Please email [email protected] with any new comments you wish to add.


    11th May 2009 - 11:13:04 PM    
32 : Amie
It's hard not to think about what we would be doing if you were here. Caedmon is almost as tall as me, his hands would be bigger than yours, now. We would have had so many damned adventures over the last four years.
I'm sorry, Alvy.
I miss you.

    11th May 2009 - 11:00:24 PM    
31 : Dain
4 years. Just drank a toast via IM with Michael Tracey; rum on his end, wine on mine. Though it would have been more fitting to do so with Old Peculiar.

You're gone but not forgotten brother.

    09th May 2006 - 11:09:12 PM    
30 : Angela Newkirk
A few years ago I decided to have a big party when I turned 40. I was planning on inviting all my favorite people. Michael (I think his mother and I were the only people who called him Michael) was suppose to to be there. We just sent out the invitations and I don't know where to send his. Like all of you , I miss him so much.

    14th April 2006 - 04:48:51 AM    
29 : Sandra Scaglione
As it approaches a year since since we all lost Alvy, I reflect on all the things that made Alvy great. It has been difficult for me to write down what I feel since his loss, as it will never do justice to the depth of emotion that is felt at his passing. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of his gentle soul, funny-quirky sense of humor, artistic, definitely horror loving (until 2-3 am) movie watching, sensitive, caring and loving self.

This is totally inadequate for the person that was lost, but we miss you.

I miss you.

    11th March 2006 - 09:44:51 PM    
28 : Lesley Groetsch
Still missing Alvy.

    12th December 2005 - 12:31:30 PM    
27 : David Rhymes
Goldhill was really the one place in town where I felt like I(or anybody else) could go and not be a part of some clique or some larger conception or "scene". Younger and older folks of differing styles liked going there because there was an air of respect. Respect for all sorts of people and and for great coffee and teas. I always felt a pleasant and warm feeling from Alvy and felt his accepting energy throughout his shop. I too am sorry that with all of the people around him who loved him; he didn't feel he could go on.I didnt know Alvy that well but I felt like we were friends and I always felt like I was being treated fairly and with respect at his store.My heart goes out to his family.

    13th October 2005 - 05:19:15 PM    
26 : Dain Nielsen
It's been just over 5 months since Alvy's death. I've been hesitant to post anything for worries that anything I put here would not do justice to his memory. I've come to realize that any words I, or anyone, may write will ever fully relay who Alvy was or what he truly meant to any of us. We can give a glimpse, we can show some aspect, but the truth is we can never give a full picture. We can never recreate what has been lost through any words we may write. As a result, those who never knew him are much the worse for it. They may glimpse this truth through our collective writings, but their true level of loss will forever elude them. For those of us who did know him, our memories of him are a result, an extension if you will, of his life and as such some measure of Alvy will remain alive with all of us. It is with this thought in mind that I put metaphoric pen to paper and began writing this entry in the hopes those who didn't know him will get another glimpse past the veil and those who did know him may feel that part of Alvy within them is still living.

Alvy was a client, a boss, a geek and a gamer.

He was a man of great compassion and a child at heart.

He was a prankster, a clown, an artist and a barista extrordinaire.

He was a horror fan with a fear of the living dead, a sci-fi fan with dreams of what could be, a comedy fan with a knack for both the one-line zinger and the straight line, a music fan of every style that is not southern rock.

He was respected by artists and art lovers, technophiles and technophobes, musicians and the tone deaf.

He was a hopeless romantic with grand aspirations and a desire to receive the same love he gave.

He was a source of strength to many, and man who needed to feel the support from those around him.

He was an alluring gnome, a vampire hunter, a reluctant duros hero.

He was a man who shared his laughs, tears, time and companionship with those who loved him and who he loved.

Alvy was all these thing and more. But most of all, and most importantly, Alvy was a true friend.

We all miss you, brother. Hope to see you on the next go 'round.

    11th June 2005 - 06:04:14 PM    
25 : Ginny Rogers Liles
I met Alvie through my cousin Angela Newkirk when they dated in high school. Although I did not know him well I remember him being very caring and compassionate. Having lost a friend of mine a few years back to this same situation I feel for everyone involved. You will never understand why and you will never forget how you felt when you got the sad news. My hope for Alvie is now he is at peace and what truobled him will never rear its ugly head again. This man evidently touched many people and it is so sad that he felt he needed to leave. All my prayers are with his family and friends.

    06th June 2005 - 09:36:45 AM    
24 : Vivian Newkirk Mirk
I remember taking Alvy and Angela to the Police concert before either of them could drive. I remember how handsome he was at their prom. I remember running the Gasparilla Classic with him. And I remember visiting him at his coffee shop last October. It's comforting to me to have these memories and to view the pictures on the website because I prefer to keep those memories in my mind since accepting that I'll never visit with him again is too difficult. Thank you to all his friends and family who have shared with us, via this website, their relationship with Alvy. We now know that he had a gift for making everyone feel very special when he was around, but this void will be with us forever. Love to all as you grieve our loss.

    05th June 2005 - 11:50:00 AM    
23 : Melissa Newkirk-Evans
I am Angela Newkirk's younger sister and I met Michael when they started dating in high school. I was only 10 at the time and I also immediately feel in love with him. He was always very nice to me and made me feel very special whe he nick named me Moe. I'll always remember his colorful VW bug, and his incredible smile.
His family will always be in my thoughts.
Alvy, you are truely missed.

    04th June 2005 - 11:39:11 PM    
22 : Angela Newkirk
I fell in love with Michael when we were fifteen. I had lunch with him last October when we were 38. I was amazed that over the time and distance and falling in and out of love with other people, that he was the same wonderful person I met in English in Jr. High and that I still loved him. I'm glad to see that so many other people also got to see his loveliness. Maybe I'll share stories of his teenage years when this sinks in.

    28th May 2005 - 04:44:42 PM    
21 : Kay Gelfman
I've been thinking and thinking what to write about Alvy. I didn't want to write anything because I am not ready to let him go. Alvy and Michelle were my home-away-from-home when I moved from New York City four years ago. I'd lived in New York for the two decades since college. When I left I didn't know where to go or what to do and landed on Alvy and Michelle's doorstep. I knew Alvy because he helped me create an animated web cartoon. Before Alvy, I couldn't even email. After Alvy I was able to transform my artistic career via the web.

As hosts to a displaced and uncertain person, Alvy and Michelle couldn't have been more generous. I wanted to photograph every art deco building in Asheville so Alvy took me around to every single art deco building in the city and waited patiently while I got all angles. They took me to many of Asheville's excellent restaurants, introduced me to their friends, showed me the art. In between all of this Alvy taught me how to make fried plantains.

After I'd definitely stayed longer than I'd meant to, Alvy and Michelle offered for me to stay even longer. When I insisted on leaving, they made me promise to come back. I did, but never with that freedom of time. I had been so privileged to be able to just drop into these two wonderful peoples' existence. I thought Alvy was the king of the hill. Lives didn't come much nicer than what he'd set up for himself.

But traveling is like a dream, it filters life and strains it out again a much finer grain than the true, raw substance. I was terribly depressed when I arrived on Alvy's doorstep. I knew that Alvy had his dark moments too. We talked some about it. I could call Alvy in a blue mood. Sometimes I would just ask him to say a few words in his version of a Savannah, Georgian accent. Sometimes that was all it took. Other times, longer conversations. I hope I listened to him as well. I hope he called sometimes with his blues. Of course I know I did and he did, but then why. The question will always be. He had so many friends, much closer friends than me. Surely they listened. Surely he called. Or did he? Why then? Of course I know the answer is that there is no answer and that is unacceptable and the mind circles round again.

Once when I was in Asheville I tried on a long, robelike garment. Velvet with an India batik type print. I couldn't afford it but lo and behold it arrived on my doorstep one day courtesy of Alvy and Michelle. We never knew quite what to call it and so "the garment" sufficed. I am traveling now and I brought it with me because I needed something of Alvy along for the ride. A beautiful, complicated thing like Alvy.

My most selfish thought is that my little daughter will not get the chance to have Alvy in her life. But that is to let the physical loss of the person overwhelm the spiritual love at his core. I will be absolutely sure that my daughter knows Alvy for I will teach her kindness and honesty, humor and compassion.

    26th May 2005 - 11:44:20 PM    
20 : Gracie Alvarez
I’ve been trying to capture just what Alvy means to me. He was my big brother and my protector. (yes, Alvy actually fought to protect me from some bullies when we were kids. That scrappy little kid took on 2 much larger guys to protect his little sister.) He was my friend. (Most brothers hate having their younger sister hanging around, but he always took me along with him). He was my teacher. (He taught me to see the beauty and goodness within a person.) He was my mentor and my hero. (I wanted to be just like him when I grew up.) He was my “horror movie watching pal”. He was the funniest and smartest person I’ve ever known. He taught me about love, humor, honor and all the things that make life wonderful.
I’ve tried to come up with just how much he was to me. There is not a word that encompasses how great he was. Basically, he was my “Alvy” and I miss him more than I could ever express. My greatest wish is that he now knows how much he was loved and how wonderful he was. But I know he is still with us in so many ways. A life light as bright as his does not fade, but lives within all of us. All of us will smile again when we think of some silly “Alvy-ism”. I feel blessed to have had the privilege of having him as my big brother.

    26th May 2005 - 10:27:29 PM    
19 : Amie Tracey
I really don't know how to describe what Alvy was to me, any more than I know how long I will mourn him. He always weighed himself by what he felt he had not accomplished, while those of us who loved him only counted who he was, which was always enough. Not a day goes by that I don't see him some place he ought to be, nor is there a reprieve from his ceaseless (while sometimes, admittedly, amusing) commentary in my head. He was so much more precious to us than he ever realized, than he would ever let us say (always with the disclaimers, Alvy). His humility was downright annoying, his sense of humor alternately sharp and goofy, and his presence a force that cannot be replaced. He is missed with a passion that, I am sure, would have surprised the hell out of him. I hope he finally gets it, now.

    24th May 2005 - 01:01:29 AM    
18 : Larisa King
The news of Mikey being gone forever really saddened my heart. The last time I saw Mikey was at my mothers funeral. I have always looked up to him and no matter how much everyone in the family didn't want to admit it, we had alot in common. He was always fun to be around. I have alot of fond memories of Mikey. Unfortunately, none are recent memories. I wish we could have stayed in touch. Mikey will forever be missed and very loved.

    21st May 2005 - 10:16:06 AM    
17 : Lesley Groetsch
Each day brings a new Alvy memory, new laughter, and new sadness. There are so many ways that we will miss Alvy, so many circles that are broken for the time being. My hope is that our mutual love of Alvy will help unite us all in new ways and close the circles once again, although I doubt anyone will ever replace Alvy. He was one of a kind.

    20th May 2005 - 11:32:04 PM    
16 : Michelle Denyés
Alvy came into my life 14 years ago. He brightened my world and brought so much joy with him. He reminded me to take time to laugh and be silly. I was instantly charmed. He was always there with encouragement, praise, and love. He taught me to be true to myself. Alvy's gentle spirit, kindness, generosity, and sense of humor are well known. What you may not know is that he comes from a family of equally beautiful souls. I've spent the past week with Alvy's family. Although we've been reunited under the worst of circumstances, I feel so fortunate to have them in my life. Most everyone knows that Alvy was famous for his creative and elaborate costumes. The first time we dressed in costume together was about 12 years ago. We were working at an Irish pub. We dicided for Halloween that I would be a woodland faerie, and he would be, in his own words, "a big ass leprechaun". He set out to make our costumes, sewing them himself. Before I knew it, I had a full-length green velvet gown with gold panel insets, and beautiful golden wings (all without a pattern). His was a complete costume down to the puffy shirt and little vest with those fake pocket flaps. He made a big fuzzy green top hat with a buckle. I thought to myself, "Wow! This guy can do anything!". Over the years I came to realize that he really could do anything he set his mind to. Alvy has been the great love of my life. Although we were no longer a couple, we were still great friends. I know that Alvy is okay now, and we don't have to worry about him anymore. I miss him terribly. I will always carry him in my heart.

    20th May 2005 - 10:29:25 AM    
15 : Candy
From the first time I met Alvy, he won me over with his charming, unassuming, humble manner, with his brilliant smile and the spark in his eyes. I've never known anyone else who was quite like Alvy. I've never met anyone who knew him and didn't like him. I have heard so many stories now of his generosity, of his kindness. The things Alvy did were good things. I think that is what makes this last thing he did so hard to accept. As sad as I may be to know he is gone, the greater sorrow even than this is seeing my friends, our mutual friends, broken with grief and regret. People I have know for many years and loved as much as he did, can barely speak without tears welling in their eyes, are grasping for the means to make life bearable again, because of one final decision made by the nicest guy I knew. (Alvy, I don't know how to console them.)
The memories I have of Alvy I will always cherish. I am grateful to have known him, to have ever made him laugh or smile, to have known the warmth of an Alvy hug. I can't imagine he knew how much he would be missed. I hope he knows now. The goodness he left orphaned here I will try to shelter in my own heart and life.

    20th May 2005 - 10:12:13 AM    
14 : Michael Tracey
Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory -
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

--Percy Bysshe Shelley

    18th May 2005 - 11:26:36 PM    
13 : Heather Maloy
I met Alvy when I was feeling out Asheville. I was considering moving here from Charlotte to start Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, and my good friend John Wilson in W-S told me that the most important person in town to meet was Alvy Alvarez, the owner of a local coffee shop. The way he phrased it made me think that Alvy was going to be this intimidating town big wig. I was nervous to call him and was very formal in making the appointment to come meet with him.

When I walked into Gold Hill, a sweet guy in a Hawaiian shirt and a beautiful smile looked up at me. Before I had a chance to say anything, this shy but mischievous voice says, “You must be Heather Maloy. John Wilson always knows the hot girls.” He proceeded to sit with me, someone he didn’t know, and go over a huge list of people for me to call on. He helped me make many of the first connections I had here. He introduced me to Kim McQueen and took me to a party at her house where I met people who have helped facilitate the birth of Terpsicorps, and become my friends as well. Alvy and Michelle made me feel welcome and at home in a place where I knew no one and have been the foundation of my Asheville family.

Alvy worked himself too hard. Any other person would have gone home and put their feet up in their spare time. Not Alvy. He was involved in all of our fundraising events, even running our big one last year, “The Madd Hatter’s Ball.” A master of putting together parties, it was a creative masterpiece and I can only hope that he knew how much it all meant to me. He never felt that he was doing enough and was always apologetic for not doing more. His whole life revolved around helping others. People with the kind of selfless heart that Alvy had are few and far between. He never turned down an ad in someone’s playbill and gave to numerous nonprofits and arts organizations. Even with as much time and support as he gave to Terpsicorps, I know that we were not alone and that many other groups will be suffering this loss as much as we will. He voluntarily created and maintained many people’s websites, including my friend Michael Bellar’s in NY. Mike would have to come up with creative ways to trick him into taking money in exchange for all the hard work and hours that he put into his site.

The arts in Asheville had no better friend than Alvy Alvarez. If he had been a millionaire, this would have been the most financially solvent arts community in the country. There is a huge hole in this city now, as well as in our hearts. People and organizations find ways to live on, and we will, but it will be different now. I miss you Alvy. I will try and keep your beautiful, funny, creative spirit alive within my work, and I only pray that I can be lucky enough to have a piece of you live on within my soul and my actions. You were a role model for us all, and I hope that we as a community have learned something about the nature of giving and of love through your example.

    18th May 2005 - 03:17:09 PM    
12 : douglas madaras
I admired you Alvy. Your character I envied.
The tragedy is now ours my friend.
Now you can see how much you are loved...

    17th May 2005 - 09:33:57 PM    
11 : Gene Perry
Alvy was a cool cat. I was only in his light a short while - he still burns brightly though. We shared some dog stories over a burrito, that was cool. He sure loved that dog.

Alvy you rat bastard, you better save me a seat - I'll see you on the other side.

    17th May 2005 - 07:42:25 PM    
10 : Kay Denyes
Sweet Gentle Alvy. You will be missed. We loved you as did everyone who knew you. We have many fond memories of holidays and your famous Cuban Christmas dinners. ( I thought we were adorable in our antlers.) I know you are at peace now and God will take care of you.

    17th May 2005 - 02:07:51 PM    
9 : charlie
They say that it only take a few moments, upon meeting someone, to give them a subconscious thumbs-up or down. In those few moments friends are made, marriages are born and futures are determined.
Well, perhaps it is because of the circles I run in, but I have never met anyone who disagreed with the basic assumtion that Alvy is a positive figure in the landscape of our experiences. He is a good and healthy part of the brain and a wampeter for EVERYONE'S karass.
I for one am not letting go. I knew him as well as I know anyone. The Alvy in my mind is as contemplative and kind as he was in those first fatefull moments of meeting and as vibrant and silly as he was dancing in his ridiculous costume just last Halloween.
Sure... there is a lot of Alvy trivia I'm not privy to, but he's still here with me, all the same. And all of you. Close your eyes and look at him smirking at you. How can you not smile back?

    16th May 2005 - 01:12:52 PM    
8 : Terry Mancour
I met Alvy about 5 years ago, and while I didn't know him as well as I would have liked, he always impressed me as the best kind of people: warm, considerate, funny, intelligent, and genuinely caring. It is a token of how powerful his quiet personality was that I was devestated when I heard the news. I do not know what demons he had in his subconscious, no doubt they were akin to those we all carry. But I hope he found peace, and I look forward to meeting him again in the next lifetime. My the Goddess take him into Her arms, sit him on Her great lap, and hug him until all his pain subsides.

    16th May 2005 - 11:54:07 AM    
7 : Mark Leatherwood
I cant exactly remember when I met Alvy but it was atleast 7 years ago. Over the years we became friends and I knew him as a kind, intelligent person, whom I admired. We talked about lots of stuff and I found us to have many common intrests .. not just coffee. His story's of Halloween costumes and crazy stuff like that always inspired me. I miss him and still cant believe it though I know its true. My heart goes out to all of you especially his family.(and his Dog)

    16th May 2005 - 09:56:11 AM    
6 : Kerryn Davis
Alvy made 'soft' manly. Perhaps there should be a bumper sticker that reads "real men are soft"? Though I didn't know Alvy well, I have called him friend for years. I miss him terribly and hope that once the initial shock clears, that everyone whose life was touched by this amazing man can find some type of peace, knowing that there is an angel with a sense of humor (so look out!) looking over them. Peace...

    15th May 2005 - 09:42:27 PM    
5 : Eric Bradford
Though I only met Alvy in person once, I knew him through the WNC Geeks list. I can certinly feel his presence missing from our conversations but most importantly our lives. More-over I can feel love from his friends for him.

To all of Alvy's friends and loved ones you are in my thoughts .

    15th May 2005 - 07:11:29 PM    
4 : Peter Brezny
It isn't often I admire someone so much that I want to become more like them. Alvy was that kind of person. Kind, Generous, Friendly, and Fun. That's the Alvy that's become part of me.

    15th May 2005 - 02:02:12 PM    
3 : Wesley Watts
Alvy was my cousin. When I was young, I went to stay with him and his family. They were very kind to me, and they all loved to laugh. Alvy was the funnest of all. He was the frist man I remember to ever dye his hair. He impressed me early in my life of what a person is like to have a light heart. I can not remember any rude or malicious comment ever coming from him. And that is how I shall remember Alvy, a kind, warm, and light hearted man that I enjoyed knowing. I shall continue to tell my stories of him proudly.

    14th May 2005 - 07:47:34 PM    
2 : Torsten Kerwien
I met him one thursday, he told me about his crazy heloween costume.
It was a funy story!
I didn't know him well but I think he was a very nice guy.
I'm very sorry for all the friends and of course also for him.
He seemed to be so lucky.
Nobody knows what a person is feeling.
I hope it solved r problems Alvy - it was nice to meet u.

    14th May 2005 - 09:13:53 AM    
1 : Caedmon Tracey
I can't decide which story about Alvy is the best, because there are so many good ones. I'll tell you about the time when I spent the night at Alvy's house. We cooked together, making Spagetti with potato chips in it. We stayed up late watching movies. It was really great to have him as a friend. I will always miss him.

Caedmon Tracey (Age 7)


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