On Thursday, March 25th, Mitchell Dubey was murdered in his home in New Haven. I never knew Mitchell myself, but he touched the lives of countless people whom I've known, and left a lasting, positive impact on these people and the community of which they are a part. Last night, his friends put together a benefit concert for Mitchell's family, who has suffered a great deal in the past year, and successfully raised over $23,000, and completely sold out Toad's Place, a famous music venue in New Haven. It was a glorious sight to behold, a celebration of his life and the things he loved. (And yes, that is a GIANT photo of me getting a wristband from the doorman at the concert. Embarrassing. I wish they could have featured someone else who knew Mitchell personally. But, I'll take it.)
I feel strange that I never had the chance to meet Mitchell, but he touched the lives of so many people that I've known a long time, and left a lasting, positive impact on a community that I care greatly for, even though I don't live there anymore. I don't want to rob my grief from those that actually knew Mitchell and were so greatly affected by this loss, but I was overwhelmed by the amount of love on display last night. Mitchell Dubey left a mark on the lives of so many people that I have known, and so, by extension, his life has affected mine, and I think that is the very definition of community.
This week's post on Five By Five Hundred is dedicated to Mitchell. It was inspired by an interaction that I had at the show with my old friend Jerry Morgan. We haven't seen each other in a long time, and have never done well keeping in touch, but I think we were both happy to see each other, barring the circumstances. Jerry knew Mitchell through the bicyclist and vegan communities in New Haven, as well as the music scene, and when we both asked each other how we "were," we both understand what it meant — what has your life been like since we last spoke, excepting the detail of your friend's gruesome murder. Fortunately Jerry always remains positive, and took our "How are you?"s in good humor, and it sparked a conversation.
Before I link you selfishly to my writing, here's a video of Mitchell taken by a complete stranger in California several years ago. It only makes me wish I knew him more.