Cheers to the ‘Dwightest star’ in the sky
“We set controls for the heart of the sun.
One of the ways we show our age.
Then it’s the memory of our betters, that are keeping us on our feet,”
LCD Sound System
The news of Dwight Bowers passing on July 14 swept through Greensboro like a rug pulled out from underneath; and though downtown will be forever dimmer in his absence, close friends at Cafe Europa have organized a memorial service and dance party in his honor on Aug. 11.
Organizers beckon folks to “help celebrate this wonderful human being that touched so many lives.” Attendees are encouraged to bring photos for a traditional memorial from 6-8 p.m.; with DJs from near-and-far hosting a late-night dance party, for the freaks.
The lineup should ring familiar to Babylon party kids: DJ Panic, DJ Misterbailey, Dominic, Andrew Comstock and Peter Daye (L in Japanese).
“Dwight’s charm was electric, his smile infectious,” organizers noted in Bowers’ obituary, “He had a way of making others feel so damn good about themselves, often at his own expense.” For Jonny Alright, Bowers, “was, is, and will be one of the most inspirational people that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.”
As the “Dwightest star,” he exuded stellar enthusiasm with a tough-as-nails smirk; and could toast with you in the highest, or help you wallow in the pits, with an empathy that was out-of-this-world. He was truly treasured company.
“He was a bright star in a dark sky,” Allison Navarro insisted, “I can’t imagine the past 20 years without him.”
“Anytime I was in a bad mood, Dwight could make me laugh,” Matthew Goshow said, “whether he was dancing along to some silly song, or saying ‘oh my god, like, the vibes in here.’ I cherish the time we spent together, even if most of it was at work.”
Bowers was a worker–a man of service–for his friends and Greensboro, on the clock or off. Dedicated. Diligent. Even in the face of getting arrested, mid-shift, back in his days at Solaris.
“We later found out that he got arrested because he wouldn’t rat-out a friend,” Courtney Reynolds recanted of the time Bowers disappeared after taking her order. “That’s the kind of guy Dwight was,” Reynolds added. “He lived life to the fullest, with an ear and shoulder through good times and bad, [he’d] never turn his back on you.”
A source of big smiles and bright ideas, Bowers was in a good place his last days. “My favorite memory was made recently,” Blair Kline said. “We drank beer on his back porch, talking about how we both wanted to make more of a difference to others. He was happy and so positive about the future,” Kline continued, “it was the wee hours following the Fourth of July–still dark outside, but the sun was coming up. Dwight got this burst of energy and laid a quilt on the grass. We held hands, listening to music–finding shapes in tree branches and leaves. Around 7:30 a.m., he grabbed some old fireworks and set them off, but only one worked. Still. It was perfect.”
Bowers regarded his friends like family. No stranger to hardship, his parents preceded in death, blood relatives were few–though the brotherly bond between him and Andy Bowers was mighty.
“At first, the thought of a big public service seemed too much to comprehend,” Bowers admitted, ”but I soon got more than a hundred messages from people who loved my brother, each with their own story of the impact he made on their lives. I always knew Dwight was a great person, and well-loved; but, in that moment, I knew it wasn’t just me needing to grieve and memorialize him. There’s a whole community of loved ones who surrounded him and need to do the same.”
There are sounds of silver-linings in tragedy: Dwight Bowers will never “lose his edge,” as James Murphy mused in songs we sang together. And folks have come out of the woodwork with affection.
“Unexpected and awful as this situation has been, I’ve found comfort in knowing that Dwight was loved and will be remembered by so many people,” Bowers noted. “Dwight never really understood how much he meant to others,” Chrissie Nelson echoed. And he meant so much, to so many.
“It’s only fitting this event will bring people together in honor of such a great person,” said Peter Daye aka L in Japanese. “Bowers was our ‘Kevin Bacon’ in terms of the degrees of separation of Greensboro people, which his party will reflect. Attendees should be ready to meet new people who loved him just as much.”
Come dance yourself clean and toast to his sweet, sassy memory.
“Everybody’s getting younger… It’s the end of an era – it’s true
And to tell the truth.
Oh, this could be the last time.
So here we go,”
LCD Sound System
I hope to see all my friends that night.
Katei Cranford is a Triad music nerd who hosts the Tuesday Tour Report on WUAG 103.1fm.
The Dwight Bowers memorial will be from 6-8 p.m., with a dance party following, at Cafe Europa on Aug 11. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested through the “Celebrating Dwight Bowers” GoFundMe.