Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye

Tampa’s art and theater worlds have been saddened by the lost of a great friend, supporter, landlord and bartender with the passing of Silver Meteor Gallery’s John Murphy (Dec. 16, 1938 – April 12, 2006).

Jobsite’s connection with John Murphy, as well as his son Michael, goes all the way back to the very, very beginning. When Jobsite was nothing more than five kids with big mouths and a manifesto, the good men of SMG were the only people in town willing to cut us a break and give us a chance. Most people wouldn’t even return our calls as we searched for a place to put on a show. The Murphy’s quite literally took us in and we couldn’t have asked for better first patrons.

We did a handful of shows at SMG from 98 through 01, the most successful of which was probably True West. He always worked the bar at the theater, but for that one John Murphy watched every single performance from the back, and up til the end he always said that was his favorite show of ours.

I saw the Murphy’s (as they were often called – just The Murphy’s) a lot even after we moved to TBPAC. They always made a point to come see us, and I often saw them out and about everywhere around Ybor. Having lunch at Tampa Bay Brewing Company or a late night cocktail at Fuma Bella. John Murphy was truly a unique and extraordinary man. To meet this sort of gruff, old school ex-military man with a love of the arts and his cats is an experience no one forgets .

Michael Murphy has asked me to get the word out on the memorial services, so here is the vital info:

5/5/06 – 10am – Memorial Service at Christ the King, 821 S. Dale Mabry
in lieu of flowers, send donations to
Silver Meteor Gallery
PO Box 77485, Tampa, FL, 33675
http://legacy.com/TBO/Obituaries.asp

5/5/06 – 11:30am – Luncheon in Ybor City
Tampa Bay Brewing Company
1812 N. 15th St.

5/9/06 – 7 – 11pm Combined Art Exhibition & Irish Wake featuring select art by John
Silver Meteor Gallery
2213 E. 6th Ave, Ybor City

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