The Mike Lacy I knew was a man who lived in the past. We only spent time with each other a few years, in high school and for a few years after. Mike and I shared a love of old movies, TV shows, music, and classic radio programs. Along with friends, we participated in parades in Rushville and other activities, dressing as the Marx Brothers with Mike portraying W.C. Fields (this was when Mike was heavier and before he became his svelte self).
He amazed me by playing tape recordings of phone calls he had made to the man who had done the voice of Popeye and to the woman who was Betty Boop. Mike also loved the avante garde movies of John Waters and even made his own short films.
I became re-acquainted with Mike after he had experienced a bout of unfavorable notoriety. Mike was gracious in being forthcoming in telling the circumstances that had landed him in the situation he found himself in. That he was also highly entertaining in relating his story just showed that Mike was a born entertainer. Indeed, at that time he played piano for local theatricals, as well as working as a bartender at the Durbin Hotel.
On the wall of the stairway to his second floor apartment in Rushville, Mike even expressed his love of past things by painting “House of the Past.” Mike was a square peg in Rushville and he finally moved to Indianapolis and I lost touch with him then.
Time flies by in life and as you get older; the day comes when news arrives of the deaths of friends you haven’t seen in decades. Hearing such always comes as a shock. You feel the sadness that the person you once laughed with is no longer here. These days, I don’t laugh as much as I once did. Mike Lacy made me laugh often. So now I think of him and I smile. A lot.
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