As they milled around the enclosure, a call to order in the Depsers Pan Loft on Classon Avenue, Brooklyn, brought attention to the Despers spokesperson standing on the steps leading up to the elevated area. 

Mikey Enoch -  the legendary Pan maker and tuner - had passed away on the afternoon of Monday 9 September 2002, one week after Labor Day in New York.  The Pan scene in which Mikey had played such a key role in Trinidad, New York (especially Desperadoes in Trinidad, and Despers USA in New York) and the wider world, (for Mikey Enoch's prolific work as a pan maker and morever a tuner were world-reknowned) -now had a tremendous void which in essence would never be filled.

Some of the 'old heads', legends in their own right - such as Rudy King who first brought Pan to New York, along with the 'new blood' - some not yet out of their teens - came together, along with others whom Mikey's talents and love had touched.  Those who had not set foot in the Despers enclave for years - now justly put aside their differences and came to pay homage, briefly chatting amongst themselves and reminiscing about "those" times.

A few of the younger pan players from Despers USA huddled together, partly against the chill of the blustery evening, and partly in mutual comfort as they quietly discussed the reality that Mikey would not walk into Despers Pan Loft ever again.  Everyone had a story, and private thoughts and experiences with the departed Pan legend.

There were literally generations of players present in the yard, and if summed up in terms of the Pan playing talent gathered together that evening, hundreds of years in pan dexterity and excellence were right there.  From Scipio Sarge who knew Mikey from boyhood around six or seven years of age - to those who remembered his boundless generosity in many ways.  The recounting of how Mikey 'made my first pan when I had no money as a youth coming up', from those who were teenagers then, but now fathers themselves - came from more than just one seasoned pan player present that evening.

The spokesperson in his brief oratory reminded all present of 'the here and now, and everafter' - even as kindred listened -some still half stunned that Mikey was really gone.  Sharing hope for the future of the steelband instrument on which Mikey had left such an indelible mark, the speaker touched on the responsibility of those now to carry on Mikey's great legacy and taking the instrument to greater heights.

One person shared how in her own younger years, when they had White Castle cravings but not White Castle finance, Mikey Enoch would invariably come up with the means from what he himself had.  She - like many others present, were aware why we had all gathered, but still numbed by the finality of Mikey's passing.

Ending with a spiritual and exhorting those present to join - which some did- self consciously in some cases, the lilting notes of a lone pan in an impromptu accompaniment of the spiritual, filtered through the low octaves of the pan players introspectively raising their voices while still lost in their thoughts. 

Further solemnities are scheduled at the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Hawthorne Street, Brooklyn on the evening of Thursday 12 September.


By CP - Basement Press Release Writer







Date: 9.11.02






























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Last modified: November 03, 2003