“It comes in threes, brother.”
I solemnly pondered this as Mick cracked two Becks highboys and we made our way to the back of his garage. He had just suffered through the dreaded cycle-of-three last year, losing his dear friend the legendary Bo Huff, Jay Adams and his childhood friend Charlie. This year we mourned our friend Mike Death, but as the summer wore on, I never imagined that Mick would be the second person in my cycle.
He died suddenly at home in the midst of preparations for Hurricane Matthew, and while I was still reeling from that loss, the third struck — my son Corey. Devastated by these two losses only 10 days apart, I realized Mick, my rock, wasn’t there to pull me through my greatest need. That’s who Mick was and what he did — he was a rock for his friends and family. Everybody mentions what a big heart he had, but it was his gift of empathy, to feel your pain so deeply he made it his pain, that was his real gift as a friend. To say he will be missed sounds like a trifle, a poor substitute of words for a feeling that cannot be conveyed.
His memory was honored at the 5th annual Indian River Rumble on November 5, presented by the Derelicts CC, of which Michael “Mick” Watts was described as the club’s “brightest light” by Gringo, their president. “Mick was loved by many within the kustom kulture scene and it definitely showed at this event in a huge way,” he said. Without even charging a cover, the event raised $5,015 for the Watts family, thanks to so many donations from people around the scene, including one-of-a-kind parts and artwork.
The event at the American Legion Pavilion in Titusville was packed to capacity after only two hours. People traveled from all over the state to make this a record-setting event for the Derelicts and to pay homage to their fallen brother.
“I felt amazing love coming towards me, and everyone was doing what Michael would have done for somebody in need,” said his wife Anita. “Michael was my Siamese twin.”
The spirit of Mick is alive in the next generation with his tiny grandson Liam, who toddled around the cars with his mother Jerica pointing out all the flaws and rust spots — until he came to a shiny polished hot rod and ran his hands all along the side, leaving a trail of dirty handprints. Somewhere up there we were sure Mick was looking down and laughing.