Good thing he got stood up!

So, its Wednesday night, Michelle is asleep and I am just back from dinner at my mom’s with the Manchild.  Traffic sucked ass heading south after work! (You’d think people in Seattle could drive in the rain!) As always moms food was great, my step-dad Doug made me laugh more than once and Manchild and I had a great night.

When I got back, I poured a glass of wine, and started streaming Jimmy Buffett on the Amazon Echo. I got to a song I love (One Particular Harbor) and all reading stopped until it was over.  In fact that song once inspired its own blog post 

As it was playing, I remembered how I became a Parrothead…

It all started back in the early 90s when Dave, Scott Rob and I were members of the Chaos Softball team

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At the time Dave was single

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as was a very cute and fun girl on the team Kimmie.  We guys kept telling Dave he should ask her out, but being the overly shy individual and not very experienced with women, he took some convincing.

Editors Note: The man is gonna kick my ass for that last part! But hey, its my blog so I can stretch the truth from time to time….

Well, in 1992, Jimmy Buffett was coming to the Gorge in George (no really that’s the name of the town) Washington. It is an incredible place to see a concert

Eastern Washington, Gorge, Dave Matthews Eastern Washington, Gorge, Dave Matthews Eastern Washington, Gorge, Dave Matthews, sun down

Dave had been a Buffett fan for years. He, some of the people from the team and some others he knew were going to go camping along the Columbia River and go to the concert. He finally listened to us, and asked her to join him. She readily agreed! He, and the rest of us, were very happy!

Funny thing though, as the time came closer for the concert, Kimmie stopped returning his calls. We never found out why, but when it came to the day before leaving for Eastern Washington, he still hadn’t heard from her.  In essence, he got ditched.

Well, he had an extra ticket, and being one of the Men of Strohs, we HATE to waste things like that. So out of the blue, I got a call asking if I wanted to go.

I remember thinking.  Hmmm…  I only know one song, Margarittaville. BUT there would be beer, camping, waterskiing AND a free concert.  YEP! I’m in!

The camping, beer and waterskiing were a blast. I couldn’t have asked for a better camping trip.

Then came the time for the concert.  Folks, it helps to have the right friends. Before we got anywhere near the Gorge itself, we met in the ‘warroom’ for our plan of attack.  We were still young then, so we had two goals.  Good places to sit, and sneak in booze!

We came up with the following:

  1. Dave’s sister would place under her shirt a bladder to hold the tequila (much like a camel back). This made her look a bit pregnant.
  2. She and her friend would enter first, and go long in search of the primo seats. Our theory was pregnant chicks would NOT be searched! Who knew we were correct.
  3. Dave and I would carry a big cooler of ice, food and mixer, and be subject to a search. (we passed with flying colors!)
  4. Once inside, Dave’s sister would hold the spot and the friend would come find us and lead us to her.

You know something? It worked like a charm! We had seats right in the middle, as close as you could get without having reserved seats.  Soon we were sipping margaritas and waiting for the concert.

When the concert started, it was accented by lightning in the distance, sometimes sending chills down my spine. The man started singing, and more than any other performer, his music started to touch me. Then it happened, the song that made me a Parrothead

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He sang God’s Own Drunk (and a fearless man). I was hooked and have remained so for the last 30+ years. I don’t know what it is about tJimmy, but no matter how bad my life is, how much stress I have had, or stuff I need to work through, playing a Buffett medley makes it better.

I have been to 3 different Margarittaville restaurants, including the original in Key West, my iTunes playlist has more of his songs than any other. Surprisingly, I’ve only been to one other concert since the first one.

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Trust me Jimmy Buffett is there somewhere!

Trust me Jimmy Buffett is there somewhere!

No one else could make it, but I was there with 10000 of my best friends! That smile you see never left my face. For 3 hours, the world and its problems ceased to exist, I was a happy man.

In the last 30 years, I can’t tell you how many hours of enjoyment this man has given me. I’ve eaten and drank at his places

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I’ve read his books and listened to his music. Each year I check to see if he is coming to town and I fear he will retire before I can see him in concert again. (In fact I need to check the 2016 concert dates)

If I ever run into Kimmie, I will need to thank her.  Had she not ditched Dave, I would not have gone to the concert, and I might’ve ended up (shudder) a Milli Vanilli or Nickleback fan.

But because she did, I found an artist who has made me happy and will keep making me happy for years to come!

Long live Parrotheads!

 

 

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