BY- DeoVonte “Deo” Means
……No more lying friends. Wanting tragic ends. Though they do pretend. They won’t go when I go…Gone from painful cries. Away from saddened eyes. Along with Him I’ll bide. And they won’t go when I go…
Last Thursday started off as every Thursday in the past has. Report to work…check e-mails, news reports and social media, then proceed to starting your day. Only thing is, this past Thursday was bit different. I was informed that my icon, mentor, brother and friend – Hicabee Milan- passed. At this point in life, my experience has afforded me to become numb to most news. I’ve also been labeled “a man of MANY words”; but this one left me devastated and at a loss for words. Hicabee legacy was not only solidified in ballroom, but he also left an enduring footprint in the everyday lives of those whom he called friend. I first met Hicabee years ago when I was a fresh, new talent walking fashion categories at Midwest balls. At this point, Hicabee was already a well-documented, respected and even feared talent in NYC. He could’ve easily looked down his nose at me or at least kept me at an arms distance due to our similar categories. But instead, he embraced me and we spent countless hours discussing trends, detailing, fab stores, current competitors and the art of innovative and flawless execution. I learned from him how to be shady on the runway but always give proper respect to competitors that are just as talented and brings it just as hard. This mindset bonded many of us across the country and I suppose we became an unofficial club/fraternity. Although many of us have since transitioned on to other adventures, Thursday was a testament to Hicabee’s legacy and far reaching touch. Tributes flooded social media transcending all demographics.
Hicabee unquestionably gained his legendary status in an era where it was only granted to a selected few and the rubric consisted of hard work, commitment, resilience and the ability to personify and revolutionize your craft. Yet, when he embraced social media, he also became an engaging and respected star on this platform as well. I fondly remember his many public post recalling legendary times of the past; spotlighting iconic moments and giving his perspective on contemporary trends. Hicabee was also privately very supportive of positive projects and accomplishments of his many friends. I recall several times receiving an inbox congratulating me on a story, outfit or the way I handled certain situations. I could speak for hours on the impact he had on many lives but it’s not my intent to write his biography. Oftentimes the figures in our community die and their names begin to fade and become a distant memory. My goal is to forever keep his flame alive. It’s been a week, and the reality has set in that my friend is really gone. Im not going to be sad. You’re finally at peace and reunited Tony. I can only imagine the great time you guys are once again enjoying together. “When I go; Where I’ll go, No one can keep me from my destiny”…… (Stevie Wonder, They Won’t Go When I go)