Two years ago today, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and my friend, Terry Sumsion passed away from esophageal cancer. A few weeks earlier, I had visited him at his home so he could personally hand me his new CD, "Encore." At one point, while we were alone in his living room, he asked me to write his obituary. It was the kind of request you didn't want to hear, but you knew sooner or later it would come down to that. I started to write after that but had a hard time trying to finish it.
Then it happened. While at a Tri-County Jam in Tillsonburg, Ont., sitting with Al Ross, whom Terry had considered to be a brother to him, Al took a phone call out in the hallway. We had known Terry wasn't doing well. Coincidentally, Bob Derer, a friend of Terry's, was on stage singing one of Terry's songs, "Friendship Train." Al came back into the room and sat down. I looked at him and asked if that was the phone call. He said yes. Without saying another word, we sat there and cried, and soon left. Some of Terry's friends at the jam were planning to get together and asked me to come along. I couldn't. I had a job to do and a promise to keep. I went back to the radio station and finished writing, not necessarily an obituary, but my tribute to my friend. I was there the whole night until the sun came up. During those hours, Al emailed me a ton of pictures of Terry. I forwarded them to the guy who does our website. We waited until it was OK with the family to post that tribute and announce on the air that Terry was gone. In the days that followed, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my tribute to Terry had been published on several websites and newspapers. My sincere thanks to those who did. That tribute is still on our website two years later. Click on the link below and when it comes up, I hope you'll click on the picture and watch the slideshow set to his song "Dance With Me." Thanks for your friendship, Terry, and thanks for the music. We all still miss you.