by Derrick Weisbrod
Dan Rogers is a persistent attendee at live music events around St. Louis and festivals in the Midwest. Anyone who has attended a show with Dan is quite familiar with his kind and generous nature. He is constantly greeting friends and strangers with the warmest smile welcoming you to the show. I met Dan Rogers at Pickin’ On the Courtois 2017 while building the pickin’ fire for the evening after the bands finished the stage performances. I found myself greeted by a large smile and a wagon. The person attached to this warm smile was Dan Rogers. He was chilling out at camp and saw me hand carrying a lot of wood to get the fire build going. True to the nature I have been blessed to experience in Dan’s company, he asked if I could use a hand. The rest has been nothing but pure enjoyment when hanging with Dan. Getting to know him through the years since, I have been fortunate to have his friendship and look forward to seeing him at a majority of the shows I attend. While getting to know him through the years I also learned about some healthcare concerns for his life partner Boyce Clark. Every time I have heard him mention her, his eyes light up in the warmest way that only happens when there is a deep love. I touch base with him periodically on personal matters and really started to feel empathy for him as I could see that pain had replaced that warm light in his eyes. I knew her health challenges had really taken a turn the last few times we spoke and further evidenced by no longer seeing him at shows with the obvious priority to be spending time with his soulmate.
Dan let some of his friends know that Boyce was going into Hospice care a few weeks back. Within pretty short order his good friend Rich Fleetwood took to action to put together a benefit to help Dan with medical expenses associated with Boyce’s declining health. Justin Schmidt at The Vintage Wine Bar offered space for the benefit to be hosted. Chris Rader of Clusterpluck, Scrambled, Fleetwood & Family, Spillie Nelson, One Way Traffic and WSG Hollie Schultz all volunteered musical services to support Dan knowing how much he has supported them over the years. There were over twenty silent auction baskets of various arts, band merchandise & massage services. Pickin’ On Music Festivals donated two general admission tickets to Pickin’ On Picknic 2022. There are too many to list for all the contributions that made this event so wonderful! It was heart warming to see such a big turnout, to the point where The Vintage Wine Bar opened up their additional space to accommodate such a fantastic turnout which completely filled the venue by 2pm.
We attended a wedding right before this event for a couple team members on the Pickin’ On Music Festivals team and then got to the benefit at 4p. The benefit doors opened at 12p and music kicked off at 1p. Even during set change overs, Rich was able to keep music going with a satellite stage which kept everyone moving and grooving through the day. There were a lot of families in attendance with their children which really made for an enthusiastic experience watching the kiddos bouncing around while the music performances were happening. I bid on several items but only my wife won anything which she promptly donated to Dan. As the night went on, Cecil Tinnon arrived. Cecil is a good old school friend of Dan’s and ensured he would not miss the remembrance of Boyce. It was a beautiful reunion. One that had not occurred for more years than I have known Dan until last summer at a small festival called Survivors Ball. Some of us present for that initial reunion were in attendance at the benefit, turned remembrance. We just soaked up the magnificence of this this moment and essentially stood in silence as they caught up and shared hugs and conversation. Shortly after witnessing this exchange the process for finalizing the silent auction ensued while Fleetwood and Family finished their last song and One Way Traffic readied their band to take the stage to close out the evening’s musical entertainment.
I truly enjoyed witnessing the overwhelming results of what happens when a person is unbiased in their kindness and gives generously in the music community. That community is there to provide support in times of need, even in times when help is not even asked for. People rallied to support a man who is kind and caring; for the man who gives hugs anytime you greet him; for the man who feeds and hydrates the people who ran out of food or water at events or perhaps are just a long way from camp and in need of a little sustenance; for the man who makes sure there are cold Stag beers in the cooler in case I stop by his camp so he can provide my preferred beer (Thank you Dan! BTW, Dan does not drink so that really stands out to me on what a thoughtful man Dan is); for the man who will watch our kids so we can go shower and take care of personal stuff at a festival; and I am sure if there was a co-author we can go on for a couple pages telling all the nice things that happen which led people to rally to support our mutual friend, Dan Rogers. I know all the things we did to support Dan in his time of need will never bring Boyce back, but I do know she was watching everyone of us rally to support Dan in this benefit that turned into a remembrance of Boyce Clark. I am confident Boyce shined her bright light on all of us taking care of Dan and appreciated the incredibly special remembrance held in her honor on March 6th, 2022.