Lisa Rossetti 25.6.06

Thank you Sue for letting me know about Chris's death. It is always a shock to lose someone so untimely from your own generation and it gets you thinking and not always comfortable in the nostalgia.

I have sat quietly remembering, going back in time, and I am left with a gentle sadness about lost connections. Was I too fickle with my friendships? Probably, but it's OK. This is an opportunity for me is to celebrate Chris, a life that crossed briefly with mine.

And thank you Sue for always knowing that I did care about him; you kept me in touch over the years “Chris is a dad!”… “Living in France”… “Enjoying his music”. I hadn't seen Chris for maybe 35 years - the girl I was and the woman I am, it's a huge bridge to cross back into the past. Little snapshots of Chris popping up in my mind. Chris gave me my first introduction to jazz and blues. Just slipping onto the stool behind the piano in Effingham Lodge, Brighton, and fluidly, effortlessly pouring out a torrent of spirited honky tonk. I wouldn't hear jazz again until I met my second husband, but Chris's music was that first vibrant experience. He was extraordinary really, a genius, but what stands out for me was his simplicity and a childlike sense of wonder. He was one of those rare souls who didn't seem to need possessions, things, not like some kind of yogic or monastic trip, but really quite genuinely.

More memories - the way he could just fold up in any old corner and go to sleep, just unwinding and resuming life when he awoke in the morning! I remember the odd encounter in Preston Park, Chris bounding up wreathed in smiles, barefoot of course with his wonderful black hair flying and in that baggy navy blue jumper, just slipping in beside me and walking quietly along together. I remember a lovely moment when hitchhiking in the drizzle at dead of night, he touched my hair and said “You've got diamonds in your hair, Lisa” - the guy had poetry in him too!

I know he would be really pleased that he made a lasting connection between myself and his sisters - and probably start musing upon the interconnectedness of all things, random chance, the Universe and all that!

Here's to Chris - and here's to Life, the greatest music of all!
Lisa Rossetti


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