My friend, Roger... I methim at a fundraiser for the Masthouse in 2002.A giant man in jeans and leather vest outbid
everyone for a German chocolate cake.I
don't remember the final bid, but he paid an exorbitant amount for that
cake.We didn’t know it then, but it was
vintage Roger Benson, supporting a cause he believed in.
Roger soon retired as a medical doctor in Chicago and moved to a
home near Woodstock.We were immediate
friends and in 2004 he became a board member of Off Square Music.He loved to introduce performers and was an
avid supporter of our early concerts.His knowledge of folk music and performers was phenomenal, and he was
always excited to discover a new artist. I never met anyone who appreciated music
Roger was with me when the idea of an open mic at the newly
constructed Stage Left Café was born."It is a great idea," he instantly commented and his support
I also admired Roger
for his work as a doctor.He was a fine
diagnostician.A mutual friend was
struggling with a medical problem, going from doctor to doctor without
success.I mentioned it to Roger and a
few weeks later, he handed me a work up to give to our friend.It was a perfect diagnosis.No fee, no fuss; just Roger Benson helping
out where he could.
Since his passing, I continue to meet people who knew Roger,
and each one has a story to tell.He
helped this one get medical care, he helped that one with a loan, he was an
ardent supporter of their organization.He had so many friends.
I have never known a more
generous man and we lost him way too soon.