Kelly Fitzpatrick: A Needed Orlando Voice
Last Friday, at age 36, a friend of mine died in her sleep. No one knows the cause of death yet. It has been said she had sleep apnea.
I first encountered my friend, Kelly Fitzpatrick, one night at Will’s Pub. As I attempted writing poetry, one drunken white woman kept looking over my shoulder. Was it annoying? Yes. Still, I didn’t really get pissed about it.
We had some kind of short conservation. Yet, I forget what we talked about.
Later on, I found out she worked for the Orlando Sentinel. At this time, she wrote for a website connected to the Sentinel. If I remember it right, I think she had a hand in editing it too.
Eventually, she became the nighttime columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. No disrespect towards past nighttime columnists. Yet, Orlando needed Kelly’s voice, a voice that influenced my current nighttime blogs. When it came to over-priced booze and bad customer service, Kelly bravely put bars and night clubs on blast. I once heard of a bar owner who fumed for days over Kelly’s brutally honest words. Kelly blasted his bar’s sexist name. Pissed off, dude considered calling Kelly up and aim nasty words at her. Knowing the guy personally, I knew that had to be true.
Aside from writing, I’ll always remember the person who gave more to Central Florida versus what Central Florida gave back to her. Always she did things for friends. I remember her making arrangements for me to have a ride to a Halloween party. Some of my events she mentioned in her columns. When she visited Sanford for an assignment, she made me the official photographer. (Oh yea, Orlando Sentinel, you people still hadn’t paid me for my picture you used.)
Today will be the viewing of her body. Tomorrow will be the funeral. Unfortunately, I won’t be attending. Tonight and tomorrow night, I DJ. I know after seeing Kelly’s lifeless body, I would not be able to play music. Some folks may think less of me for those reasons. Truth be known, I don’t blame them. If it was the other way around, Kelly probably would have made sure to attend my funeral.
In her honor, I’ll play some of her favorite music tonight.
Good bye, Kelly. Just like our friend Vanessa said, you now have a chance to interview Jim Morrison.