My friend Michael (Mickey) Fedora from Lake Helen passed away last night. Mike was an artist and musician and through the years worked at several of the bookstores in Cassadaga. He was a loving, kind and gentle soul who will be missed. In November 2004, I wrote about Mike coming to my rescue:
I’d drive to Cassadaga to drop off magazines and had a good visit with friends there. I was about a mile outside Cassadaga on the way home, when I ran over a nail and got a flat. I called AAA who told me it would be a 3 hour wait. It was a nice day, and I didn’t have to be anywhere, so I didn’t mind if I had to wait. I wasn’t convinced, however, that I had to wait. I called Mike Fedora at the Cassadaga Bookstore to ask who in the area I might call, and he volunteered to come down to change the tire for me. My knight in shining armor! As he was unlocking the spare, the AAA guy came and asked if we had it under control or if we needed him (this was like 30 minutes after the call to AAA) and I thought I’d give Mike a break from doing the heavy work, so the AAA guy pulled out the spare and noticed it was flat. My hero Mike drove the tire to a gas station to put air in it, while the AAA guy jacked up the van and took the tire off for us. When Mike returned, all he had to do was put the tire on and lock it down. I was so glad he helped me, but what a way for him to spend his Saturday lunch hour! He directed me into the next town to a Tire Kingdom and I had them repair the tire. I began chatting with other customers there and we were having quite the good time. There was a funny movie on the tv with Nathan Lane called Mousetrap. It was a riot, and a fun way to spend an afternoon.
In November 2007, I wrote about Mike in my rainbow post: I drove to Cassadaga to deliver the November Horizons Magazine to them. It was raining as I left Melbourne, just a drizzle, and I drove up I-95. I’d made a turkey sandwich for lunch on the way back, and was fighting the urge to eat it on the way up.
I always thought rainbows were an optical illusion that you had to be a distance away to see. It was misty and drizzling, with intermittent rain, and as I approached the Rockledge exit, I saw a huge rainbow up ahead. I could see both ends of the rainbow, the entire arc. As I got closer, I saw that the east end of the rainbow appeared to be right over I-95 and I saw cars driving through it! I took note of the markers so I could see if I could tell when I was in the rainbow, but when I got in it, I totally knew I was in it!! I felt giddy and the energy felt real dynamic and sparkly. That could have been due to me being elated I was in a rainbow…
So I travelled another few miles and almost at the next exit – another rainbow! Once again I could see both ends of it, once again it ended over I-95, once again I drove right into it and once again the giddy feelings! I was excited beyond words. I wanted to take a pic but knew neither the phone nor camera would pick it up, it was very overcast and raining and the windshield wipers were going.
Almost right out of the 2nd rainbow I stopped at the rest stop. I got out of my car and looked behind me to the south, but saw no rainbow. I didn’t even see any grey skies. I looked to the north, and it looked clear as well. Yet 5 minutes driving north, I encountered more drizzling misty rain, and another rainbow, this one a double! Once again I could see both ends of it, and this time it went over I-95 and I drove under it. Interesting that I could not see the rainbows from the rest area.
I drove into Cassadaga and went into The Purple Rose Bookstore and told Mike Fedora about the rainbows. As I delivered the Cassadaga Camp Bookstore, I was invited to the prayer meditation circle that was just beginning. It was the first one I’d gone to on a Thursday morning and there were a dozen or more people there. I was delighted when the guided meditation that took us through a rainbow! What synchronicity. You can hardly beat a four rainbow day.
As I typed this post, I looked out the window and see that it’s a cloudy day and lightly drizzling. Maybe Mike will send me a rainbow. Now I’ll remember him every time I see one in the sky.
9-19-10 I received this email: Hello, you do not know me but I read your blog on my cousin Mickey and was touched on the story. My cousin and I were close for decades but in the last ten years or so we drifted apart. He will be missed by our family. He was a gentle soul who touched all of our lives with his music and his art. He was different and definitely traveled his own path. Years ago we lived together as friends/cousins and band mates. He taught me to play guitar which I still occasionally still play. When I do play, I still remember the good times and I will always have these memories. I remember him doing murals on his bedroom walls in Vestal, NY and the great times we had in Texas, California and in DeLand.
Little known facts:
In California he had a band that made it to the Gong show – but was gonged.
He loved to play guitar, harp and had a band as long as I can remember.
He had an art degree from Stetson, but did little with it professionally.
He performed with Johnny Winter in a jam in Florida.
He was into blues music from all genres.
He lived in TX, OK, NY, CA and FL.
He was somewhat of a hermit.
He wrote over 100 songs.
He loved his Mom’s cooking – his favorite was Italian meat balls and his Mom’s chocolate mayo cake.
He did not care what jobs he had or what he did as long as he could write, draw and play music.
He had a great relationship with his Mom, but a strained one with his dad who was a bit of an outlaw. Both parents passed on years ago. As far as I know he has 2 brothers, a sister.
I will remember the great times.
Patrick “Rick” O’Toole