My friend Mason passed away in his sleep on October 31, 2011. While I got to know him initially through my husband Daniel — his doubles partner on the tennis team at The Albany Academy many years ago — I really came to appreciate the many facets of Mason when we worked together promoting education reform in the capital region. He was a wildly creative, talented, passionate, loving, incredibly fun, and really good man.

At the memorial service, 11 am on 11.11.11, Christian Bender and John Dix delivered deeply moving eulogies. Perfect summations of a beautiful man evoked laughter and tears. The Reverend David Ball’s sermon comforted and reminded us of the lesson in 2 Corinthians that we walk by faith, not by sight.

The last time I saw Mason was at a birthday celebration for a mutual friend, Felton McLaughlin. The party was amazing, resplendent with free-flowing libations and a fabulous Grateful Dead cover band that had every person in the bar – especially Mason – moving.

I learned at the memorial that Good Lovin’ (originally by the Young Rascals, brilliantly covered by the Grateful Dead) was also covered by the John Dix band – Mason, the lead guitar player. When I discovered this video of the Dead performing Good Lovin’ at Radio City Music Hall on October 31, 1980, 31 years to the night of Mason’s passing, I had to write.

Thank you, Mason, for inspiring so many of us to shine our light.

Dance, dance, dance in heaven.