Wednesday, March 11, 2009

R.I.P. "Uncle" David

My "Uncle" (actually my Great-Uncle) David has passed away. The most eccentric member of my family, my Great-Uncle David was the sort of person you never forget. He was a hairdresser, a gourmet cook, and a psychic. Back in the 90's he had a cable access TV show (PSYCHIC VOYAGES WITH DAVID SCHNEIDER). In fact, local KC rag THE PITCH once even named him KC's "Best Psychic" back in 2003.

Here is what they had to say:

"The former host of the lovably campy public-access TV show Psychic Voyages, which ran weekly from 1984 to 1996, David Schneider is frequently tapped for radio appearances, public seances and occasional investigative work. "A detective called me to visit a crime scene once, a bedroom where two little girls had been murdered," he says. "I saw it all, in horrifying detail, then pointed out the window and said, 'They're stuffed in a hole right out there.' And the victims were discovered in a culvert. It was too upsetting. I'll never do that kind of work again." A hair-stylist by day, Schneider started giving professional psychic readings 35 years ago, after a party stunt turned dead serious: Dressed as a gypsy, Schneider was using a light fixture as his crystal ball and thought he was just pretending to give readings until one of the party guests told him he was uncannily accurate. After that, he started studying psychic phenomena. "He's really almost always on target about health, money and business," says one longtime client. "Not so great on love stuff. He's really a meat-and-potatoes psychic."

Ironically, he had some of the worst luck. Bad things happened to him...a lot.

He wasn't always easy to get along with, and I actually see a lot of my own anti-social/grudge-holding tendencies in him. The guy didn't mess around, there was a period of 7 or so years when we didn't hear from him because of a fight he had with my mother (he fried her hair while trying to dye it or something). Still, like most people he was something of a contradiction--despite his rough edges he was also very generous. The guy was broke for most of his life, but he always gave us gifts and brought elaborate gourmet-goodies (very expensive, primo-shit) to our holiday parties.

One of my earliest memories of him was the time he came over and gave me a giant, inflatable Godzilla. It scared the crap out of me. I remember hiding under the kitchen table...

In the past few years he'd drifted back into my families little sphere, faithfully attending all of our family functions/graduations. Though he was too sick to travel to St. Louis for my wedding, his was key in that very important day because he provided me with my wedding band. I'll never forget the conversation we had after Thanksgiving dinner about the heirloom that now sits on my finger. So even though he's gone, I'll always carry around a little part of him.

I'm sad that there isn't going to be a funeral, but as it was is wish, there will be no formal service. Still, I plan on going out to attend the internment of his ashes.

Rest In Peace "Uncle" David.


Brenda said...

Please extend my condolences to your family. It sounds like he was an interesting character. I would have liked to have met him. I'm sorry for your loss.

Jason said...

Thanks Brenda, I will.

I feel lucky in a lot of ways for having the opportunity to know my Great-Uncle. I'll never forget the day he gave me his Great-Grandfather's ring (he was a watchmaker, and from what I'm been told he was a hell of a nice guy).

I feel like my family is shrinking, and that my connection to the past is whittling away. It's very sad.