Parker and Ellis

Parker and Ellis

Written and Performed by Sophie Needelman

In Honor of Aaron Carl Commerson


Parker and Ellis.









These names you were given as you bore

Weight to your mother’s womb

Carry weight of the generations that came before you.

You carry your family’s legacy in your genes, your DNA,

But even more so in the way

and the people by whom you are raised.

-The people crazed

with sharing your lives with the world.

That where this story begins

Because while I had heard wonders about the man

You could find in the lobby of a dance show

By the silvery white hair adorning his head

I instead only first got to know this man

when he became your father.


The first time I met him

Your dad was lounging in an arm chair in front of the TV watching a game,

A true football fan and Midwest man.

There were baby toys spewed about the living room but

he was completely unphased;

to him, fatherhood was something so innate.

After a night of going out and being in love,

your parents returned home to me sitting on their couch

stressing out

about something so trivial as my high-school uncertainty.

By calmly offering to take a look at my

college apps, lists, charts and essays, your father did nothing less than

validate me completely.

He had only really just met me but already

had so many insights into where I should end up,

what I should aim for,

what I should expect,

who I should be.


And more than anything, I can tell you

that your parents made a great team.

Before every dance performance your mom would say

“yep, Aaron’s gonna be there

-but DON’T call him Mr. Yates, that isn’t his name!!”.

The truth is, despite- or because of-

their strong personalities and independent spirits,

They supported eachother and completed eachother

with the wholes of their hearts.

So, no matter how many times Tracy warned us

about calling him “Mr. Yates”,

you could tell your dad never really did mind.


The love of the game, the loyalty, that head of hair, and those

ever-piercing eyes

-These elements of your father don’t have to be

looked back upon in photo albums or as memories.

Parker and Ellis, to find them, simply take a look in the mirror.

He is as much in you

as his is around you and watching over you. May you

feel his presence in your life as strong and as powerful

as that gaze of his was, because now

it is no longer contained to just one set of eyes.




Aaron: enlightened

Carl: man

Commerson: son of Gayle and Hal.

Aaron: mountainous

Carl: free

Commerson: brother of Ryan and Katy

Aaron: strong

Carl: warrior

Commerson: loving husband of Tracy

Aaron Carl Commerson

Most importantly: father of Parker and Ellis.