Thursday, March 13, 2008
Dennis Irwin, father of my dear friend Mike Irwin, has passed away. He had cancer and no health care.

I didn't know Dennis. Ben Ratliff in the New York Times provides an eloquent distillation of his voluminous musical achievements. But I do know that Dennis's son is among the finest men I've ever had the privilege to know. He's been a role model to me: open-hearted, forgiving, impatient with mediocrity, sharp-witted, a brilliant musician in his own right, no better friend, no fiercer enemy. In high school, Adam Kesner, Mike and I had a running conversation on what being a man required and what we needed to jettison in ourselves to earn the designation. I don't need to tell Mike to stay strong, because he's always been strong.
--Spencer Ackerman