Tuesday, March 13, 2012

If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again. - Groucho Marx

Next month is the five-year anniversary of my time at the Boulder Outlook, and I’ve been thinking a lot about how my life story has taken paths I would have never predicted, leading me to the stories of so many others. Like a great book, great stories change the audience forever. Bells can’t be un-rung, and some stories’ rings echo in the heart and mind eternally.

Some of those stories can have me in tears of laughter at the recall. Like when Mike Zito told me about his first time both meeting and jamming with his guitar hero, Chris Cain. He said after about twenty minutes into a 45-minute jam with Chris, he thought to himself, “Damn! I’m holding my own up here with Chris Cain!” As they left the stage, Mike noticed Chris had a broken string, and asked, “When did you break your G string?” To which Chris replied, “About an hour ago.” Mike said he just sunk inside, thinking, “Chris Cain just kicked my ass all over the place with a broken G string.” While all that is sacred, tears are rolling down my face right now.

Speaking of Zito, he was here a couple of weeks ago, and we had our sacred 9:30 a.m. breakfast date. It’s become a tradition, so much so, that we don’t even bother confirming any more; we just both show up. Anyway, I told him what is one of my all-time favorites, and it involves Steve Spirn, guitarist and Tommy Castro’s former, long-time road manager/sound engineer, Jimmy Thackery, and an enveloped stuffed with cash. Coincidentally enough, this was told to me by Steve, also at breakfast. Here’s what happened (I have received permission from both parties to publish this):

It was the last day of a January Blues Cruise a few years ago, and Steve was on the upper deck fixing some sound issues when an administrator approached with his pay: an envelope with fourteen, one hundred dollar bills in it. She insisted he count it in front of her. Steve said he thought it was a bad idea given the amount of wind at sea, but he did, and then stuffed the envelope into his back pocket. Not long after, Tommy was going on stage, following Jimmy Thackery. Something was amiss with Tommy’s amp, so he called Steve over for an adjustment. Steve reached into his back pocket to retrieve his screwdriver. Do I need to tell you what happened? The envelope flew up in the air and disappeared before anyone could even track it visually.

It then became a case of all hands on deck, literally, as the crowd searched the deck. Alas, the money was gone, and it seemed evident that it was sleeping with the fishes (wow, two really bad cliches in as many sentences...I’m on a roll!). Now, obviously losing a week’s pay is bad enough, to make matters worse, Steve had already spent it. However, he chalked it up to life sometimes being rude.

Three months pass, and Steve is still recovering from the loss (we’ve all been there...). Then he receives a voice mail from Jimmy Thackery. He returned the call. It went like this (Steve sent me this, so these are his actual words):

SS: "Hey Jimmy it's Steve Spirn. Sorry I missed your call yesterday, what's up?

JT: “Hey Steve, how ya doin'?”

SS: "Pretty good Jim, how about you".

JT: "Can't complain. Say man I heard about your misfortune on the cruise. Do you mind if I ask you how much money that was?"

SS: "Fourteen 100 dollar bills".

JT: "How do you spell your last name?"

SS: "S-p-i-r-n"

JT: "Do you remember what cabin you were in?"

SS: "Geez Jimmy I don't know, 8000, 8001 I think, why?"

[ Dead silence for a couple of seconds.]

JT: "Steve Spirn, today's your lucky day. I just opened up the pedal board that I used on the cruise, which I haven't seen since we got off the boat, and found an envelope with fourteen 100 dollar bills laying in it, and I do believe it is yours."

SS: "Jimmy Thackery you are one honest man. Thank you so much! Wow you just made my day, shit my year!"

JT: "Hey we've been at this for too long to not look out for one another; besides your name was on the envelope".... big laugh.

SS: "Jimmy, this is so cool. It took me a while to get over losing that dough, because I had spent it before I got it, and it has been a struggle to recover. Jimmy you are a very cool dude."

I told that story (again over breakfast) to Bob Margolin, prefacing it with, “I have a great story for you,” to which he said at the conclusion, “You’re right. That is a great story.”

~Honey Bee Sepeda~

No comments:

Post a Comment