Blair Christopher Polk, 44 June 15, 1969 – May 26, 2014

Blair christpher polk

Blair Christopher Polk, 44
June 15, 1969 – May 26, 2014

1969 was a momentous year in history. In addition to the Moon landing and Woodstock, another major event took place, albeit a little less heralded. The event was the birth of Blair Christopher to his loving father Joe Polk who was then residing at the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. It was at the AFB hospital that Blair was born.

After getting his MBA, Joe Polk obtained a position with the Xerox Corporation in Dallas, Texas, where he and Blair set up a new home. After spending two years in Dallas, the small family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, to open a new branch and was Joe was promoted to Branch Control Manager only later to start his own investment company when Blair was still a small boy.

At approximately 8-9 years old Blair studied piano, as he had such a deep appreciation for music of all genres. But according to his Dad, Blair was a little lazy, didn’t want to practice and, although extremely talented, ultimately gave up playing forever.

Blair and his dad Joe lived together for 34 years, since he was a 10-year-old boy. Blair developed schizophrenic symptoms early in life.

“They grew progressively worse as he grew older,” Joe said. “Although he received good professional care, the treatment and medications were not effective. Every waking moment he heard voices that told him he was an evil person who should cut himself and kill himself.”
joe polk and Blair

Miraculously, Blair remained a kind and gentle soul who “was always concerned about my welfare and the welfare of others,” according to his father Joe. “It is impossible to imagine the mental pain Blair suffered throughout his life.”
Blair joined the Air Force in 1981 at age 19. He made it through basic training but later separated from the Air Force at the request of Mental Health Services.

After years of struggling, Blair with diagnosed Paranoid Schizophrenia. Joe began to do extensive research on the medical facilities available around the country and decided that Arcadia, California, might offer some better answers for his son’s condition — and perhaps even some hope.

After being in and out of mental health care facilities all his life, Blair spent last October in no fewer than seven different facilities trying a kind of “hit and miss” approach with medicines to treat a complex condition that so few understand and that so deeply wounded Blair’s every waking moment.

Blair was well-liked in the local music community and often attended local jazz shows in Pasadena and Los Angeles. His all-time favorite band was Motorhead, which his dad braved at a concert a couple of years ago, much to the detriment of his eardrums. Blair was also fond of the band KISS.

As Blair’s primary interest was music, he often visited First Cabin in Arcadia and listened to Pat O’Brien and the Priests of Love. Blair became good friends with many of the musicians who appeared locally and especially drummer, Jimmy Volpe. Blair was also very fond of the local jazz musicians, especially Leila Avila.

Blair’s father said, in closing, “Blair’s condition deteriorated further into paranoia and thought his medications were placebos because they were not helping him. He handled his illness better than I ever could. He will continue to inspire me and give me the strength to continue my life. Blair is my hero. I love you, Blair.”
Blair Christopher Polk was found dead in the early morning on Memorial Day after his father had filed a missing persons report with Arcadia Police 36 hours earlier. No foul play was indicated and the Coroner has yet to determine the cause of death. Blair was 44 years old.

Blair Polk is survived by his father, Joe, and an uncle, Don, in Santa Barbara. His father Joe Polk suggests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a mental health facility of your choice to help others who are so terribly afflicted by this disease for which there is enormous stigma, misunderstanding and no identified cure.

Blair will be missed by many but especially those closest to him, which included his extended family at Arcadia Weekly, where his dad Joe was circulation manager for many years. We extend our sincerest, heartfelt condolences to Joe Polk during this extremely challenging time.

June 2, 2014

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3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Blair Christopher Polk, 44 June 15, 1969 – May 26, 2014”

  1. Tae Suh says:

    I am heartbroken to hear this news cause I am a friend of Blair also with mental health issues. I met him in La Casa back in 1991 and we became friends since. He was a kind and gentle soul. Blair and I used to joke around a lot and he was there for me when I needed a friend. Blair you are in a better place and may you never have to suffer again. R.I.P buddy. Love ya lots. My condolences to his father, Joe and all who is close to him. There will never be another, Blair.

  2. Janet says:

    I sure hope this isn’t the Blair I was in love with. I met him at River Community. He was such a loving, gentle, kind soul. I hoped somehow that I could show him that I would love him through thick or thin but he knew his illness better than I did. It’s been over 20 years since I’ve seen him but he always would pop into my head. Today I decided to look him up only to discover I’m to late. I was jus looking at pictures of you and me last week. I’m so sorry for your loss Joe. I know you always had Blair’s best interest at heart and loved him with all your heart. You two definitely knew how to keep a refrigerator full. I feel blessed and lucky to have known and loved Blair.

    • Terry Miller says:

      Janet: Thanks for your comment. Yes, sadly it was Blair. Also, for your information Joe passed away last year also.
      Very sad, he was a good friend of this newspaper and myself! They’ll both be missed:

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