5.21.2006

Long Post!

Long Post!

It was pretty killer week. Tracy and I went to catch a sold-out George Clinton at The Showbox on Tuesday. T. bought the tickets. She'd seen the Black Eyed Peas the night before!
The opening act, The Children of Production was pretty tight. Funk and rap with a bit of R&B. Turned out that one of the female rappers is Clinton's granddaughter. After their set, Clinton's band came on and got the crowd hyped, then the Man Hisself appeared and everyone went nuts.
I think everyone was a bit concerned at first, 'cause it's been rumored the George hasn't been doing too well lately. I was disappointed by his appearance at Bumbershoot a few years ago. He looked like he'd just gotten up from a nap! But as the night went on, he seemed to get more and more energized! They pretty much stuck to the hits and the packed, sweaty, dancing crowd loved it!
Me? Not so much. I dunno why, but it seemed like they played everything at 3/4 speed, which was fine for some songs, not so good for some others. "Flashlight" seemed to drag on FOR-EVER!
I'd had a long day, so I was ready to go by midnight...and Tracy actually had to work! So we bailed before the show was over.

On Thursday, Frito and I went to The Baltic Room to catch Domu at The Baltic Room. It was sparsely attended, but the SunTzu posse stepped things up a bit and Domu's set was pretty killer.

On Friday, Tracy and I bought ice cream and stayed in.

On Saturday, I went over to Stu and Rachel's to meet Rachel's parents. Suze, Tyrone, Neil and I were all there and we had a pretty good time. Tracy met me there on her new motorcycle, "Muzzy" and she and I went on a 40 mile ride around the city. T was such a little badass on her Ninja. That aftermarket muffler makes the coolest sound!
Later on, we went down the Baltic to hang out. SunTzu and Kid Hops (from KEXP) were spinning. I had a nice buzz on from the coconut rum and coke I'd been drinking at Tracy's, plus a couple of vodka collins at the bar.
However, upon leaving, I insisted on a Dick's run which resulted in me wolfing down three cheeseburgers and thus spending the day feeling like I'd swallowed a rock.

Today, I went a reunion of sorts.

You see, back in 1979 Seattle started mandatory bussing. I got assigned to McClure Middle School on Queen Anne Hill. The first year the tension was pretty intense. A lot of the Queen Anne kids were pissed that they wouldn't get to go to Queen Anne High School (where my cousin June got harrassed) like their parents and grandparents did 'cause after 9th grade, they'd get bussed to Franklin out in the south end. I think we were too young and innocent to carry any super-hardcore attitudes, after all, I went to school with whites and Asians anyway. But these north end kids were way more affluent. They had their own slang and rock n roll seemed like a religion to them. Nobody from my neighborhood skiied or played hockey. And Queen Anne was a pretty tightly-knit community, although WAY more blue-collar than it is now.
So there were the usual fights and bullshit, but nothing major. Anyway, Jim Briggs and I got to pals on the last day of school that year. It was like fourth period and we were allowed to hang out and shoot the shit, 'cause there was no work to do. I don't remember how we started talking, but I remember trying to change the lyrics to Jermaine Jackson's 'Let's Get Serious' to 'Let's Eat Cereral' or something silly like that.
I think Jim's father died in a car wreck some time after that. I might have seem him once over the summer. I went to visit my Dad in Atlanta that year.
We carried on our friendship throughout jr. high school. In ninth grade, Jim and I would leave campus (totally against the rules) and he would take me up to this little five and dime on Galer St. on Queen Anne Hill. He'd buy me a Hostess Fruit Pie and milk 'cause I never had any money.
Don Nelson was a gruff old Norwegian guy, OLD SCHOOL SEATTLE, big time. He was bald and wore plain black-framed nerd glasses. He and his brother Fred ran Nelson's Food Store and for some reason, all the kids in the neighborhood would hang out there. It was like our club house! We'd play video games in the back, or hang out in Don's office, drinking bottled Coke and causing trouble. For some reason, Don would put up with us! Well, most of the time. It was a love/hate relationship, I think.
I moved away for two years, but on coming back to town in the summer of 1984, Nelson's was one of the first places I went. Of course all the heads were there: Rick, Andy, Paul, Gary, Brian, The Devil, Eric, Chris, Jimmy, Bret and Adam, etc. along with a whole cast of people from the neighborhood. I hung out there up until Jim went into the Marines. By then, the crowd I was hanging with had changed.
Anyway, Don Nelson died a few weeks ago. I missed the funeral, but Andy wrote me and asked me if I'd like to get together with some of the guys and have breakfast.
We met at the High-Life in Ballard.
It was Andy, Paul, Jim and Jimmy - I don't think we'd all been together in over 20 years! It was weird, 'cause amidst all the thinning and gray hair and talk of wives and kids and the shit we used to pull during our teen years, I was floored by all the names that came up -- and that we'd hadn't really changed much at all. All the people I knew. I'd gone camping and drinkin' and played endless games of basketball with these guys. I hadn't thought about Don Nelson in all that time, either.
We piled into Andy's ancient Cadillac DeVille and rolled out to Don's grave in north Seattle. His headstone wasn't in yet, but we paid our respects (mostly imitating things he'd said) and then went to see Eric, who lives nearby. I carried a weird feeling home with me today. How long until I start going to my friend's funerals? I hope it won't be for awhile (especially since we're now on the second wave of marriages and childbirths), but it's enevitable, innit?

I think we'll all make more of an effort to keep in touch now.

1 comment:

nishu said...

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