Potts & Rush at the Howl Festival 2004
Potts & Rush at the Howl Festival 2004
Tyler’s memorial at the Society of Illustrators, NYC. January, 2012.
Arkansas,Sept 9, 2011
I am going to miss the two or three times a year that Tyler made it down to Arkansas for our usually unsuccessful goal of filling my leaky boat full of fish. There was nobody I enjoyed fishing with more but it really wasn’t about fishing but just hanging out. I will always remember him falling out of the boat and riding in the front of the boat back to the dock buck naked trying to dry his clothes. There was the time we were walking through the woods trying to get to a secluded fishing hole and ran into two really big mean looking dogs. Tyler pulled out his pocket knife and ran at them screaming and they ran off like they had seen a ghost. There are countless memories I have such as those that make me smile when I think of Tyler.
Warren Zevon Keep Me In Your Heart
Hey, Tyler, you’re next to Jessica Alba. She’s fine.
He was the guy they all loved, and he was dead.
They filled the room with people. They painted his face in lights on the back wall, a lazy southern smirk on his black-and-white lips. One of his coworkers said that she’d once been worrying aloud about being a new mom in front of him, and he’d said, “plenty of people poorer and dumber than you have done it just fine.” The photo looked like he might have just said that, right before the photographer took the shot.
He looked a little like Willie Nelson, too.
It was a cool crowd. Half the people were wearing glasses and there were several asymmetrical haircuts. One man wore a beanie with a pom-pom. Youth had little to do with it. This is, after all, New York, where 90-year-olds can be socialites and 20-somethings wear brogues and bulky cardigans to work. The man in the photo knew it all and knew better and maybe even tisked at the whole show of it but he was still proud to be a part of it. Probably a lot like how Bob Dylan felt, hanging out with the Grateful Dead.
They played some songs on guitars. Merle Haggard, and Loudon Wainwright’s “Heaven.”
People cried during the slideshow. It wasn’t for him that I felt sad. I’d never met him, this man on the wall, who looked like he’d be good for a joke at an awkward party. I felt sad because of Melanie, his partner who seemed more his wife than most wives I know. I felt sad because she’d lost him, and because he’d lost her. Either scenario seemed wrong and awful. In the slideshow they were young and smiling and they looked so comfortable that it made me want to take a nap. Easy, is what it looked like.
Melanie didn’t speak much, other than to exhort others to come and talk. I don’t know what she could have said that wasn’t written across her face, and interlaced into every word that anyone else said. She was the reason he was in New York. She was the reason he was in all their lives. This whole room of people—drinking wine and Sam Adams and eating crab cakes and pigs-in-a-blanket and some of them crying so much that they had to stuff their tissues in a wine glass and give up drinking—they were all there not because Tyler had died, but because he had fallen in love.
I first met Tyler Rush at Service Merchandise in North Little Rock, AR. In his own special way he was glue. His spirit was a genuine as ever there was in a man. He joked, he taught, he shared (little at first), he listened ALWAYS, we drank and laughed hysterically. Tyler got in your heart because of who he was, regardless of who or what you were. My memories of him are pure pleasure. He was a member of my wedding party as we stood on the steps inside St. Andrews Cathedral in Little Rock in our tuxedo shirts and jackets and boxers. Tyler of course, in flip flops…haha…My heart is still heavy for all of us he left behind. His memory will bring us joy of him until we meet again. I’m sorry I lost track of you buddy, look upon me and after me now from above…Hook ‘Em Horns!!! Thanks again for the great friendship and picture you did for me…YOU sir, will be sorely missed!!! Love, Ron and Paula Smyres (we have a son now named Ryan, he would’ve loved you too!!!
Siempre te vi sonriendo, no hablábamos el mismo idioma y sin embargo nos entendíamos y no parábamos de conversar y reírnos. Pasamos un buen tiempo con Mel en Madrid y esperaba volver a verte aquí o en New York. Un alma buena, esa fue siempre mi impresión de Tyler y siempre voy a seguir recordándote sonriendo. Hasta pronto amigo.
Macarena C. Afonso