Jack Astrachan was one of the first people I met when I began working for the DDD.
When Jack passed this last week, I reflected on our times together.
He came in one day and introduced himself and we started a conversation about the newspaper.
Jack loved to read the paper.
He told me he read it from cover to cover.
In fact, he read many newspapers.
That was the beginning of many conversations with Jack. We’d talk about the history of Kennett, the country club, and of course local news events.
More than that though, we talked about music.
Jack loved music.
He helped found the Kennett Friends of Music Society and the Concert in the Park series.
When Jack discovered I had made a living in the entertainment industry for many years, he began asking questions about the venues I’d played and the entertainers I’d met.
We swapped a lot of stories.
We both shared a love for the standards.
He would tell me about the acts that he had brought to Kennett.
Everyone from Chuck Berry to Bobby Darin.
I would tell him of my trips to Las Vegas to see Dean Martin.
He especially enjoyed hearing about the time I saw Dean Martin at the Chicago Theater and halfway through his performance, Sinatra walked out.
The first time Jack heard me sing was at the “Copperosity” event at the Kennett Country Club.
After belting out one of his favorite Sinatra tunes, I heard Jack shout across the room, “Now that’s how you sing New York, New York.”
I enjoyed his friendship and I’ll miss our conversations.
He always called me Jeffrey, never Jeff.
He was my connection to the music and the entertainers of the past that we both enjoyed so much.
I don’t know exactly what heaven will be like.
They call it the great mystery.
I’d like to think of Jack in heaven, in a small club, sitting sharply dressed, front and center, with Sinatra on stage backed by a swinging band, and Jack smiling, saying, “Now that’s the way you sing New York, New York.”
Thanks for everything Jack, but mostly, thanks for the talks.
See you out there.