I had so many terrific experiences along the way that I couldn’t possibly tell them all. So here are just a few of my favorites.
The Boys In The Band
When I went to visit my college roommate, Shelli Soble and her awesome husband, Kal Klass in Marblemount, WA, it was so remote that even GPS said, “Screw it. You are on your own, road trip boy.” I finally found their place and I had just started catching up when I noticed a nice looking young man standing in their front yard. Somewhat perplexed, Shelli went out to see it was. It turns out that the man was Shelli’s neighbor, John Boyd who was doing his version of “neighborhood watch” to make sure everyone’s place was okay.
John came in for a chat and started telling us that he was playing in a band called Jumbled Pie. He explained that two Doctors who played in the band had volunteered their barn for practice sessions. I’m like, “hmmmm…an Americana, R & B, Cajun and Zydeco band practicing in a remote barn? Now you have my full attention.” John then asked Shelli if she remembered the band’s lead singer, Linda? Well, as it turns out, he explained, Linda has undergone gender transition and he is now Linden Jordan. And all that wasn’t a really big deal for anyone in the band except for the fact that they had to rearrange the music to account for Linden’s deeper voice.
Now I’m like, “Wait. What? Where are you guys playing? I gotta see this!” And to my pleasant surprise, they were playing close by that weekend at the Marblemount Community Hall. So Shelli, Kal and I went to hear them and they were very entertaining. Afterwards, I shot photos of the band (pictured above) so they could use them for their promotion – and so I could tell this story to you.
When Sara and Jake Simon invited me to visit them in their place in San Louis Obisbo, California we planned a jam packed day. We started with lunch at the Urbane Café, followed by a photo shoot for them (see their beautiful faces here) and dinner at the Firestone Grill. But the part I left out in telling the story was that these two young lovebirds were practically newlyweds – which was awesome – but their home was the size of a shoe box – which was concerning. Well, bedtime came and they set up the pull out bed. It was about four feet away from the honeymooner’s bed and all that separated us was a thin tapestry. So after “good nights” were said and I began to drift off, all I could remember was praying, “Lord, please don’t let me hear any bodily functions tonight. Amen.” I am happy to say that my prayer was answered and we all awoke fresh and ready for the morning. However, as you will see in the next story, I wasn’t always that lucky.
What A Bunch Of Animals
I travel so much that I don’t keep any pets. However, I really like dogs and absolutely love cats. So when I travel I’m always pleasantly surprised when I find out my hosts have pets. I have dedicated a few posts to them, so I’ll just mention a couple of cute stories here.
When I came to visit my lifelong friend Tim Warner in Gladwin, MI, he gave me a choice of sleeping on the main floor or in the basement. As any guy who’s ever grown up where the basement is the epicenter of your social universe – think That 70’s Show, Wayne’s World (Party on!), etc., I naturally picked the newly refinished basement. Tim said, Okay, but you will probably end up with two dogs and a cat sleeping with you down here. I thought, what the heck, the more the merrier. That was until those two snoring, snuffling, licking, and other assorted noise making dogs - and one purrr-ty terrific feline - began rotating in. Need-Les to say, their nocturnal cacophony was literally and figuratively a real wake up call for me. And had Zoey, Boudica and Sammy Warner (below) not been so cuddle worthy, I would have caved in and moved upstairs. But I didn’t.
I got to see my favorite cat in the world again on this trip when I was visiting my lifelong friend Debbie Sammons in Ortonville, MI. Reilly is about 10 years old and simply exudes charm. He’s the kind of cool, calm, handsome and friendly cat that can win over even the most feline avoiding people. And the fact that he greets me like I’m a returning conquering hero every time I see him continues to keep him in my number one spot (but please don’t tell the others because they can be…well….a little catty).
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