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We Don’t Need a Karaoke Machine! This is a CONCERT!

October 19th, 2010 | 4 Comments

On October 30, 2010, it will be one year since we lost Joe, a very cool person.  Joseph Martin Kopetka was married to my cousin Jackie Kopetka and he alone, turned her away from her horrible taste in music and replaced it with an appreciation for the Beatles. For years, I tried to convince her that Kiss, White Snake, and Foreigner was head-banging nonsense but she respectfully disagreed.  One of my greatest memories was visiting her on the farm in Nebraska and racing off in her 1965 Chevy Malibu with no power steering, listening to “Feels Like the First Time”  by Foreigner. I would harass her for musical choice but she only cackled, turned it up louder, and stepped on the gas, her long hair flying out of the open window. Who would have predicted that her wedding dance song would be ,  “If I Fell”, by the Beatles?.

Joe Kopetka was a scientist, a chef, the life of the party, and one of the funniest guys I have ever known.  He had a Masters Degree in Immunology and a collection of microscopes.  If Joe was cooking, it was advisable to wear elastic waist pants because it was going to be an all night affair. His famous “Salmon Groovieness” was particularly delicious.  Joe could get everyone stirred up too.   At one family reunion, he started a diving contest at the local pool, affectionately known as the “Hartington Aquatic Center”.   Joe’s specialty was the Jackknife dive.   My brother did a back gainer, stunning all of the younger people at the pool.  Who is that bald guy twisting effortlessly off of the high dive?  Indeed Joe could set the tone for getting loose.  I have never laughed so long and so hard as the time Joe combine Edward G. Robinson and Moses from the movie The Ten Commandments into one character.   “There was this burning bush sheeee….”

So now there was this family reunion sheeeee….. and  it was in 2006 sheeeeeee…… and Joe got the idea that we should do a little Beatles music.  I thought that was a great scheme and I informed him that I had a karaoke machine up at my cottage and we could have a little wine,  fire that thing up and we could get some Beatles music…. “Stop!”, Joe said. “We don’t need a karaoke machine.   We are going to have a CONCERT!”   A concert, eh?  Well okay! So Joe headed to northern Minnesota with his guitars and my brother Mark brought his axe and my husband, the only formerly trained musician in the bunch brought up his keyboard.  My other brother Matt, the diving specialist, brought his voice.

Don’t let me down!   Don’t let me down!  Don’t let me down!  Don’t let me down! ….I’m in love for the first time.  Don’t ya know it’s gonna last. It’s a love that lasts forever.  It’s a love that has no past! Dont’ let me down….

It was another incredible night with Joe and one we will never forget.  It’s a love that lasts forever, a love that has no past.  We will never forget you, Joe.  And because you gave my dear cousin some musical taste, you are in my Heaven’s Hall of Fame too!

Posted in Very Cool People


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