Jacky Donahue

I have never before felt the need to stand up and speak after someone’s death. For Jacky I find that I do.  I’m sure I won’t be alone in that feeling and you’re going to find dozens of stories about her and the impact she made in so many lives.

I met Jacky on the first day of workshops for Scarborough Faire in 1989.  She did two things that weekend which would have long-lasting impacts on my life.  The first was that she took a nerdy guy in a white lab coat and, for a reason only she will ever know, chose me as part of her group that year. The second thing was that at one point during the weekend she grabbed a girl named Susan, pushed her toward me and said “This is Michael. Corrupt him.”

Prior to that time I’d had very little interest in dance, being much more interested in computer programming and other less athletic pursuits unless they involved lasers, flashing lights and chasing people in dark mazes.

I had great fun learning from Jacky and performing with her.  Playing at Pyramus and Thisbe (or Pyramid and Frisbee as some of us liked to call it), talking, walking from event to event, dancing hither and yon (even in the Holly Oven) at dinner at Golden Corral and after with the group in the pool and hot tub at the Econo Lodge.

She had a big warm heart that opened easily and was fiercely protective of those she cared about.  There’s this small red statue that some of you may remember…

Dance is now a core part of my life.  I spend hours learning new dances, teaching, calling dances, playing roadie at events and so on.  I might not be doing any of that if it weren’t for Jacky pulling me in and taking me on the first few steps along that road.

My corruption was successful.  I’d say I’m fairly irredeemable at this point.

That girl Susan that I mentioned?  We married each other.

It took a few months for her to catch me but once she did I was hogtied for life and I couldn’t be happier about it.  She’s the best thing that ever happened to me and while she says she saw me that first day and thought I was cute, if Jacky hadn’t pushed us together, our lives might have taken very different paths.  I’m glad they didn’t.

Thank you Jacky.  My world is definitely a better place because you were in it.

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Michael Harrison

Husband, Programmer, Irish dancer, tinkerer, astronomer, layabout (as much as possible)

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