The Year of the Dragon

The Year of the Dragon

The Year of the Dragon 

The Dolphin Studio Calendar image for July 2024 was drawn back in 1999 or maybe 2000 by Ben, my son and John and Primm’s eldest grandchild. 

Ben was such a momentous focus of my life that it is hard for me to imagine that anyone out there could possibly not know that he died.  July has been especially hard for me for what will be 5 years on the 30th.. 
Benjamin Lucas Paley died on July 30th 2019 having lived his life with restrictive Cardiomyopathy.  He was added to the Heart/Lung transplant list the day before he died.

The other day I was hanging out with my friend who knew that my sweet boy Ben had died but didn’t know him and asked what had happened to him.  It was a pleasure to tell his story The intensity of heartbreak that comes with watching the suffering and struggle of a person you love more than life itself, never dissipates.  


That heartbreak makes me know that his leaving this realm allows him well-deserved relaxed comfort.  I guess because of his precarious health, we were super close.  I went to every Dr.’s appt with him and might have been the only person who knew that the most common symptom of his heart condition was sudden death.  We had deep conversations and took in a lot of music together.  Finally got him to a Dead show at Fenway in 2018.

Ben was funny as hell, politically vehement, determined and motivated.  He graduated from Berklee School of Music and was a notable guitarist and bandleader in Boston, MA. playing regularly with The Silver Bullet Band.  The Lost Collective, and Starship to Pluto were his most notable musical endeavors - I spent many an evening attending shows dancing my face off…

Since 2020 we have hosted a scholarship fund in Ben’s name and annually award a highschool senior from our region who plans to study music, leaning toward applicants navigating physical illness.   
Later this month The Dolphin Studio will be kicking off a fundraiser to support the Ben Paley Scholarship.  My dream is to build the fund to a place where it supports a 4-year music-focused education for someone with determined motivation and without financial means - in perpetuity.

Ben was way into dragons, and swords, and martial arts as a kid.  I think he drew this picture when he was 8 or 9 and I think he was just about that age in the middle picture above.  You can see the mischief on his face - which was ummm - Ben’s nature… 

On the left is the image of me and Ben at The Bookstore in Lenox - Summer 2018.  I keep this picture as a screensaver on my phone - so I can see him everyday.

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