I again feel compelled to discuss the passing of Chance Browne, a renowned cartoonist (“Hi and Lois“) and musician and painter…an all-around good fellow.

Chance died from pancreatic cancer a little more than three months ago (3.1.24). For nearly my entire life he was one of my dearest friends. We’d bonded in the mid ’60s and held fast friendship-wise through the many decades that followed. It’s unusual to hold onto amigos for this long — for one reason or another friendo fondness tends to fade or weaken or simply run out of spirit. But not when it came to Chance.

Me to Chance’s widow, Debbie, when I first heard: “Mike Connors told me the devastating news just now. I’m so sorry, Deb. I feel truly broken…state of shock…so sorry for you and the girls. Despite the horror of the woke plague and how that affected my relationship with poor Chance, we had over 50 good years together — warm years, bountiful years…so much hilarity and spirit. My heart is shattered. Please keep me in the loop regarding any memorials or gatherings. I’m soooo sorry. Doesn’t feel real.”

I’ve mentioned once or twice that Chance became an unregenerate woke scold sometime in mid ’21, and that he began accusing me of horrendous attitudes and behaviors that had no basis in fact, emotional or otherwise.

No exaggeration, it was the single most appalling episode of my emotional life. On 9.24.22 I tapped out a longish piece about a traumatic encounter I had with him inside Wilton’s Village Market.

During that stand-off Chance looked me right in the eye and called me a piece of shit, right to my face, literally shoving a knife into our half-century-old friendship.

When he passed I decided to try and focus on the good decades and let the woke insanity go. But now the shit-stirring is back slightly because the Browne family has invited old pals to drop by the homestead later this month and share memories and probably do a bit of hugging. Given Chance’s decision in ’21 to turn into Donald Sutherland‘s character in the final scene of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (’78), I didn’t expect an invite. And that’s fine. Our shared past can’t be fiddled with or diminished. It lives.

And yet a guy I loved for over half a century is being remembered and toasted, but because I was kicked off the bus due to not being a card-carrying wokester…aahh, let it go.