A Voice from Afar: Matt Vander Ende

Matt was Defiance's drummer and a close friend of Doug's, but his professional commitments -- he's a drummer with major Broadway show touring groups (Diane and I, Doug's dad, heard his live work with Wicked at the Curran theater a while ago, and were thrilled!) -- prevented him from being in Montclair park that afternoon... but he took the trouble to send his reminiscence along via Jim Adams:

When I first heard a bench in Montclair Park was going to be dedicated to Doug my first thought was “This is perfect!” what a great way to memorialize Doug’s endearing and thoughtful soul. I spent many years in Defiance with Doug as a band mate and a dear friend, touring, recording records and having fun! One of the many qualities I always admired about him was his ability to enjoy life and enjoy the time we have here on earth. Doug always performed for the music and the fans that were there to watch us, even if it were only 5 people or 500 it was always play to your best. I admired that about him and I keep those thoughts with me to this day. Every single time I would hang out or talk with Doug he was always happy and joyful. Doug’s quick wit made me laugh all the time; I could never get enough of it. The bench he built for my mom many years ago still sits in her yard as a testament to how strong he was. I will truly miss you my friend… Be well brother man!

Love Matt Vander Ende~~~~~~~