love letter to
Anna McClellan is a singer songwriter from Omaha, Nebraska. After years of touring and a move to NYC, McClellan returned to her hometown, writing her latest album 'I saw first light' alongside working as a waitress at La Buvette. For our Love Letter series, Anna has written to her friend, and colleague at La Buvette, Jake Dunwoody who sadly passed away in a motorcycle accident on May 3rd 2020.
Sitting at TL2 on a sunny Thursday writing this message to you on the back of a menu. I fell off my bike and got a concussion last Friday. I often wonder and imagine how you’d react to things if you were still walking these floorboards with us. There’s so much tea to spill and shenanigans to fill you in on. Your laugh still echoes the walls. There’s been days where we were so busy and all these people were coming in during a pandemic without masks and I can hear your flippant comments cutting right through the bullshit. Andy’s portioning gorgonzola right now and it looks like a cake and the smell is flooding me. We miss you.
The main thing I wanted to relay in this letter is how grateful I am to have gotten to play you and Anna J my new record that one night we closed Buvette together. Your reaction to all of it was perfect and your approval meant so much. But my favorite was your response to the song ‘Trying too hard’ which I’m sure is a difficult concept for you to grasp with your effortless cool. Right in the middle of the song you belted out, “Well why don’t you stop then?” …good suggestion…
I think it’s this obvious difference in our personalities that caused me to be surprised you liked my music at all. You were an early champion of my songs and that validation really meant something. And I sort of walk around with this assumption that my very put-on personality is going to be seen through by all the 'chillers' like you. Like I’m going to be outed as a fraud posing as a cool person. But getting to know you more over the last year that we worked together, it became really apparent and is really true that you see people as they are and you accept them that way. I also found out that you cannot be hurried which both comforts and annoys the shit out of me.
The next day:
I want to somehow articulate the fucked up way that Buvette is home and family. And today when we were all stressed and yelling and Darech was egging everyone on, at first I got caught up in it. There’s always plenty to bitch about at La Buvette. But then I took a step back and looked around at all these people that I love so much and I thought of you and how we lost you and so much sad love flooded me. I’ve been sobbing about it ever since. I feel so lucky to have a home and a place and to have been able to share that with you. Love you forever Dunny.
The day after that:
Well, now Buvette has shut down again because someone tested positive for covid. The virus is everywhere in Omaha right now. Cases keep rising. I’m going to end the letter now, but I want to touch briefly on divine spirit. In my attempts to let go, I have been drawn to ideas of oneness and higher Self. And now that you exist on the ethereal plane, I’m curious to know your thoughts of these things. Write back if you have time.
Love love love, anna.