Author Subject: Chuck Cuminale Remembered ~ Page 1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4
Cheryl Lauro Posted At 12:39:55 07/11/2001
Chuck was such a huge presence, a grounding force for all creative anarchy. I felt he was a kindred spirit, that no matter how often I saw him , there
was never a need for re-introduction, because there was never a need for a defense with him. He was wise, giving and alert , and so you knew he knew
what love was. I wish I could be there with the rest of the city to share in thier love of him, who brought so much love to them. I feel confident that he need no prayers for his life was like a living prayer, and so is riding in holy luxury to the other side. I'm sorry for all our loss. Life, it's all a gift , and so we should say THANK YOU.
Paul Dodd Posted At 14:09:53 07/11/2001
Chuck, in my sister's class but my brother's best friend and roommate for many years colored our lives. He was old school bohemian from the get go, a beatnik in high school. He was an artist, dedicated to his craft and able to make magic out of the ordinary. Chuck was supportive and nurturing and he created a community that will long remember him as a guiding force. And then yesterday, just like in his song "Gravel Road", he woke up in a different place.

I went down to Gravel Road to get my fortune told.
The fortune teller robbed me blind,
Now I can't get her off my mind.
I don't know where I've been since then.
I'll never go down Gravel Road again
I went to sleep with a smile on my face
But, I woke up in a different place.
Kevin Kellog Posted At 14:13:07 07/11/2001
just got the news that my oldest best friend Chuck (color blind James) died this morning , The news brings me great sadness and my heart goes out to his family and friends . Chuck was a wonderful person and I often thought about him even though we live 3000 miles apart. Send a card to Jan and hhhis 3 sons as well as his mon Bea email if you want more information Love Kevin
Peggi Fournier Posted At 14:17:47 07/11/2001
Chuck was such an important person in so many people’s lives. His death has created an earthquake of loss to the many he touched so deeply. He was such a strong person - full of conviction yet open to the world and all the types of people who inhabit it. I think back over the years I’ve known him and remember a wonderful person who truly listened when others didn’t and expressed himself honestly. From the early days, in our twenties, when I first met him, his friends described him as a “genius”. I remember the first time I saw the band play at Red Creek in from Oswego and doing the song “America”. It was all so ahead of its time. Then the evolution to an inspirational musical leader and friend. He brought happiness to so many with his music and his being. The void in his departure will be felt deeply.
Martin Edic Posted At 15:03:34 07/11/2001
This is so strange- it hardly seems like 20+ years since I first met the legendary Chuck. CBJ played at Scorgies with our band (either Hi-Techs or PE, can't remember) and completely blew us away. He just had an amazingly original way of looking at the world. My lasting impression of Chuck is that of a person with incredible compassion. He was so supportive of original music and the musicians creating it in our area, regardless of style. Its really hard to comprehend our loss. My thoughts are with his family.
Bob Martin Posted At 15:15:50 07/11/2001
Today, I was sitting and remembering Chuck when a broadcast e-mail from Jim Schwartz came. This is how I responded:

Colorblind James is the single thread that has run through every music scene in the Rochester area for the last 20 years. Regardless of which trends came and went, you could count on Colorblind to be there with a variety of players, painting joyous pictures of the different parts of life that others typically look right past. Events such as the various tributes have been offered as a celebration of the joy of music and life, providing everyone an opportunity to share in each other's muse. Colorblind was at once concrete and ether.

I will deeply miss my friend, our friend, Chuck Cuminale. My heart is extended to Jan, John, Mark, and Paul.

Love, Bob Martin
Rosanne Rivers Posted At 15:26:15 07/11/2001
Whenever I think of Chuck and Jan, it's with gratitude that there can be people like this in the world. Thank you, Chuck, for sharing your talent, humor, and kindness so generously. I'm so sad to see you go.
Robert Meyerowitz Posted At 15:49:44 07/11/2001
When I heard about Chuck yesterday it took my breath away. The world is filled with interesting people, but I haven’t met any that have the gravity he had. I loved and admired him. My favorite song of his was "I Am Joe Montana." To me, that secret hero was Chuck. He had the finest heart and mind. I can’t believe they’re gone forever, that some part of him doesn’t linger here.
Jim Huie Posted At 15:52:19 07/11/2001
Quite honestly, I'm still in shock. It's hard to think of anything to add to what others have said here. Chuck was a prolific creative force without being forceful. He was a musical mentor to me. Always encouraging, always with positive advice. During the past 6 years since I've been away from Rochester, we only had sporadic contact, and while we were never close friends, I always thought of him as a good friend. He will be missed greatly wherever his life has touched both as an artist, but most importantly as a person. My sympathy to his family.
Ed Trefzger Posted At 16:05:50 07/11/2001
Chuck was a great talent and an even greater man. The power of his words moved me on many occasions, none more than the first time I heard him sing "I Saved Your Life." As a long time fan, one of the greatest privileges of my life was getting to work with Chuck and the band in the studio, to see the magic of his music being created, and to get to know him better. Working with CbJE at live shows and on the radio over the years was always very special.

A day after hearing the news, it still feels like getting kicked in the chest. Godspeed Chuck, and may God bless Jan and the boys.
Carol Acquilano Posted At 16:06:21 07/11/2001
Tom and I were driving the other day and on the radio played a favorite colored blind tune from a
decade ago. We knew all the words and were really diggin the memories it conjured. The band played at ourwedding 11 years ago. We are so saddened and shocked by this tragedy.
John Gilmore

Posted At 16:15:37 07/11/2001
So I needed a new tape for the lonely/lovely half hour ride to work yesterday. I chose one with a Beatles sound track on one side and the Band's last album "Jericho" on the other .
The first song on the first side first thing in the mornin' is " HELP " . The last song in the morning as I get out of the car is the Band song " Atlantic
City" with the words " Everything dies baby, that's a fact , and maybe everything that dies someday will come back."
Then I got the call from Bob about Chuck's passing. Plenty of time to think about that all day. All the thinking in the world doesn't hold a candle to
synchronicity / music . I made this tape five years ago. The first song on the radio when I get back in the car to go home at night is the Band's " Too Soon Gone" .
Chuckles , we hardly knew ye. JG

Gary Skinner Posted At 16:47:28 07/11/2001
It's been difficult to think about much else since I heard the news. I can't count the times that I listened to the music, laughed, tapped my toes, and left feeling better than when I had arrived. Chuck had a gift. Not just for creating music but for making us feel more at peace with ourselves and each other.
Today at lunch I saw the short article that City Newpaper must have stopped the presses to squeeze in. There was a line in there about Chuck being the kind of man that made you feel good just to be in the same room with. Now that, I thought, is something to aspire to.
Love and sympathy to Jan and family.
To Chuck, many thanks and good travels.
Brian H. Shafer

Posted At 16:57:55 07/11/2001
Each and every time that I encountered Chuck over the years, I walked away a better person, and wanting to spend more time with him. This is because Chuck embodied so many attributes that I (we) value so highly and dearly. He was an artist, to a high degree that I could only aspire to, and his music never failed to move me. We were all so fortunate to have existed in the same time and space with Chuck the entertainer.
But more than this, Chuck was a truly lovable, compassionate, and solid human being. Intelligent, articulate, funny, and dedicated to his work, musical or otherwise. (I always loved the way he referred to a "gig" as a "job")
My thoughts are with all of his friends and especially his family.

Paula Silvestrone

Posted At 17:01:48 07/11/2001
I've known Chuck since Jr. High - not real well but traveled in the same circles. From what I do know of Chuck and read here, I wish I'd known him better - teaches me something about stopping to smell the roses!
I have a clear visual memory of Chuck playing Santa - I think that's appropriate since he was a man who obviously gave so much to so many. The emotional memory that jumps out at me is the mysterious sense of peace and centeredness I always felt around Chuck - my internal reaction was always, "he seems so happy!".
Such tragedies often bring old friends together and I see some names of people on this web site that I haven't had contact with for years. One of the magical things about Chuck was obviously his ability to bring great people together - he would like that he is still doing it!
Jan, it is clear you have lost a unique and irreplaceable man - my heart goes out to you.. .and to Chuck's many beloved friends whose lives are forever changed by this.

debra clifford Posted At 19:10:59 07/11/2001
chuck. i love his patience and demeanor and genius.
his smile. we used to share acoustic gigs back at snake sisters with the death valley boys. what great times.
i always considered him the utimate, consumate musician.
he loved the music, and he loved to write. years ago he made me a cassette tape called "32 favorite songs".
i will pull it out again and listen...i always kept that tape and treasured it as i figured these songs must be very special considering all the music CBJ listened to.
thinking so much of jan and the boys. and of chuck in his next dimension..probably hangin' out playing tunes with bob miller and, well, hank and elvis of course...
we will all never be the same.
Howard and Amy Enis Posted At 20:52:26 07/11/2001
Amy and I had the honor of having Chuck and the CBJE as our 'wedding band' back on October 14, 1989. We were both living in NYC at the time and knew and loved the band through repeated listening of their debut album. We became big fans real quick and began playing the record for our pals. Music is so important to both of us and we wanted the best band we could rustle up for our wedding in Rochester. Chuck was a close friend of Amy’s older siblings, so we had ‘an in’. I recall the conversation Chuck and I had when I contacted him about wedding reception arrangements. He was so careful to explain that they were not 'a real wedding band' and might not be able to accommodate all of the guest’s requests. I’m so sure that he didn’t want to disappoint anybody or hurt feelings. I also think he may have been worried that they might be asked to play 'Daddy's Little Girl' or 'Freebird' or something (and y’know they could have pulled it off!).

I don’t remember the entire set list (we were kinda busy at the time to be writing it down), but I definitely remember a rousing version of 'Considering…Memphis' and ‘Polka Girl’, and a Salvation Army Band take on Dylans' Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Everybody Must Get Stoned) which I’m sure pleased my 87 year old great Aunt Leah. The group even fulfilled two audience requests; a drunken calliope cover of 'Once In Love With Amy', and a rollicking 'Hava Nagilia' that was completely out of this world. Needless to say Chuck and crew were amazing, and a perfect accompaniment to our swingin’ soiree! Everybody danced and were whipped into a colorblind frenzy….it was all too much! For a brief shining moment we had the greatest band on earth to share on the greatest day of our lives!

I do not pretend to understand or accept tragic losses, but I do know that Chuck touched numerous people in the community in so many ways and made an immeasurable difference to the world. I also know that the event that jumpstarted our marriage would not have been the same without Chuck Cuminale and we owe him our eternal thanks. He was a special man and he’ll be greatly missed. Our thoughts and love are offered to his family.
– Howard (Cal) n’ Amy
Stan Merrell Posted At 23:14:02 07/11/2001
I'll always remember Chuck's kindness, generous spirit and enthusiasm. This past spring I steered some discarded Macintosh Computers to Chuck. When he ran into some problems with them, I came over to his house and we figured out what we needed to do with them to get them refurbished. He was so excited; he couldn't wait to get them in the hands of kids who could use them.

When the benefit for Dave Cross was coming together, Chuck was right in there... we couldn't have done it without him, and the benefit would have not been as successful without Chuck's hard work and dedication. I'm everyone has a story or two like this about Chuck.

And of course, the music. Not only did Chuck give us the gift of his musical vision, but he helped us find the "spirit" within us all. I can say that if it hadn't been for Chuck's generous spirit, I would have hung up my spurs many years ago. He has given me the gift of finding the music in my heart... and that is a feeling that I hope will never die.
Bruce Diamond Posted At 23:23:29 07/11/2001
Many folks talk about a sence of musical community. Chuck created one. On many levels he will be missed. This one too will hit many folks hard . We will feel the loss for a very long time. But, we will keep the precious gifts that you gave us forever. I don't feel that it's possible to thank him enough . But, one last time.. Thank you again Chuck for being there and giving all that you did. I miss you and will never forget you.
Jonny Rosenblatt Posted At 00:28:46 07/12/2001
I will never forget the image of seeing Chuck play a solo acoustic set at the Market House Music Hall on Water Street in Oswego, in the fall of 1977. That huge beard singing 'Jesus at the Still' has
somehow managed to stay with me through all of my own musical endeavors. I couldn't believe it when one night, Chuck asked me to replace an ailing G. Elwyn Meixner onstage at The Old City Hall where Colorblind James and the Whitecaps were playing. And the fact that he asked me with such ease, knowing that it would be fun and we'd simply have a great time...this is how
I'll remember Chuck. Breakfast at Wade's Diner at sunrise afterwards. I was walking on cloud nine for a week. Godspeed Colorblind.
Bob Mahoney Posted At 01:05:08 07/12/2001
I spent the first eight years of my life as Chuck's next door neighbor, and back then he was my older brother's best friend. These were two highly intelligent, creative kids, who influenced each other's view of the world, and therefore mine as well. Even after I moved a short distance away, I still ran with Chuck's Manse Lane crowd. I call it Chuck's, because in my view it WAS his crowd. He was the central force among a group of kids, a sort of unwilling leader because everyone deferred to his creative genious.

We were all in the same Boy Scout troop, and from what I could tell in our dealings with other troops, our troop was VERY different. Boy Scouts is a pretty serious affair, but not in our troop. And it was because of Chuck's quirky humor. He constantly kept us all entertained with his ideas and odd way of looking at things, and everything and everyone was just fodder for the jokes. He and some of the other older guys (Wayne Young, Carl Hotto, Gary Provenzano (RIP)) fed off of each other. At one point Chuck (primarily) conceived of an entire parody-style religion called (if memory serves) "Wooism", for which he composed an elaborate written Doctrine. Even though he came from a devout Catholic family, and eventually considered becoming a priest, religion was fair game for his humor. And this was from a kid in his early teens. I didn't know anyone like him, and I was always awed by his creativity.

I can remember sitting in his bedroom at his folk's house learning about Bob Dylan when I was maybe 13 or 14, which would have been in the 1967-68 timeframe. He was already obsessed with Dylan (shades of things to come), and could quote him chapter and verse. He would sit on his bed and read his lyrics out loud, speculating on the meaning, and raving about the poetry, a bohemian bedroom critic.

Fast forward to 1973 or so. I spent an inordinate amount of time at the house Chuck shared on Harvard Street with Brad Fox, John Gilmore and others. This is where my musical taste really began to crystallize, and it took a shape that was due in large part to Chuck's influence. Almost any music was fair game in that scene, and that has a lot to do with why I now listen to such a variety of stuff. Chuck would keep a steady stream of folk and country going, as a counterpoint to the jazz, rock and avant garde music. Waylon Jennings was sandwiched between Tim Buckley and Miles Davis. It was beautiful. And all the while Chuck would be hanging around, strumming the guitar, sometimes scribbling stuff down. He always used to say "If you come up with some lyrics, give them to me and I'll put them to music." I could never come up with something that seemed worthy, because I was so used to seeing his genious that anything that formed in my mind seemed paltry in comparison, and it was. If you could stay up late enough until the parties and ruckus died down, you might be able to strum with him and learn a couple of things as he taught himself. I did that more than once and will never forget it.

In later years, I didn't get to talk to Chuck much, but every year I was watching from the wings as he choreographed the Dylan bashes with style and grace. He was like a musical shepard of sorts, gathering the herd and taking a headcount before turning them loose for another year, and recharging his own creative batteries in the process.

Being a close family friend, and someone I always looked up to as a kid, it safe to say he had a significant influence on my view of things, not just in terms of music, but the wierdness of life in general. Simply put, he made me "A Different Bob."
Kathy Landers-Appell Posted At 01:33:32 07/12/2001
Chuck told me years ago that someone at WITR described CBJE as "that circusy band", and as much as he was confounded by the image, he kinda liked it. I think of him in the great circus now, his own hurdy-gurdy to turn, and if there is great joy and revelation to be found, he'll be there. It's hard to believe that he could have moved on, and I'm selfishly wondering how Grassroots will be without him, digging the marimba groove on a hot July day. My greatest sympathy for his wonderful family and band members.
Bernie Heveron Posted At 07:06:07 07/12/2001
The first time I met Chuck was when he and Gary Meixner came to my house in 1984 shortly after Chuck moved back from San Francisco. He was putting a new band together. We played some songs in my living room and I knew immediately there was something special about these guys. That was a Wednesday, and by that Saturday we were playing our first job at the Public Market, where we earned enough for groceries. Then came the Jazzberrys gigs, the Corn Hill Arts Festival on the streetcorners. Of all the playing together we did, opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Commander Cody was not the epitome of the music he inspired, at least for me. It was those
street jobs with the washboard and washtub bass, or playing for someone's wedding in the park where I felt like I really understood music. Playing with Chuck I felt like I was discovering rock and roll for the first time. He helped me to strip away the insidious influence of the corporate music of
the 70's that I grew up with, and get right to the heart of music. I am indebted to Chuck and his wife Janet for encouraging me to go into teaching. Offstage or onstage, Chuck could see character in people immediately, which inspired him to suit them up with the perfect song, one of his or another classic. He must've written an album's worth for "Rush Tattered", long time friend and performer from Syracuse. I know that his and Janet's sense of community will be a continuing source of comfort to the Cuminales all their lives. My only wish is that Chuck would've actually finished (or begun) his epic film, "Soprano Jug."
Lynne Merrell Posted At 07:10:55 07/12/2001
Music was the catalyst, but it was Chuck that brought
us all old timey guy with the spirit of generations gone by...that twinkle in his eye when the groove was quote Bob, "in this age of fiberglass, I'm looking for a gem". You were our gem, Chuck, we will miss you forever.
Hal Horowitz Posted At 07:23:19 07/12/2001
I didn't know Chuck well, but I sure saw the band and listened to the albums enough times, to realize that in a music industry full of "famous-for-15-minutes" hacks, he was the real deal. In the past few months I've revisited CBJ's music repeatedly and find that it is, like the best art, timeless. Most significantly, you can hear the type of person Chuck was through the songs;kind, sweet,low-key, articulate, intelligent, bohemian, wacky and fiercely dedicated to his craft. I am convinced that he was one of the great "lost" musicians of our generation.
Those that knew him-either personally or through his music-have traveled to a wondrous place too few others have explored. There will be no more new trips, but we're better for him letting us visit, and selflessly sharing his unique vision. Nobody else could have led us there. Thankfully we have his music to constantly remind us of where we've been.
Claire Marziotti Posted At 07:49:08 07/12/2001
Two things...

A few years before I met Chuck, when I was living in NYC and had absolutely no connection to Rochester, a friend played me a tape of Colorblind James. He was wild about that music. He was from North Carolina. How many random people there must be, all over the world, who never met Chuck, but love him all the same.

At a Fourth of July party 4 or 5 years ago, Chuck and Jan’s son Mark invented a story to explain why he did or didn’t do something, I forget. Mark (age 8? 9?) got on a roll, and the story spun out wildly, full of unpredictable narrative twists and loads of quirky detail. I’ll always remember Chuck with the look he had on his face at that moment: beatific amusement. Chuck loved a good story.
Chas in Baltimore Posted At 09:14:32 07/12/2001
"Speak softly and carry a big guitar," was one of Chuck's
ways. I saw CBJ during their 1st Rochester incarnation
(with Bernie) at Backstreets -they weren't just ahead of their time
re: roots rock or alt. country or whatever you call it, but really doing somehing
that is still entirely unique. I'll always remember his big kind face and faded
t-shirts as long as I live. Peace to him and his loves ones.
Jim Schwarz

Posted At 09:17:52 07/12/2001
I met Chuck and the rest of the band in March of 2000, when I auditioned for the bass chair in the Experience. Oddly enough, in my previous 30-odd years in the Rochester music scene, I had never met Chuck or heard his band, but was immediately taken by the profound feeling of family and togetherness that pervaded the sessions.

My first gig with the band was a one-nighter in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which Chuck & I drove to together. We spent the hours on the road listening to music and chatting endlessly, discovering that we shared much in common, both musically and spiritually. He talked of how much his dad loved Cab Calloway, a love that was shared by both of us, as well.

Colorblind was a pillar of virtue who's strength of character was unlike any person I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. His music and his vision touched people all over the world. He was my friend and my mentor and his passing leaves a void in my life that will never be filled.

God bless you Chuck. We love you and miss you terribly.

Kathy Barry Posted At 09:24:44 07/12/2001
Who knew that going out to see my friend KevinMcD play drums for this wild band so many years ago would become an introduction to a delicious community of art, music, family, friends , thats continues to this day. I 've watched Colorblind from Water street to Jackson Square, heard the songs , watched the bands change, evolve, live, , love, and still the music plays on , year after year. At 5, my now 15 year old sang all the words to Fledgling Circus on car trips. Alternated with Dance Critter and Different Bob. She started writing her own at 9 because she knows thats what folks do.
Thanks Chuck, a true genius of hip, You are missed already.
Liz Heveron Posted At 10:20:13 07/12/2001
On June 24, Chuck called Bernie to play with him and Gary Meixner at The Spot. I was part of a small but appreciative audience that evening, so I felt okay about asking Chuck to play "Let's Go Back." And now, for the past two days I've found myself going back, to a thousand different memories, as I'm sure so many others have been doing. One thing that stands out about all of them is that, on some level, I felt that those moments were memory-making even as they were happening--another testament to Chuck's bigger-than-life presence in so many of our lives.
rob cullivan Posted At 11:35:03 07/12/2001
Chuck's was the first band I ever jammed with in Rochester. He and Jim were very nice to me, a naive young harp-player trying to find my way in City X. On stage, I always saw him as some sort of all glorious Old Testament-like traffic cop directing the Israelites as they climbed over the walls of Jericho just felled by their big horn jam. I have too many memories of him to write down right now, but I do feel like he was some sort of mysterious uncle figure to so many people, you know, the cool guy who didn't talk about his past except through his songs which stated everything more clearly anyway. God rest his soul.
brother jaffe

Posted At 11:39:16 07/12/2001
I am devistated and weak. I have had losses, this is by far the most profound;like the second killing of christ. I played in his band for seven and a half years. I feel so bad for his family most of all. He was an incredibley loving husband and father. I am having much trouble physically and emotionally with this. I have a very special relationship with chuck. I am Charles James he is James Charles and my first wifes name was Janet as his is. Never met anyone like him. I am 5 years older than he was but he was like a father to me in that he kept me honest. I have had a lot of dreams about him. I hope we can keep playing his music. From now on life is post colorblind. Everyone knows how deep he was. I could say more but am trying hard not to think too much about it

Mark Dodd Posted At 12:14:05 07/12/2001
I have so many deep memories of Chuck, that remind me of what a major impact he has had on my life, which makes this hard but somehow helpful to write. I remember walking into an Intro to Psych course at Geneseo in the Fall of '70 and seeing Chuck, who I knew a little from high school, in the back row (of course) of the auditorium. He was a strikingly aloof student, an independent thinker, and I had the good fortune of becoming a quick friend. Months later we found an apt. in Lima NY and spent most evenings drinking beer at the American Hotel on the corner. Chuck would cook great meals with the food we'd pilfer from his mother's pantry, filling the backseat of my VW on weekend trips. We could never bring ourselves to do the dishes so we'd just steal more clean ones from the college dining hall. Chuck would spend most of the day in bed with his guitar and a pen, writing songs. He never made the dean's list but we learned a lot. I remember canoe trips with him in the summer, portaging from lake to lake in Algonquin Park in Canada, and one day Chuck asked, in his usual wise fashion: why are we making all this effort to travel through the park when the scenery is all pretty much the same? We ought to just stay where we are he suggested. I remember moving with him to Oswego in the early winter of '74. We were shown the one place in our price range by the broker who said "this is what we call a cold water flat." It was $50 a month which Chuck thought was unconscionably high given that the toilet was down the hall, it had no heat, and there was just an empty hole where the hot water faucet should have been in the kitchen sink. I saw little of Chuck after I moved to NYC but I invited him to my wedding and as I turned around at the ceremony and walked back down the aisle there he was sitting with Jan. He left the kids at home and drove down in a car with a broken clutch but when I said how surprised, as well as pleased, I was to see him, he seemed a little insulted and said: "Mark, I never thought of not coming." Then, years later, I turn around to walk back down the aisle at my niece's funeral and there's Chuck, strong and supportive, with a wise thoughtful word. I'm shaking as I write this and it's getting cloudy... goodbye Chuck, I love you.
Gabriel D Sloane

Posted At 13:17:41 07/12/2001
I have known Chuck and his family for a long time now. I used to babysit John, Mark, ande Paul when they were babies. Chuck and Jan always made me feel at home and were always a positive influence in my life. Chuck has always made me feel good about my what little music talent I have and has tried to push me to excell in it. I will miss Chuck very much and hope that he is still playing his music somewhere, just for a different crowd. Jan, I will always be here for you if you kneed anything. Love Gabe

Gabriel D Sloane Posted At 13:33:36 07/12/2001
I have to write more on how many people loved Chuck and loved his music and loved his family. I read through all the above memories and it brings back so much more for me. I also remember when I was first introduced to Chuck and the Death valley boys, When my mother married Bernie I was introduced to the music scene. I loved going to all the festivals and gigs that the band had played. I had the greatest time watching the banjo and washboard make their sounds and I mostly enjoyed Chucks songs. Another Bob was one of my favorites. Sometimes I felt like a rodey. I would help with the equipment and give my two cents. I loved that part of my life and I hope that Chuck knew how much he was appreciated and loved. God bless you Chuck Cuminale and may your music lift our souls.
P &M&J Posted At 14:01:17 07/12/2001
Chuck, The first time I saw you perform somehow I could see the twinkle of your shaded eyes and knew that you were one of those from a special tribe.

I have spent many hours listening to your music as sort of a soundtrack to my own life's journey and even though I have only cordially met you through aquaintances, your influence on my life has been very unmistakable.

Last night as I was driving home, still feeling hollow from the news of your passing, I realized the true scope of your genius from a call-in radio show. On WHAM, a conservative news, AM Rochester radio station, a caller, who had only met you in passing as a colleague in the city school district, described how wonderful you were to the kids you helped.

Chuck, thank you for sharing yourself with so many and making this place a little more tolerable and most important, enjoyable. My heart goes out to your family and your family of friends.
John Ebert Posted At 14:02:39 07/12/2001
Chuck's often Christ-like demeanor was evident in his music as well as in his relationship with family and friends. Many of my good friendships started as a result of knowing Chuck and Jan over the years. The joy of playing Colorblind's music is surpassed only by the trip I get from being a father and husband. Thanks for times I will never forget Chuck. I miss you brother, peace.
Joe Smythe Posted At 14:05:39 07/12/2001
Dear Chuck,

I'm sorry that I critized your integrity in a letter to CITY. You have always been a good but slightly odd shaped egg. And thats a good thing.
Rob Filardo Posted At 14:31:57 07/12/2001
I'm at the Bop Shop now and I just finished taping 'Where Or When' for the funeral service. Apparantly it was Chuck Cuminale's favorite song. I never knew Chuck and i wish i did. I feel like i missed out on something wonderful. He wrote great things about some of the bands i played in and always knew me by name whenever he was in the store. He seemed like he was the kind of person you felt better about yourself just by talking to.
Margaret Heveron Posted At 14:53:53 07/12/2001
I've known Chuck my whole life, through my parents of course, Bernie and Carol, they lived next door to us for around 8 years I think. You can never forget a guy like that, he was like a second father to me. I remember sleeping over at their house, tons of times, even though mine was right next door. Sometimes in the mornings I'd go over so early and Chuck would invite me to stay for breakfast, and I would, even though my parents had already made something for me! I love the Cuminale family, and I hope they all know, Jan, John, Mark, Paul, I will always be here for you guys, and I love you, Chuck was such a wonderful person, and he made an impact on every single persons life that he's met
Michael "Havoc" Tomczyszyn Posted At 15:20:07 07/12/2001
I was only introduced to Chuck once and came to know his music fairly late, but the news of his passing has been an enormous, saddening shock. I can only imagine the sense of loss that those who knew and loved him, who worked and played alongside him, must be feeling heart goes out to all of you. Chuck was, as has been written repeatedly here, a real presence-—he enriched Rochester immeasurably with his music and his kindness, his writing and his generosity. Without him, it would have been a much poorer place—-less magical, less eccentric, less gifted with talent and compassion and great music—-and it will take much effort and commitment to fill the space he leaves as he goes on now to some better place.

Many, many of his songs will forever charm me, haunt me, bring a warm smile or help me through some hard times, and I will be happy and proud to count myself among those the world over who love his music. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends, as well as his bandmates and others who will mourn his loss and remember all that he gave in his amazing life. Goodbye, Chuck—-do us proud wherever you are, and know that you will be greatly, greatly missed...
Diane Bonaccorsi Posted At 15:45:30 07/12/2001
Having CBJ and his family in my life is such an honor. Although he is no longer here
with us physically, his spirit sure shines through,as you can tell, by these messages.
It's so cool how one person has connected us all, through his kindness and his music.
I'am so grateful to be able to play his music and be reminded of that.
SHINE ON,CBJ !!!!!!!!!
Gabriela Posted At 16:30:04 07/12/2001
We thought his name was "Colorblind" back in Oswego when we were 17 and going down to Water Street to hear the band play. My much-admired friend Phil would always talk of his much-admired friend Chuck and his song writing (something that Phil aspired to; something he does now to the great delight of others who much admire him in turn)...I know Chuck helped Phil and so many other musicians down their chosen roads. I remember the grace with which Chuck would greet us fans. Sure, he didn't have to: he was the Great Musician. But he always did; he treated us as equals. Chuck was a door opener and a welcomer. I'm so sorry to hear this news. My heart to your family, Chuck, and to you. Rock on.
chris penzimer Posted At 16:59:25 07/12/2001
O Captain! my Captain!
Mike Belmont, Principal--Finney High School Posted At 17:19:47 07/12/2001
Chuck lived out what he believed in his heart. He was one of the most compassionate people I have ever known. I felt like Chuck was my long lost "big brother" the very first time we met. We shared a great deal about the trials and joys of working with young people -- there was no one that he ever gave up on!! As an father, husband, friend, mentor, artist and positivistically healthy critic of life as we know it, Chuck has inspired me to cherish all the little things of life on this big ball. Yesterday morning, I had a vision of Chuck with that colorblind grin -- he said "I just got to Heaven and I can't sit down." I think that we'll see Chuck again. He told Jaffe that we only go 'round this earth one time, so make the best of it always. I know that Chuck made the best of this life, made our lives better and we all are inspired to do the same while we can. With sincere gratitude and immense love for a real life is significantly better for having known Chuck Cuminale.
See ya in heaven pal....................
Patricia Sener Posted At 17:54:27 07/12/2001
Chuck had that spark of creative purity and warm compassionate humanity that rarely exists together...thanks for blessing us with a glimpse of what's possible. It's odd, but I won't miss you in that tradional way, because you'll never be gone. Through your genuis and the sincerity of your soul you'll always be amoung us. You'll always be a part of me and those who've been fortunate enough to have known you and touched by your spirit, your music, your being. You lived well Colorblind. Until we meet again.....
Sue Havens Posted At 18:02:27 07/12/2001
It was sad to hear this news. The Colorblind James experience was a real highpoint.One of the first songs that I learned on the accordion was the Colorblind's version of The St. James infirmary with that great solo part. Although I didn't know Chuck-his presence was beautiful and clear and amazing, a pillar of creative stuff, -very inspiring.thank God for him during those high school years. I think I will play that song for him tonight.
Chris & Carrie Wightman Posted At 18:30:56 07/12/2001
We have been fans of Colorblinds since the first time we saw them play at Idols over a decade ago. I was fortunate to have worked with Chuck, but more fortunate to simply have met him, and gotten to know him. I found
him incredibly honest, trustworthy, and insiteful, we will miss Chuck and his music.
Liz Staropoli Posted At 18:53:45 07/12/2001
Colorblind James was one of the first bands I really got into when I started going to the music scene when I was eighteen. I was a huge fan for many years then One day while I working at The Center For Youth Services I got a memo that Chuck Cuminale was going to be a counselor in my office. I was so star struck! When I met him in the office I let him know what an honor it was to have him working here and how much I just loved his music. After about a week I realized that my star struck self was being so ridiculous because he was just the most humble and warm guy that I no longer needed act wowed by his stardom but as a great guy whom I was going to love working with. Seven and half years later, after many experiences and laughs at the Center I resigned to stay home with my kids. The relationship I shared with him in those seven years and beyond changed me and the way that I look at the world. He first and foremost taught me about compassion for all people even if the kid was a real pain in ass Chuck would find the goodness in them and helped me see it too. He exposed me to so much music that he would bring to play on his tape player throughout the day. He always would smile and talk about how talented or amazing this certain band or singer was. He turned me and family on to the Grassroots music festival seven years age and we have gone every year since.. It will just not be the same this year. It is ritual that is very important to us. I loved talking to Chuck about our kids, he had such deep, deep, love for his children and when we would talk we would both get teary eyed thinking about the trials and tribulations our kids would half to go through in this troubled world and that all we could do was be the best loving parents we could, no matter how hard it was sometimes. I could go on and on about the memories and gifts he gave to me and my family throughout the years. From my husband being Col. Parker at the Elvis Presley Birthday party to letting our son play the snare drum during a song at my sister'in laws wedding. He always made me feel like I could talk to him about anything at any time. He truly loved his job and was great at it. Not because it was his job but because it was the way he lead his life. Compassion and time for allpeople, no matter how downtrodden and miserable. We used to say if Chuck had something bad to say about anyone they must be a real jerk. I am a better women having had him share his mind with me. Even though for five of the seven years I worked with him I was his supervisor. he taught me way more then I could have ever taught him. I was talking to my son about Chuck last night (who is a big fan and truly loved him and his music) I asked him If he could think of a word to describe Chuck and he said "Yea I can think of a great word but then I just think of another great word for him, he was so many things that are good' Then he said with tears in his eyes "I wish I had a time machine so I could go back July 9th and tell ChucK not to go swimming that morning" I do to I do to. I wish I could john Paul and mark back their most awesome and cool dad and Jan ' moasat loving a devoted husband. Few people pass thriugh this life with a soul as pure as his. Goodbye Chuck I love you and my heart will never be the same again for truly for first time in my life it has been broken by the loss of a friend like you. Peace and music
Sarah Posted At 19:01:11 07/12/2001
In another odd way I agree with Patricia about not missing Chuck. We have been so influenced and affected by him that he will be with us for the rest of our lives.

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