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Photo Catch Up: Philfest

This photo is older than the others here. I just never felt un-sad enough to post it, I guess.


Our musician friend Phil Wintermute passed away suddenly in September. We went to the official service at the funeral home later that week. But a few weeks later, there was a gathering at Magdalenas which some called “Philfest.” We sang songs Phil wrote, for the most part, and we told stories and ate good food.

I find that my camera does not do well in low light. The yellow and orange walls in Magdalenas do not work well for me, but someone took this photo with my camera at the end of the event. The place was jam packed, you could hardly move, so the people shown here are just the tip of the iceberg.

It was long enough ago that I can not remember everyone who was there. It seemed everyone who works at Elderly Instruments was there including Libby who had a lot to do with making this event happen. Friends of every age, and musicians from across Michigan, particularly Lansing and northern lower Michigan, were there.

In this photo I can identify musicians Seth Bernard and Daisy May Erlewine; Hall and Morgan; The Fabulous Heftones; Brandon Foote was there, Chris Dorman, Miko Fossum of Magdalena’s Teahouse. And at least one of Phil’s sisters, and at least one Niece.

I am leaving out so many, but trust me, it was a powerful love fest for our wonderful friend. I was glad to be there though it was difficult in some ways.

My favorite story told was a guy who was a new employee when Phil was also new at Elderly. A customer came in to show off what he knew, with friends who didn’t look like they wanted to be tagging along. He grilled this new employee about a particular niche market, asking him tricky questions and then when the worker said things like “I think so” the guy would correct him and say WRONG… blah blah blah.

The young employee was trying to be polite but things were not working out well for him. So the customer started talking to Phil. He asked Phil: Who is the “X-brand” expert here? And Phil answered truthfully, “You are.”

If it’s true, say it. That was Phil.

Here’s a photo I took of Phil (left, in hat) with Paul Bennett. They played out as a band called “Scratch and Sniff.” I love this photo, taken around 11pm in front of Dagwood’s neighborhood pub, with the traffic lights and I-127 in the background.


Rest peacefully, Phil. Knowing you surely did change my life.

2 Responses to “Photo Catch Up: Philfest”

  1. Diana Troldahl Says:

    What a good guy. Thank you for sharing him with us :-}

  2. Howlin' Hobbit Says:

    “If it’s true, say it.”

    Oh, yeah. The only way to be, even if it sometimes gets a little sticky.

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