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Thursday, May 29, 2008

In Memory of Jo West

Dear friends,

I would like to say a couple of words in memory of Jo West, our beloved and dear friend, who left this world today to take her place amongst the angels.

Many will remember Jo for the many nights at Club West after the bars closed when we would all gather until the wee hours to keep the party going. We will never forget that J & B stood for Jo and her Boys! We'll never forget the honor that is was to be a regular at her table at Phases or Alexandre's or the Hideaway.

But what most of us don't know is that Jo's anonymous generosity made it possible for many of us in the arts community to shine. I won't be specific here because it would betray her trust. But it's enough to say that many a musician and actor in Dallas got his or her big break because of Jo's persistent and silent dedication to her friends and the artists in whom she believed.

We have lost one of the great spirits of the human race. Whether it was her love of books, her compassion for animals or her tireless crusade to give help to people whose lives were affected by HIV and AIDS, Jo West was a force of nature.

Ms. West.

She was one of the most genuine, selfless, loving and beautiful people I have ever known.

Some months ago when we all found out that she was very ill, I cried for two days straight. I cried for the impending loss of a dear friend. I cried for the loss that our community would suffer. And I cried because a great and important life would soon be over.

Now, that crying time is over. Jo fought valiantly. She faced her fate with bravery, humor and as always, dignity and grace.

She was, and is what we all should strive to be: generous to a fault, loving without condition, and as beautiful as the sunrise over the ocean.

She exemplified what we all should strive to be, and now I rejoice that she is at peace, and free from pain.

I love you Jo. I always have, and I always will. You taught me what it meant to be at one with the world and at peace with my own spirit and soul. You will never be forgotten. You are at rest with the angels, and I know that you will look down on all of us that you have left behind and protect us with the same love that you gave us while you were here.

The good news is that you now have the power of heaven behind you, and for that, we can all feel a good deal safer. Requiescant in pace. I and everyone who knew you loves you with all of our hearts....

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