Thursday, January 13, 2011

Anthony James Mixon III
At the Nightingale, NYC
On December 30, 2011 my beloved friend Anthony passed away of a massive heart attack. He was 52. Featured  in A Misfit's Manifesto as well as several Village Voice articles, Anthony was a statistician and a music fiend who settled in Flanders, New Jersey, collected cars, loved strip bars, Herbert Spencer, Binary Science, Lou Reed, the sociology of religion, Eraserhead, cigars, and his collection of 40 precious guitars.  Tattooed from head to toe, by day Anthony worked at Novartis as a management marketing VP. He was also a dedicated power-lifter. 

Anthony's father once said his son had "a brain like a snapping turtle." A quantitive sociologist, Anthony was brilliant and kind, generous with a heart the size of Texas. In the early 1980's, we met in graduate school, after hours in a  parking garage. Anthony was sitting alone in his car  listening to Pere Ubu when I handed him a homespun cassette tape that featured Led Zep
and Public Image Ltd. That sealed it in blood. We spent many years hanging out in NYC's punk & hardcore scenes, following bands and buying each other spikes and leathers and shots. The CorpseGrinders called him "the Genius Biker."

Several years ago, Anthony met the love of his life, Joelma, a Brazilian dancer and stylist he referred to as the Mona Lisa.  He wrote poetry for her, and the couple bought land together in Joelma's native Brazil; they planned to marry and relocate near the equator. Anthony was one of the most humble, and honorable men I've ever known.  An atheist and altruist, Anthony's  ashes were spread in Bonifay County, in the Florida panhandle where he grew up. For comfort, he often sat a
lone in the woods with a bottle of Johnny Walker, listening to Berlin, thinking about Lou Reed, Ellen Willis and New York City. How blessed we were to share his time on Earth---I will miss him for the rest of my life.
 
Anthony, center, with CorpseGrinders

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite "Anthony stories:" He would walk around the halls of SUNY Stony Brook's Sociology deparemn with these boots that head small metal horshoes nailed onto the bottom. Someone said, "You know you make so much noise when you walk around with those. Everyone hears you coming from a mile away.

He replied, "Yep" and laughed his guttural laugh.

that's it. That's Anthony for me.

Dr. Lyle Hallowell said...

What sad news. I remember Anthony well, few persons I have known had his courage to be his own true person which made him a bundle of great complexity and a person for whom contradiction had no meaning. The real Anthony was all deep and no surface--although the surface Anthony was a delight too!

Marina Rivas-Carter said...

I loved Anthony and he will always have a special place in my heart. He became part of the "family" that I have collected over the years. I first met him at DOT in the summer of 1986. He soon became my supervisor, a dear friend and a mentor. He was complicated and hard to understand but he had such a great sense of humor.

My husband liked him because he was one of the few people that saw my craziness and would make fun of me. To his delight, on a couple of occasions he frustrated me so much that I actually hung up on him. He was the big brother that I never had, and he teased me relentlessly. We would fight like kids and I only drew blood a few times (didn't mean to give him the nose bleed when I threw a book at him). I don't know what I'm going to do when the urge comes over me to see what Anthony thinks about the latest news item. I will miss him dearly, and I feel privileged to have had him in my life for the time that God allowed it.

Bob of MN said...

Anthony was unique, hilarious, and so incredibly smart. I believe he was the only person ever to get an ovation at the end of a presentation at the DOT agency head meetings. I think at first he intimidated them. I remember he wore a suit that day, for the one and only time in his tenure with us (usually he just wore leathers and a black t-shirt). He had to present his analysis of some major project for the agency and by the end of it, the commissioners were just floored. The guy was just plain talented when it came to data analysis.

Anonymous said...

Conversations with Anthony were so comprehensive in detail that I've frequently underestimated how private he was, and how much detail he'd leave out.

Besides the paradoxes and complexities, Anthony was one of the brightest and funniest guys that I've known.Our friendship was made from our affinity towards guitars and our amusement of how often people make the wrong assumptions based upon a person's appearance.

We were talking one evening, the conversation was ending anyway, and I told him I had to see what was going on outside (I figured that some kids were getting rowdy). The next week he asked me whether I did that old-man move of shaking my fist at the kids. I told him that I didn't have to. The kids were so thrown off guard that a Black guy walked out of the house that they just left. Given his deceptive appearance (or was it deceptive..to his advantage, he always looked like he could give someone a hurting if he needed to) I think that we had similar first-impression experiences.

I'm glad that he got to play the mandolin, enjoy that cigar, and dream of that Getaway with Joelma. I hope that his family appreciates the impact that Anthony made on everyone.

Anonymous said...

Conversations with Anthony were so comprehensive in detail that I've frequently underestimated how private he was, and how much detail he'd leave out.

I am glad that he was able to hang with his neighbors, play that 7-stringed guitar (ain't 6 enough Anthony?!), and dream of a Getaway with Joelma. I hope that his family appreciates the impact that he's made on everyone.