That soiree, which Higgins would have worked to perfection, lived loudly well into the morning, when just as it was subsiding the battle was joined by many of the evening's eight speakers, plus Deborah, who obviously received a transfusion of Higgins' stamina sometime before he passed.
The souvenir of the night? Lapel buttons, distributed at the after-party, with the visage of our boy front and center, a slightly impish grin under his mustache, worn by every reveler at the Blue Fin. A touch of fine kitsch in line with Higgins' reputation for being a person who frequented modern art museums, but adored Elvis painted on velvet (no doubt he preferred the bloated, drug-sucking version of the King, although knowing Higgins' preference for black clothing, I'm not sure about his thoughts on Elvis' white sequined jumpsuit).
"John would just be starting his night right about now," Deborah laughed at about 12:30am at the Fin. It was that kind of an evening, maybe the most upbeat memorial ever thrown for someone who departed at age 45. An awful passing that led to a wonderful night. Calling it a memorial would be inaccurate; a loving roast was more like it.
He got a wake, and a wake after the wake, two weeks after the first wake (where we drank up his supply of Scotch). I hope he's satisfied.
I had nowhere near enough time to meet everyone there, nor to say enough to all the kind friends of John's I did meet. But God bless them, every one.