The Gods must be Drunk as Stuntmen
Crazy stuff going on in the Valley today. I arrived at work to find they cut down two trees in front of my office. Then they found a dead guy in his car in the parking lot behind Eastside Grill, the decrepit truck that's been hanging the Christmas lights on the remaining trees burst into flames and burned to a cinder and there was a gang murder in Greenfield. Geeez, between the crime and the chi-chi stores springing up all over the place, I barely recognize this town anymore.
It felt like old times on Sunday afternoon though. I went to the show at the Academy of Music and it was gorgeous. I met up with the girls, after having had a family dinner with them the night before, and we got there late enough to sit in the balcony, which I had never managed to do before in all these 14 years. It was so good to spend time with them and I was sad to say goodbye. However, as I predicted, there were more unexpected encounters in store.
On the way home, I ran into my dear friend and former best next door neighbor in the world, Jamie with his partner Carol, who often host the band at the Roadhouse
, and of course we all ended up at the celebration at Hugos - one time local dive now turned into destination of the young and hip. We stopped at my place on the way down. When we got there we found my new neighbor, who now lives in Jamie's old apartment, Natasha, was locked out. We brought her inside. Good thing she's from Manhattan because I think otherwise we would have scared her. It was a boisterous reunion and I believe I detected a politely suppressed wave of relief when her housemate came to rescue her.
We went on to Hugos. My association with the Stuntmen
goes a back aways. We ushered out the end of the Baystate Hotel era together, a long story better told at another time. Suffice it to say I love them like my own kids and I was proud to see how natural they looked in that big house. Somehow, (I suspect it was the early hour and the staid crowd) I managed to give every one of them a hug and got them to sign the program, along with Tall Girl, Rob Skelton, a fine musician in his own right, who was stagehanding and Gerry, my former co-bartender at the Baystate. They wrote some sweet stuff in it and I'm glad to have my own personal record of the event to take with me down the road.
I haven't been to Hugo's for well over a year. The most charming moment of the evening was when I discovered they still had the castle pinball machine. It was pretty tired and had developed some serious quirks but I played a couple of games with someone's kid who was probably about seven. He beat me the first time. We were really close both games and I had to play my best to win the second game. We both had fun.
It took a while to escape through the crowd after that but it was great to see so many too long absent friends, however briefly. It felt like closing a circle while marking the beginning of a new era. I left feeling good.