This post is about a dear friend of mine who passed away yesterday. Warren Kosinski was a man I have known for over 30 years and we have had some good times together. Warren was a little bit my senior but after the age of about 15, what's 10 years or so. Warren was a Viet Nam vet who didn't really like to talk about his time in the service but would if pressed. He was one of the lucky ones who came back from that conflict in one piece and relatively sane. Warren was a house painter by trade and could make walls come alive with color like no one else I know. He had a tremendous work ethic and was very proud of the work he accomplished. Like many painters, Warren had a drinking problem but I suspect breathing paint fumes for years on end pickled his senses way more than his drinking.
Warren was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2009 and stopped drinking for good. He fought through his illness and was making progress until about six months ago. His condition worsened and he finally succumbed to his illness yesterday afternoon. Warren and I shared a love of music and one story I can remember highlights his insight. Back in the early 1980's I had tickets to see Joan Armatrading at The Fox Theater in Atlanta. I invited Warren along. He was not all that familiar with Joan at the time and we listened to her music on the way to the show. He commented at some point during the trip that she reminded him of Van Morrison. OK, I never got the connection but alright. During the show that night, about half way through, Joan launched into a cover version of Moondance that blew me away. I don't believe that I have ever heard Joan cover anyone else's music before or since. Just one of those things that make you go hmmmmm.
Warren was a great supporter of the show and of the festival we produced last year and even though he was not in great health, he traveled the two plus hours to be here and had a great time at the festival even though it was hot and the heat strained him. Warren is not the kind of guy who will have brilliant obituaries written about him but I wanted to take this opportunity to honor his memory and to remember him fondly. So long Warren, rest in peace!