I wish I could be so eloquent as Heidi Cool is in this post, but I'll leave it to her words to illuminate why Martin and the Barking Spider was so special. I'll just echo that I've often sang the praises of the Barking Spider to people, and Martin was a big part of that.
As I got to know him, when I'd walk in the door he'd swing by and make sure to tell me of upcoming artists who he thought I'd like. You see, that showed how much he cared for those who frequented the Spider, but also his love of helping people discover new music, particularly live music. He remembered what I liked and was happy to share, and I'll always remember him for that reason.
Remembering Martin Juredine
"The Spider isn't about the look or feel but about the people. Martin made everyone feel welcome. He made you feel safe. If you arrived alone, waiting for friends, you could sit on your own reading a magazine, with the knowledge that you wouldn't be pestered. And if for some reason you were, Martin would be there to shoo the miscreant away.
But that didn't happen often, because the Spider is the sort of place where you feel comfortable chatting with most anyone you might encounter. You could sidle up to the bar to join in a conversation with Martin and anyone nearby. When you did you might find a brain surgeon and a carpenter in deep discussion about anything from politics to fishing in South America. And they'd be happy to let you jump in and share your two cents.
Camaraderie is encouraged. Martin made it this way because he was both affable and a thinker. He liked people and wanted them to feel at home. He also wanted to learn more about anything and everything, so he asked good questions and was ready to converse about pretty much any topic you might bring up. This led others to do the same. In many ways, the Spider is an intellectual hang-out, popular with faculty and staff from Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Botanical Garden and other nearby organizations. But at the same time, the Spider is also relaxed. You can sit down with a crowd of PhD's and delve into deep thought or (with the same crowd) you can just relax and talk about baseball. It really doesn't matter. Martin made the Spider a place where you could just be yourself and not worry about pretense.
Martin created a place where I've met some amazing people, some of whom are now among my closest friends, while others are friendly faces I may only see from time to time. I'm not alone in this. As I've been reading the Facebook, Twitter posts and e-mails, this has been a common thread."