Readers who find that ruminations make them itchy are encouraged to turn away, with my compliments.  Come back soon.  This posting has Dave Tough as its apparent subject, but its real theme is human nature.

Several days ago, celebrating Dave Tough’s life and mourning his death, I wrote several posts about him.  Kevin Dorn, who knows Tough’s work deeply, approved, which pleased me.

Then I found a comment from someone new, a European blogger I’ll call Mr. Easy.  He wrote that Tough was underrated, and continued: “Although he was an alcoholic like me, his range was very wide, in my humble opinion.” And he closed with a polite thank-you.

Mr. Easy’s candor took me aback for a moment, but I admired his sentiments and responded in agreement.  Curious about him, I found his site, full of jazz video clips of players I also admire.  Reflexively, I added his site to my blogroll so that other like-minded souls could visit it.  This is common practice — a mutual tipping of hats among bloggers, who are always looking to bring more readers to their sites.

This morning, I found a comment (posted on my site) from Mr. Easy, displeased that I had added his blog to my website.

I have edited one word for politeness: “Who gave you the permission, you —-?  Did I ASK you to do so?  You are very presumptuous!!!  My site is only for jazz connaieseireurs!!”

I thought that I was also a “jazz connaiesireur,” but enough of that.

However, I am not used to being called “a —-” on my own blog.  I thought that our conversation had reached its end.  So I wrote Mr. Easy, politely saying that he needn’t have been so offensive, that I had deleted his site and his comments, and that he could now go away.

His response took me by surprise, because the people I have met through this blog have been generous, smart, funny, encouraging, kind — obviously a rare bunch — and I am honored to have them.

And, when I think next of Mr. Easy, an old comment of my father’s will come to mind, when one of his friends met him on the street and asked how everything was: “Oh, things are tough all over.”

For some people, they are.  And the reference isn’t to Dave Tough, alas.


  1. Mr. Easy lacks a spell checker.

  2. Bill Gallagher

    Waiter! An order of “couth” for the gentleman.

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