Sunday, April 3, 2005

Goodbyes come in threes....

Jack Copeland

Born in Muncie, IN on Nov. 5, 1932
Departed on Mar. 30, 2005 and resided in Indianapolis, IN.

If immortality is true, then Jack Copeland certainly will live on through the influence he has had with the ones still living.  

At the age of 16, he survived three months of forced march and three and one-half years as a P.O.W. during the Korean War. He then went on to have a brief stint dancing at Butler University, which led him in a big yellow convertible to Metro Goldwin Mayer, where he swam his way through Technicolor Esther Williams movie musicals.  

Returning to Indianapolis, he continued dance study at Butler, which then propelled him to Germany, England and Spain. He then brought his prodigious knowledge back to Indiana and for over 30 years he turned out many a professional dancer.

Mr. Copeland died March 30, 2005 at the age of 72. He is survived by innumberable dear friends: Margo, Billy, Pete, Nataly, Jonathan, Joe, Mell, Peggy, Carl, Theresa, David B., Dale, Rory...celebrities all.


Contributions may by made to the Jack Copeland Memorial Boys Dance Scholarship Fund, 5144 Boulevard Place, Indianapolis, IN 46208

Jack would leave us with these words, "The best thing you can give anyone is TIME."      Read his obituary here.  

I put off writing my goodbyes to Terri Schiavo, and the Pope.  Thought I was trying to find the words to say farewell to strangers I've only known through the news.  

Terri shouldn't have had to starve to death.... we don't even starve death row inmates and it is even forbidden in the Military by the terms of the Geneva Convention.  But she's at peace now.... and I hope she really is.  

The Pope, was almost the opposite of Terri, in that he was old and had multi-system failure and I think people were relieved to see him go so quietly and peacefully.  He was the only Pope I've ever 'known'.  His successor has huge shoes to fill.  

Today, I discovered the real reason for my delay.  

My father's great friend, Jack Copeland, died on March 30th.  They met while Dad was in college (you remember I said my Dad has an ecclectic group of friends, right?!) 

Jack was the coolest adult I'd ever met.    He was a dancer, mostly ballet, but he could do anything.  I attended some workshops of his at Butler U. as a child and felt so special because I got to hang out with him, too...   

He lived in this old house in downtown Indy that was really haunted.  We were even there once right after a 2x4 smacked Jack on his head..... by itself.  Dad took him to get stitches. And I was so in awe that he went back home and told me he wasn't afraid of 'The Judge' (The house did belong to a judge, who died there, before Jack moved in)  

Ohhh, and the costumes this man had in his closets~a little girl couldplay dress up in a different outfit, every day for years.  I pleaded and begged to borrow one for Halloween, not knowing the cost of having a real costume made....  I was never allowed to take them out of the house, but it was free reign inside.  

So, now I know that I had to wait for 'The Entertainer' to enter the pearly gates before I could write my farewells.....  

Goodbye Jack. We'll miss you.  You'll never know how much you touched my young life.   

Now go dance for Terri and John Paul......  



redbaranjj said...

Cat~  So sorry for you loss.  He sounds like he was a great man.  He is dancing for the 'Greats' in heaven in now.  
It sure was a past few days of saddness...I am not Catholic, but I found myself glued to the tv for days....The Pope was a wonderful man this world will sure miss.  And Terry matter what side of the fence you stood was a very sad thing.  Especially starving one deserved that.  
Hang in are in my thoughts...

quartrlyfecrysis said...

that was a beautiful story Cat.  Jack's quote is perfect, the emotions of the past week or so have been overwhelming in a sense...but all things sort themselves out with time and patience.  beautiful :)

aspence125 said...

I too knew Jack Copeland as a child. I stayed with him and Bill and a number of other talented dancers at his amazing house in Indy while I attended dance classes at Butler for a summer when I was 10. I was so saddened to hear of his passing, and so amazed that you had a similar experience with Jack.
I have a lovely dress that I have had for 20 years that he gave me, a dress he said used to belong to Carmen Miranda.
Thank you for posting the obit.

Audrey Spence