I'm not a religious person. I don't believe in god or the devil. I don't believe in the afterlife in the traditional sense. But I do believe that there is a lot about this world, this life, that we don't understand. That we will never understand. Until we pass on and find out first hand. And I can not shake the feeling that Shaun was with us last night. I'm man enough say that I'm tearing up as I'm typing this and I cried like a little baby many times yesterday. I've generally held up pretty well during the fest over the past two years, but something about yesterday was just unreal. I miss Shaun. I miss his weird, uncomfortable sense of humor. I miss his full body head banging. I miss seeing him at practically every show no matter what style of music it was. I miss his enthusiasm and his intensity. I think he would have had an absolute blast yesterday. And I want to thank each and every one of you for being there. And I want to say this to all of you....none of us knows how long we have on this earth. It could be years. It could be days. It could be less. Tell your friends how much they mean to you every time you see them. Tell your family you love them. It's easy through out our day-to-day lives to forget how important our friendships are. It's easy to take things for granted. It's easy to not see how absolutely precious and wonderful each day is. Please don't forget.
Our community is amazing. When we all come together there is nothing that can't be done. We all may have our differences of opinion. Our feuds. Our misjudgments and our grudges. But when it all comes down, when we take a minute out of our day to really think about what we have here in this city it is amazing. At the movies alone we raised over $3197 for the benefit fund AFTER most expenses were covered (we still have to cover return shipping for the film prints and we won't know how much that comes out to until Wednesday when Jeff gets them shipped. So that total will change a little. I'll keep everyone informed). We haven't had a chance to go through the money from yesterday yet but the final head count for the bands was 311 people! And from what I've been told a lot of people were paying extra to get in.
The bands from out of town were floored by how amazing the people in Syracuse are. They were very glad to be a part of yesterday. And many many thanks to the fucking awesome bands we have right here in this town. Every last one of you is top fucking notch. Ed Gein has played with a lot of bands in a lot of cities and I can tell you we have some of the best bands out there right in our home town. Thank you all for doing what you do.