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John Nova Lomax

Okay, so it has been just a week since Nova passed, and I couldn't share anything on this blog until now because every time I started to type this, I began to cry.

This is odd, you might think, because I never met him in person. It was one of the things I very much hoped to do the next time he came to Nashville, and, if not, then, well, I thought a lot about taking a trip to Texas.... but now it's too late. So, why all the emotion?

Well, when I look back on the research I did for Pluck, I am astonished at how many talented and creative people were willing to talk to me about David Schnaufer. Nova was one of them. I wasn't a complete stranger with Nova like I was to most other interviewees because his dad, John Lomax III is a dear, treasured friend and gave the okay for him to talk with me. Nova became one of my favorite people to consult about David and his circle of friends, especially Vince Farsetta, for the period of his life when Nova--then a teen--first met him. Nova painted an finely detailed portrait of the David he knew starting in the late eighties when Nova's father was David's manager. If you've read Pluck, Nova is the primary source for their trip up the east coast together in 1990. The stories he told and his keen insight into who David was when he wasn't in the limelight were invaluable for helping me to understand a person whom I never met in person, either. (It is sad to note that both Nova and David died at the same age.)

I spent many an hour talking with Nova by phone since he lived in Houston. Talking with him--even the first time--was like talking with an old friend who was smart, witty, funny as hell, and had an encyclopedic knowledge of anything and everything we talked about. He told stories fast and light, laughed a lot, and had the best irony-detector of anyone I've ever known. Talking with him was so much fun that sometimes I would sneak in a call, ostensibly to talk about David, but, really just to reconnect. He always made time, and I'm so grateful for that.

But it was his writing that impressed most of all. Nova lived in that rarified atmosphere of people who are as excellent as they are prolific at writing. The first time I read an article he wrote, I was in awe: the smoothness of his writing, his attention to detail, his ability to hook you in and paint a picture with words that allowed you to step into the time, place and meet the people as he did was pure magic.

Rather than prattle on here, I'd like to offer two tributes from his colleagues who knew him best. I am thankful that his father is finding a purpose to help him deal with his grief: he will be publishing all of Nova's writings in one book, and I will be right up front in the line to buy it. I'll post a link down the road when it's available.

John Nova with his Dad John Lomax III during happier times.

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