Where O where do I begin about this man? I first met Neil in his apartment right next door to Pauls apartment in the winter of 2000. John Brennan told me about a music Jam night I might have fun at that happened above the Emporium every Thursday night. When I first walked in, I saw two very handsome men. One was Brian Kelley and the other was Neil THEN I heard him play and he was simply amazing He played guitar , accordion, and of course the stand-up bass. I knew we were going to make GREAT music together!
Neil Grew up in Center-ville Ohio and then went to the University of Dayton and received his BS in Industrial Engineering. He moved to Yellow Springs in 1994 and worked as an industrial engineer until 2005 when he decided to kick the corporate world and travel some. After a bit of traveling he settled into a job helping Kurt and his new business at the Emporium.
Neil had been thinking about going back to his "real" job when it hit him. Neil had been suffering from bad headaches on and off during the first part of this year (2008) but didn't worry about them too much, assuming they were migraines. He drove out to Colorado to meet up with our old banjo player, Brian Kelley, for one last vacation but on the drive back home his vacation ended sooner then he had planned. Luckily for him ( and us!) he decided to share the ride back home with a friend named Leslie. They decided to stop for a nights rest in Topeka , Kansas because he wasn't feeling well. His headaches were bad. The next morning had come and he laid down to rest a bit before hitting the rode again but he went into a coma instead. He was rushed to the hospital and there they found out that he had more than mere simple headaches.... it was a brain tumor. Neil was given a less than 5% to survive the surgery but he did it! The tumor was not cancerous but both the brain surgeons here and in Kansas feel it is in his best interest to receive chemo and radiation treatment for 6 weeks. Neil is now on week 2 of his treatments and looking GREAT! I can not express how happy and joyous it makes me to still have Neil here with us. He is one of a kind and always will be in my book.