good times we shared at Hawkwood
Posted by Lord Randall on May. 06, 2009 06:38 PM

From the 1st days of Hawkwood Construction to it's bitter end Mike was comic relief, Always at the bakery causing mischief of some sort. His stories, antics, and songs will always be in our hearts. Wish I could remember more of Hawkwood than I do, but the memories I do have always had him in the mix somewhere.. I heard the news from several at Scarborough today, still doesn't seem real.. he'll be missed and never forgotten.
I'll crack a bottle of 1st year loki for him tonight.
Posted by Terry Robison, one of the Village Baker's on May. 06, 2009 10:11 PM

Since the first time I met Mike I developed the mind set that Some of Life's truest happiness is found in the friendships that we make along the way... Mike Younger was and always will be one of those friends. May the wind always be in his sails.
Posted by Terry Robison, one of the Village Baker's on May. 06, 2009 10:34 PM

you will be missed, in true pirate fashion i hope he robs the ferry man when it comes time to cross that river, the roger flies half mast for you.
Posted by Captain Del on May. 07, 2009 09:16 AM

Sorry to hear about the passing of another rennie friend. I remember the dragon stunt show at Hawkwood and Muskogee. I loved it!!!
Mike, rest in peace and keep watch over us rennies.
Posted by Lilith on May. 07, 2009 05:07 PM

Whenever the Pumps would stay in a motel while on the road, no one wanted to room with Mike...not if you actually wanted to get some sleep! As you all know, Mike had a nose so big that tourists would gather around it at dusk in hopes of seeing Mexican free tail bats fly out of it! So you can imagine, with a sound chamber like that, how loud he snored. And somehow, I usually found myself having to share a room with him. I tried using earplugs, but it just wasn't enough! So I did the only thing I could do...more than once, I would grab a pillow and smack him in the face with it! That would stop him for awhile, but I usually had to hit him a couple times a night. The first time I did this, I told him the next day (with a big smile on my face!). He smiled as he shook his head and said "Do what you have to do, bud!". I love the fact that he didn't let that offend him or upset him. He understood, because he knew that even though he would often annoy me, I still considered him my friend...and he never let anything get in the way of his friendships. I just realized that for the first time, he is sleeping without snoring like a buzz saw. I truly wish I had one more chance to smack him with my motel room pillow! Rest easy my friend, I look forward to seeing you on the other side! Hope you brought them a quart of Johnny Jump Up!
Posted by Preston aka Mop the Swabbie on May. 07, 2009 08:23 PM

Our daughter was a member of the "B Girls" from the 2000 Hawkwood season. Their skit for the cast end-of-season "Un-talent Show" was a spoof of the cast. Leah Jones took the role of Mike: she lay there flat on her back, Jennifer Dodd rushed up and said, "Oh my god! Are you okay? Should I get help?" "Mike" got up, dusted "himself" off, said, "No, I just fell off a ladder" and limped off stage.
No one in the audience laughed harder than Mike. He was one cool dude and we will miss him.

Godspeed, Mike!
Posted by the stradleys on May. 07, 2009 09:08 PM

Mike was one of the first guys I worked with when I finally got up the nerve to try to join the performing company end of Faire. He was a great, goofy, fun guy who I always enjoyed raising a glass with. I wish I'd taken the time to get to know him better. My condolences to his family - both his legal/blood family, and all of us in his extended Faire family. He will definitely be missed.
Posted by Jenn Davis Tustin on May. 08, 2009 08:11 AM

I met Mike during Scarborough workshops in 1995. The corsairs were just starting up and Mike was among those wonderful men I love so much. Late nights at CiCi's...(including the most wonderful massage experience EVER)...long talks near the ship stage...warm hugs...gatherings outside of faire - always my friend, always entertaining, talented, charming, funny, witty and kind. Always one of my favorite people. Mike, didn't you learn from my experience? I'm sorry we lost touch, but you were always in my heart.

My deepest sympathy to all those who knew and loved Mike.
Posted by Shayla aka Ophelia aka Princess Mary Elizabeth Tudor Brandon on May. 10, 2009 09:36 AM

Mike annoyed the hell out of me. He once looked at me with both eyes at the same time. I will miss his stories and one-uppers and counting lies. He was a really nice and cool dude. I am sorry that he is no longer with us but hope that he finds whatever peace he was looking for.
Posted by Laurel on May. 10, 2009 03:21 PM

It's been a week since I heard the news about Mike. We worked for years on the stunt shows and the Bilge Pumps, but somehow I realized I never got to know him very well. I do have some good memories of him, like the time it rained while I was camping out at Hawkwood and my tent flooded, so Mike let me crash on his couch. He made me drink something called a breath freshener, and we watched Batman Beyond. I was 17, and thinking about it now the story sounds like it should conclude with a therapist asking me to point out on the doll where he touched me, but I think if Mike hadn't taken pity on me I would have probably drowned in a classic Hawkwood flood, or just felt like crap the next day.

Also, my first year, the tights for my already hideous costume shredded and the weekend before we opened Mike took me up to the guild house, where he was staying at the time, and gave me a pair of old tights that lasted all of one weekend before they got their first hole. They held up enough to make it through the season though, and even made a cameo the following season where they were shredded in the name of entertainment. Again, this story has a bit of the creepy vibe about it, since I was 16 at the time. But that got me thinking about my first year.

Mike and I went to pick up supplies for stunt show construction. He asked me about my family, I told him my story and he told me his. We talked about trust issues and he told me a secret. He said it was so I knew I could trust him. So I told him a secret to make us even. And I thought I had made a friend. Until about 45 minutes after we got back to Hawkwood, and Mike decided to tell Dave, and Dave decided to tell anyone who would listen. Later, though, Mike came to me, I was obviously pissed, embarrassed, and petrified. Not to mention sixteen. He told me that I was a good performer and funny, but I was too self-conscious, and that's why he told my secret. He was right. And sure enough not much has embarrassed me since.

Mike was a good guy, and I didn't know him well enough. His stories were elaborate. His voice helped to shaped the Bilge Pumps. He wanted to be friends with everyone, and tried to always make people happy. His memory lives on in CD's and DVD's and anyone who was lucky enough meet him or see him perform. So to Mike I say, goodbye. You'll be missed. And You'll always be a Seal to me.

Posted by Joshua I Steinberg on May. 13, 2009 04:20 AM

I remember the first time I met Mike and his LARF cast. He was the cast director of LARF in his first year at the job. He took the cast to Mall of Louisiana for practice. Seeing them in the parking lot i drove as fast as possible (which i didn't have to, they where still getting dressed) and i said a sentence that has changed my life forever "Hey my name is Jennifer, and I am Asst Manager of Things Remembered, Come see me in my store!" (See i went to student days the year before, so I knew who they where, what they where doing, and wanted to join because of the FUN i had at school days)
Mike made them all come see me in the store. Right before they had to leave, Kim and Mike came in to talk to me, thanking for giving pre-premission to enter my store. He gave me four free tickets for my family to come visit the faire. Needless to say I have been at the faire in some aspect since that season, thanks to Mike giving me free tickets.

The last thing I wanna share is the last time we got to sit down and talk. It was at sewing circle a few weeks ago (which at this moment seem years ago) We where talking about the singing group that I started and he was helping me with. He looked at me and called me a professional performer! This was Mike, someone who I wanted to be like putting me on the same professional level as he was. I looked at him a moment and wanted to hug him tight because I hadn't felt like I had been professional enough in his eyes. Mike thought I was a professional, and that moment will stay with me forever and ever.

Rest in Peace, We all miss you tons, But know the show will go on, because we know thats what you would want us to do.
Posted by Lady Kora Fellintona aka Jennifer Marie on May. 13, 2009 08:13 PM

My friend Mike. I can hardly type this without tearing up. We worked together at ACS in Dallas . Then we worked together at another company. He moved to New Orleans and I didn't see him as much. He came down once and took my boat out and went fishing. Then he was gone back home. We emailed back and forth and then he called me one day and said he either had surgery or was going to have surgery. He said he was going to be in town soon and wanted to come by and visit me. He never came by and I never heard from him again. I guess that was over 3 years ago. He never answered my emails. I just found out today why. I had no idea he had passed until today. I have been missing hearing from you buddy. R.I.P.. I would like to know how he passed if someone could tell me.
Posted by Bentley on Aug. 30, 2012 02:52 PM

Mike was the best friend I ever had or will ever have. We met in Dallas, and I was actually in the process of moving to Louisiana when he passed. Bentley, I'm right there with you on the tearing up issue. You can reach me at spartanplan@gmail.com and I'll share the little information that I have on what happened. I miss Mike horribly, and I wish all the best to his family and friends.
Posted by Cadairs on Sep. 15, 2012 10:33 AM

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