Monday, August 23, 2010

St. Amabilis of Auvergne (? to 475)

"Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them."

In addition to writing hard news and feature stories for the Kent County Daily Times in West Warwick, I created my own beat covering the national acts that performed at The Station, a nightclub in town.
Bands like The Fixx, Blue Oyster Cult, Honeymoon Suite, NRBQ, and Warrant played there, and I did the interviews in advance for the Thursday entertainment section and would often stop by the club after work to attend a show or drop off copies of the newspaper.
The owners seemed like average guys, often sponsoring fundraisers for families in need.
The place was so small (it was once an Italian restaurant) that many of the locals and, even some of the police officers, didn't know where it was. That is until the horrific night of Feb. 20, 2003 when a fire set off by pyrotechnic sparks during a performance by Great White killed 100 people. (Half of the 362 survivors were injured).
I was no longer working at the newspaper, but many friends, relatives, and musicians, went into a panic thinking that I was at the show being that I spent so much time there. I was actually stuck on the East Side of Providence waiting for hours for AAA to arrive and jump start my car on that freezing cold night.
It was so tragic and all I can say is to always remember the victims and their families in our prayers. Also, make a donation to the Station Family Fund, a non-profit organization.
St. Amabilis of Auvergne is a patron saint against fire. He lived in France and worked as a cantor in the church of St. Mary Clermont and a priest in Riom. He died 475 and his feast day is Nov. 1.

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