We all know we are going to die. We just forget sometimes that by being alive, we have already entered into what I have been calling The Faustian Bargain. It will all be over someday.
We got the word last night that one of our very dear friends has died. Randy Dalton was a giant among men, along with his partner Michael. They were the love of each others’ lives for 34 years, through a tumultuous time when their arrangement was not popular or widely accepted.
We met Michael and Randy in 2002 in Xcalak, Mexico. We were guests at a very small resort there and became lifelong friends with them and several others by the time our visit was over. We continued to see them in Mexico and after we started going around in the bus, we were fortunate enough to have visited them twice at their art-filled house and garden, some of the very best bus parking we have had, not to mention the good conversation, meals and comfort and love of like-minded friends.
I remember talking to Randy on the phone when I was in the grocery store one time and he said, “We’re all going to die! Come and see us!” And we did. You can see our 2013 visit here. And our last visit where we ended up parked there for three weeks, flying back to Kansas City for Jim’s mom’s funeral while they took care of the cats and took us back and forth to the airport. Their house and garden is filled with art and interesting things at every turn.
Randy was one of a kind. A member of Philadelphia’s underground art scene, he was one of The Dumpster Divers, making art from found objects. He was the driving force behind Do Blue and the amazing Blue Grotto. If you are in West Philly, it is a must-see at the CEC. He just opened a show at a local gallery and was constantly brimming with plans for new projects, most involving blue lights and found objects.
Randy personified passion, kindness, humor and curiosity. He and Michael walked the walk, balancing human spirit, art, beauty in home and garden, intelligent conversation and pure appreciation of life. Just being around them made you feel more alive and infused with the wonder of the world.
Our hearts are heavy. We are really going to miss him. Hug harder, live life to the very brink of fullness, like Michael and Randy did. That is our part of The Faustian Bargain.
A bright blue light has gone out.