PLATTSBURGH - When Roy Hurd lost his home in Lake Clear to a devastating fire in July, he lost everything.
"It's been kind of crazy," said Hurd, a well-known local singer and songwriter and Redford native. "Some days, it feels like things are okay and getting back to normal and other times it kind of hits me when I go to reach for something we don't have anymore or we think about something we lost that we hadn't thought about. Things with strong emotional connections to history or the people we've known over the years."
Hurd and his wife, Amy Kohanski, weren't home at the time of the fire, which is something Hurd is extremely thankful for, he said. And, out of tragedy, Hurd said he gained a newfound appreciation for "what's important."
"We're fortunate no one was home at the time. Something like this helps you understand what's important and really makes you thankful for friends and family," said Hurd.
That's the focus of a new song born from the loss he and his wife suffered, said Hurd, he titled "The More Permanent Things."
"Those are the things I set my heart on because the other things are not permanent at all," said Hurd, who is now living with his wife in an apartment they've rented in Saranac Lake.
Though Hurd's home was insured there are still some things that will be irreplaceable, like keepsakes and even a special edition Fender guitar that was given to him as a gift.
Longtime friend Timothy C. Hartnett was with Hurd and Kohanski when they learned of the tragedy.
"We were out to eat and had just finished our meal and Roy's phone rang," recalled Hartnett. "He didn't answer it because he didn't recognize the number. It rang again and he still didn't answer it. Then, it rang a third time and I said, 'Roy, maybe you better pick it up. It could be an emergency.'"
Little did Hartnett know, he was right. The call ended up being from one of Hurd's neighbors telling him his house was on fire.
"It was just terrible," Hartnett said of the news.
Not long after, Hartnett rallied many of Hurd's musician friends to put together a concert for Hurd and his wife, both to entertain them and to help them raise money for any things they may need that their insurance doesn't cover.
"I just felt, with Roy being a musician, it was only fitting the music community pull together to do a benefit concert," said Hartnett.
It didn't take long for more than a dozen acts to come together.
"It's just indicative of the love people have for Roy," said Hartnett. "The great thing is it's not going to be just a benefit, it's going to be a reunion bringing together all of Roy's friends from over the years."
Hurd said he was touched when he learned so many people plan to turn out to offer their support.
"I've written and sing songs about the unique beauty of this region and the people around here for decades," said Hurd, "but, to be on the receiving end of such kindness and such support is overwhelming."
The benefit concert will be held this Sunday, Sept. 26, at the Krazy Horse Saloon, 14 Margaret St., this Sunday beginning at 12 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by the Blind Pig Blues Band, Celia Evans, Crossing North, Eat. Sleep. Funk., Eileen Egan Mack, Howard Jennings, Junior Barber, Lady Luck, Lucky Boyz, Mark Elliott, Mike Kennedy, Natalie Ward Band, Speedy Arnold, Strictly Sunday, Vince Consoli, and Zip City Blues Band with Chas Eller. Hurd will also perform at the event with Meadow Merry.
The event will include a silent auction. Refreshments will be served. The cost is a $10 donation at the door for adults and $5 for children.
Those interested in donating items toward the silent auction may contact Bill Betts at 561-5395. Donations of food for the event may be arranged through Lynn Schneider by calling 578-2807.
Hartnett may be reached at 645-5321 for more information or for those wishing to volunteer at the event. Those unable to attend the benefit may still send donations in care of Hurd to 9 Station Road, Saranac Lake, N.Y. 12983.