A couple of weeks ago, I learned that a long-time friend of mine, Mike Spurgeon, had died after a massive heart attack. Mike was 56.
Mike, and his former wife Alice, were our neighbors many years ago (Briercliff Drive in Orlando). I rarely caught Mike without a smile and enjoyed many evenings sitting on our deck and listening to music, especially the band Genesis. When Alice went off to work on the opening of Euro Disney, Mike asked me to join him for some tailgating and great UF football in Gainesville. Although he had many talents and qualities, two of those talents have remained as my fondest memories of Mike. During the ride from Orlando to Gainesville, there would be some conversation, but mainly a lot of music. One of his talents was an encyclopedic knowledge of that music. When a song came on the radio, Mike could tell you the artist, the name of the song and the name of the album. Often the radio DJ would give you much of the same information as the song wound down. Mike was always right. Always. Mike also had a “nose”. If we were at lunch or on the rare boy’s night out, Mike would hook our server by telling her what fragrance she was wearing. Again, he was always right. Not surprisingly, once he made that connection with the server, our service took a quantum leap upward.
As I read some of the comments his other friends have posted, the work Mike had done with Mending Hearts Charities struck a particular chord with me. He always had a way with children, even with my first son Brian. One Saturday afternoon, Brian, dressed only in a diaper and kids tool belt, abandoned his role as my “helper” and walked next door to find Mike. He rang the doorbell, Alice answered the door and Brian asked “Can Mike come out and play?”. Priceless.
Rest in Peace my friend. You are missed.