September 2, 2009

Missing Sully, Part 2

[Fire on the Mountain continues to post material about Sully, David Sullivan, whose untimely death last Saturday has left so many of his friends shaken and bereft. (See the previous post here.) Below, you will find a photo taken of David in his teens during a stay in Austria, with an explanation by Mike Ely, a moving and thoughtful poem by Jed Brandt and another Sully anecdote focused on his badassery from Joe Iosbaker.]

Left: David Irish Sullivan

This was in the train station in Innsbruck, near the moutain village where David had spent a year in grade school. We went high up in the nearby ridge of Alps, and found a farming family grazing their herd at the timber line. They let us (all five) stay in their hayloft for a tiny bit of money -- and fed us whatever the family was eating. From there we could see the whole Inn valley up and down, draped in morning mists or crystal clear in the midday summer sun, and beyond rows of more high mountains.--Mike Ely (with red bandanna in photo)

DAVID | poem 35

Jed Brandt

In this only life,
throw your chest for the people
without irony.

In this only life,
let us save dying for death,
our back to the wheel.

Another Story About Sully
Joe Iosbaker

[This is edited from a note written to Molly Sullivan Nestor, one of Sully's daughters.]

Molly, you had said your dad was a bad ass. Here's a story to back that up.

While I knew Sully for 30 years, we didn’t hardly see him from the early '80s until a few years ago, when Stephanie and I and the boys started seeing him a couple times a year. especially at Jon and Marsha Baker’s annual pre-Thanksgiving get-together.

In 2004, we were still very involved in the anti-war protests in Chicago. The previous year, on the night the Iraq War began, over 800 people had been arrested in the protest in downtown Chicago. We had pissed off Mayor Daley when 10,000 people seized Lake Share Drive by totally outmaneuvering the police. 2000 riot cops were brought in, boxed us up, and proceeded to arrest us. The cops were rough with a lot of people, although it wasn’t August, 1968 or anything.

There has been a class action suit against the city since that night, claiming that the protesters were cooperating with the police when they started arresting us without warning. I was explaining this story to Bill Davis (¡Presente!) and Sully after dinner, telling them about the suit.

Sully’s response: “We never bothered with complaining about police brutality. If the cops beat us up at a demo, we showed up at the next protest for payback.”

So, I’m having a couple fingers of Cinco Blancos tonight in your dad’s honor, Molly. Here’s to payback!

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