Soon I will be done with the trouble of this world,
I'm going home to live with God.
- Sean Costello, Going Home
I first heard Sean Costello's music two years ago as I listened to the performers scheduled to take the stage at the 2006 Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival.
There was a raw passion to his music, something that showed his talent was far beyond his years.
So as I browsed the website of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, I was speechless as I read that Mr. Costello had been found dead. Just a few weeks earlier, he'd been listed among the best guitarists in Georgia's history. (Blind Willie McTell made that same list, by the way.)
Sean Costello died a day before he was to turn 29. At Northside Tavern, where friends were planning a weekend birthday bash at the club Mr. Costello frequented, they gathered instead for a mournful celebration of a life cut short.
For Don Powers, the news of Mr. Costello's death hit was the second punch of a one-two combination of mourning.
"(He was) the absolute vanguard of young blues guitarists ... plus a great guy on top of that," Mr. Powers said.
The first blow also came from the Atlanta area: Mr. Powers spent a couple of days in Atlanta helping his college roommate bury his son, a college athlete who died unexpectedly.
"Young kids dying for no apparent reason is against the law of nature and God," he wrote in an e-mail shortly after finding out about Mr. Costello's untimely death. "I guess in God's eyes and His plan, their work here was done."
I have two apologies to make this week.
First goes to Brad Graham, whose name was left off a list of Small Business Person of the Year recipients that ran in The Mirror several weeks ago. The week it ran (or didn't run, I should say), Mr. Graham called and told me. I checked at the chamber office, and his name wasn't on the plaque. I figured he'd actually been honored as the owner of the Small Business of the Year. (Different award from the same group.)
Last week, Brad asked me about it again, and was very specific about the award he won. Turns out, he was right. The plaque was wrong.
So McDuffie County, please let me congratulate Brad Graham, the 2002 Small Person of the Year. And there's now even a plaque to prove it.
I also need to apologize to Angel Sims, who I called "Gloria" in my column last week. Angel is one of the great, smiling faces at Love's, and I have no idea where I got it in my head that her name was Gloria. Heck, she even went to school with Miriam and I at Thomson High. I apologized in person on Saturday evening, but wanted to make sure proper public credit is given where it is deserved.