Hard to believe, but this past Thanksgiving weekend 2015 marks one year since my pal David Menasche dropped his body … and moved on.
Oh, not that it was any surprise – diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2006, he/we often joked as he would come for recording sessions at the Airlift Productions Studios, that here came a “Dead Man Walking”. He knew he was on borrowed time for some time. We all did.
But it was the things, the issues, the subjects we talked of endlessly that continue to reverberate and resonate still today through all of my waking, and yes even sleeping, hours.
Emerson, Thoreau, Shakespeare, Gandhi, Buddha, Jesus of Nazareth, even Scot William Wallace from Mel’s “Braveheart” and the concept that “Everyone has to die … but not everyone truly LIVES.”
Case in point, pictured above, David even had his body tattooed with the words “I Decide”, so even while unconscious on an operating table, he was letting the attending doctors know who, indeed, was in charge of the flesh he carried around.
Cajones? Guts? Tenacity? Courage? I don’t think the average man walking around today in America even has a concept or a clue.
And to think that he dragged his body across America – SOLO – from south Florida … all the way to the Golden Gate bridge & Hollywood, then back east & north to New York City, before coming to crash in New Orleans for awhile – all in a quest to figure out if his life, his very existence, even ever mattered.
Rest in Peace and rest assured, brother David, it certainly did.
As you scramble across the holidays to find that perfect stocking stuffer, and you’re looking for something to make a difference, consider “The Priority List: A Teacher’s Final Quest to Discover Life’s Greatest Lessons” from that wacky Amazon crowd.
Or, alternately, you can grab the AUDIO download for your ipod or digital device here – “The Priority List” Audiobook – in David’s own resilient words captured in November 2013 at the Airlift Studios.
A teaser from the Airlift-produced prologue is here ….
David’s take on working with Airlift and me? While I’m certainly gratified and humble regarding my contributions, the testimonial he gave me after days spent recording his audio book is a tad embarrassing, but very heartfelt and sincere —
“I would like to thank Micheal Ziants and Airlift Productions for making the recording of the audio version of my book such a pleasure. Not only is Micheal an incredible audio engineer, he is my new best friend. This guy is one of the coolest cats I have ever had the honor of meeting. He made me comfortable, he made me feel talented, and he actually made my book into a product I can actually imagine people enjoying listening to. So far, the opportunity to work with Michael on a future project is my best incentive to write another book.” ~ David Menasche
Meanwhile, Hollywood and Steve Carell are laying plans for their adaptation for a cinematic treatment. Having worked intimately with David, and being a fan of Steve’s work through the years, I feel he is the perfect choice for this heroic, poignant drama-dey in-progress.
Norma, if you’re reading this – stay strong and keep your faith. Paula, if you’re reading this – David understands. Jennifer, if you’re reading this – call me, let’s compare notes and catch-up.
In closing, just one of David’s and my favorite thoughts that we spoke of, meditated on, and laughed often about continues to reverberate and resonate – “You’re a ghost driving a meat-coated skeleton made from stardust. What do you have to be afraid of?”
Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from New Orleans since 1984