Author: Suzy Smith  |  Category: Uncategorized

Grief weighs on you. Right now my grief feels like two elephants are sitting on my shoulders.

I have cried a lot today over a man I had only known a couple of years, but who had become my friend. Gig was so amazing and so many people loved him that his Facebook page is full of love and praise and thousands and thousands of people missing him.
The loss of this one day shy of 52-year-old man is more immense than the world realizes. Such a huge voice and an amazing songwriter silenced so young.


You don’t think about people dying of pneumonia in today’s world. You take some antibiotics or go into the hospital for some IV antibiotics and you get better.

You don’t die, the day before your birthday, from it.

Yet, at 8:03 PM January 3rd, Gig’s light went out. He left this earthly plane to whatever it is that follows us after.

I hope he’s sitting on a comfortable as hell bar stool, a tall glass of Crown in front of him, his clear acrylic mic stand in front of him. All six and half feet of him, long blond hair, and beard singing to the gathered crowd.


You left a huge impression on the world, Gig. I’m glad I got to meet you. I’m immensely humbled that I got to photograph you. And, I am extremely glad that I was able to call you friend.

My Drinking Song by Swamp da Wamp

Part of this video was filmed here in Colonial Beach at High Tides on the Potomac.

A large man with long blonde hair and a leather hat on sings into a microphone on an acrylic, clear stand

Gig singing at CB BikeFest 2 on the boardwalk stage

blue jeans, old, worn with harley davidson and other patches

Gig’s pants he wore to perform in.


Gig Michaels, singer, friend, all around amazing person.

Author: Suzy Smith  |  Category: Uncategorized

Today, January 3rd, the world got a bit dimmer. Gig Michaels, lead singer of the band Swamp Da Wamp, passed away.

Gig wasn’t just an amazing singer, but a comedian, a smart ass, and just generally incredible person. He worked to help fight bullying between kids and had a fantastic song, “Fat Boy Can Jam” about his growing up with bullying and how he overcame that.

His star went out way too early as he, and SDW, were on the way up as a band.

I met Gig in 2014 when they performed at the first annual Colonial Beach Bike Fest. He and I became friends then.

He was good to talk to, awesome to photograph, and larger than life.

Rest in peace, Gig Michaels. You will be missed by so very many people.

(Photo taken during the 2nd Annual CB Bike Fest as they performed on the boardwalk stage. Do you see why I loved photographing him? Huge personality and very photogenic.)

Heavy man with long hair, black hat and a vest, with a microphone

Gig Michaels lead singer of Swamp Da Wamp at 2nd Annual CB BikeFest.


Author: Suzy Smith  |  Category: Uncategorized

Tonight, the hubby and I are out playing Ingress.

Date night for the two of us consists of covering the rescue squad’s installation (nice ceremony, good awards, okay food,) and then hours of killing green portals.

I can handle that.

We are nerds and we so belong together.


Author: Suzy Smith  |  Category: Uncategorized

I know that the change to a new year is just an arbitrary line in the sand, a mark of time passing that really means nothing.

Yet, I am hopeful that 2016 will be better than 2015 was for my family and me. A quick recap of the bad of 2015:

I got a serious infection/abscess in my leg. I ended up with massive surgery that has not healed yet. My lymphedema got markedly worse. A long hospital stay happened.

My Aunt Rosie had a major stroke. She is doing better, but not 100%.

My Aunt Sue died, a couple weeks later, her husband, Uncle Dan, my Daddy’s only brother, died from lung cancer. He never smoked a day in his life.

I think I’m still processing all of that.

Granny went further and further into the Alzheimer’s. She is gone from us. The shell remains, but every bit of who made her my Granny is no longer there. I miss her.

Our landlords lost the house we were living in. We had to move. While, the new house is much better suited for us, it was still a pretty rough transition.

My father-in-law was diagnosed with stage four non small cell lung cancer Thanksgiving week.

I’m dealing with another plunge back into depression and my anxiety issues have worsened. However, I’m still fighting my way through it.

It’s been a rough year, as you can see.

There is good though.

I love our new house. I love loving in town.

Tony and I celebrated 17 years of marriage and 19 years as a couple.

My job is still fantastic.

The niblings have spent more time with us. That makes the move worthwhile as we actually have room for the kids to stay (our old house was 624 square feet. seriously tiny.)

It will be better. It will.  I have hope.

At least at the end of day one.

Snoopy falling down on the job

Author: Suzy Smith  |  Category: Uncategorized