|"Michigan Mike" Torpie with Mountain Girl at NedFest|
"Michigan Mike" Torpie was an iconic figure in Nederland.
All year long, he would keep a list of the band lineup for next year's NedFest in his back pocket. Although I'm sure he showed it to other people, he had a way of leading me to believe that I was the only person witnessing this document. It was worn, tattered, scratched out, and re-written. But it was much more than a piece of paper. I could see that he was orchestrating in his mind how each day's concert would unfold, the way a chef would introduce flavors through a seven course meal. For Michigan Mike, it was an art form.
See this Daily Camera article from a couple of days ago: Friends mourn loss of Nederland's 'Michigan Mike' Torpie, NedFest founder.
Perhaps this tribute video on Alan Crandall's blog may add perspective.
I also shared Michigan Mike's affinity for Jerry Garcia Week, and how he had to justify breaking tradition by moving NedFest off of Jerry Garcia Week for the greater good of the festival. He even named his beloved dog "Mountain Girl".