Page 314 - ShowSight, March 2020
P. 314

oe McGinnis was many things...Co-founder and editor of this beautiful magazine, writer, dog expert, AKC judge. He was even a Broadway producer with a string of hit shows, including “Spring Awakening”, for which he won a Tony Award.
My favorite incarnation though, would be that of my friend—the handsome Irishman with the devilish grin.
Joe and I met in 2006. He was producing music and wanted to work with me. When I heard his deep baritone voice, I exclaimed, “Wow! You should do voiceover work!” With that, a conversation started, which spanned 14 years. So much happened in that time. Joe and I went from being music partners, to friends, to being engaged for four years. In 2011 we settled on being friends again—and we were best friends for life. The label on our relationship may have changed, but the love we shared never dimmed. Until the end, he was the person I’d call when I needed someone to laugh with, cry with, or just say, “Hey, it’s me. What’s up?” Realizing I can no longer do this breaks my heart.
Joe and I laughed about everything. The more inappropriate the moment, the more likely you’d find us in hysterics. Even during hard times, we found ourselves cackling at the smallest things. Joe would make himself laugh so hard, he wouldn’t be able to finish a sentence! Over the years, when either of us was having a bad day, my goal was simple. “If I can make him laugh—I’ve done my job”.
Even during our last conversation, when I knew his health was fading, I made him laugh as I described the antics of a blind dog I’d adopted. When his partner Zell called me a few days later, and told me Joe’s health was plummeting, I dropped what I was doing, jumped in my car and drove 12 hours so I could be by his side. Along with Zell, Joe’s family and a handful of friends, we surrounded Joe with love for another four days. We spent those days holding his hand, singing softly to him, and telling him how much we loved him. Yes, I also whispered jokes to him. After four days—Joe went home.
There’s so much more I could say about this wonderful man, but I’ll end with this.
As I said earlier, Joe and I collaborated on music. What many people don’t know is that Joe was also an amazing singer. His rich Irish tenor crooning “Oh Danny Boy” would make your heart melt. If you listen closely to the songs we recorded, you can hear Joe singing on many tracks. I insisted he add melodies to the recordings. Occasionally I’ll listen to our songs while driving. When Joe’s voice comes barreling out of the speakers, I often have to pull over. I’m suddenly filled with love, and I can’t see the road through my tears.
I have his vocal tracks saved on multiple hard drives. My plan is to secretly mix them into future recordings. They’ll be my secret ingredi- ent—like the “hidden Mickeys” at Disney World. Joe would find that hilarious, but I know he’d love it.
Joe...when I close my eyes I’ll hear your laughter and see that glint of mischief in your eyes. I will never stop loving you, or holding your daz- zling smile in my heart.

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