Kevin Cole was a regular at the Gottscheer Hall. Him and his wife use to frequent the long standing Queens locale way before the hipsters started their Ridgewood invasion. An older man, he worked 9-5 during the week. Come Friday night, he was at his usual bar stool. For a while, I would see them every weekend when I formerly visit the Gottscheer. Kevin would always say hi, complimenting me on my artwork and my photography. Guess I wasn’t used to the genuine adulation. Usually I would thank him while gulping down my HB beer.
One day word got out that Kevin had been sick. I went to visit him at Wyckoff Hospital during that week. Due to his age and sudden illness, his long time job used the opportunity to let him go. Which was a nice way to end the year, I sarcastically ad-lib. Afterwards, Kevin went into physically therapy, and had to stop going to Gottscheer Hall. This coincided with the sweeping changes in the Ridgewood area, along with the drastic rent hikes. Suddenly the area of Ridgewood, Queens had a huge feature in the New York Times real estate section. Sunday edition. Soon it wasn’t so fun living in Ridgewood anymore. Gentrification isn’t fun, period.
I got to see Kevin one more time afterwards. He had made a brief appearance in the Gottscheer. It might’ve been when the Gottscheer Hall was playing the 2014 World Cup on their TV screens, not sure. Haven’t seen him since. Soon afterwards, I had stopped going to Gottscheer Hall myself. The bar and catering hall is doing just fine without me. As for me, thanks to a series of personal events, spending Friday nights at the Gottscheer wasn’t the same anymore. While I still love the Gottscheer, the vapid vultures had taken over.
Kevin Cole, however, was a writer and an poet. From one creative to another, he encouraged me to never give up on my goals, my dreams. Sometimes it takes an absence for a message to take heed. Because of this, I’m posting a link to a website featuring Kevin’s writing. It’s my way of saying of saying thanks to him for his kind words, and my way of letting go of something that I previously enjoyed.
*If you can’t click directly to his writings, type in http://scars.tv, then click on writings, then click on Kevin Cole.