Mollie Martinelli: 1982 - 2012
Today I got some sad news. Really sad news in fact. An old friend from Phoenix died suddenly at barely 30 years old.
I first met Mollie Martinelli at The Wild Card, a little club in Chandler, Arizona. The ‘Card’, as regulars came to know it, was the kind of place where anyone was welcome. Nobody cared about your background, rich or poor, employed or not. Nobody cared whether you were straight, gay or somewhere in between. All who frequented the Card considered it a comfortable home away from home where the drinks were strong, the menu better than most American bars provide and the shows and events always entertaining.
My ex-partner Randy and I became regulars there in 2005, around the time Mollie did. She sported a masculine look, festooned with tattoos and piercings that young people do today. I admit neither are my cup of tea and consequently when I first saw Mollie, I must confess I was put off by her look. But then I got to know her. Underneath the spiky hair, the tattoos and piercings lived a bubbly girl. While her anger sometimes shone through, the mood I remember most was positive and smiling. She was friendly and chatty to just about anyone she encountered at the Card. Over time she began to host karaoke nights and DJ’d for shows.
Over my remaining years in Arizona, I spent many many evenings at the Wild Card and therefore came to know Mollie well. She had loves and losses like the rest of us, but always seemed quick with a kind word. For as long as I knew her, she was studying in college while at the same time working and enjoying herself with friends. Whilst I did not know her intimately, she struck me as ambitious and driven to success. On the occasions I made the trek back to Phoenix from Sydney, Mollie would give me a big bear hug when I saw her again and ask about how my life was going in Australia. She genuinely was interested in what I had to say.
I cannot begin to imagine what her close friends and loved ones are going through now. It would be trite of me to offer the usual platitudes, so instead I am writing this short tribute to her.
Mollie, you were sometimes irascible and sometimes difficult, but what I admired in you was your spirit, your get up and go, your moxie and your devotion to your values. I think you even aspired to greatness and I would have loved to have seen you succeed in life beyond your wildest fantasies. As it stands, I will remember the fond times at the Wild Card, your wonderful wit and everything else that made you an original.
Rest in peace, my irascible one. I will miss you greatly.