Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Minding My Own Business

After approximately 30 years I found myself back in the Printers Alley area of Nashville. Me, the Hubs and Step Daughter were taking in the sights which include shopping for them and for me…looking for a bar so I could watch the Michigan State UConn basketball game.

We walked by a bar that looked promising, small with a smattering of customers seated at the bar watching the game. It beckoned me to belly up to the bar. I ordered a Blue Moon. The bartender warned me he did not have orange slices, but he had poured a touch of OJ in … and he nodded towards the gentleman sitting to my left….his, he could do the same for me.

Well okay. I’m actually not picky about fruit in my beer.

I moved over next to the fellow Blue Moon drinker to get a better view of the game on the TV behind the bar…....Just Minding My Own Business….

“Who are you pulling for?” Mr. Blue Moon asked.

“UofL…unfortunately” (I must be one of the few people, outside of Louisville, who refers to the University of Louisville as UofL)…

He frowned and shook his head, “Louisiana?” (LSU!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hell NO!!!) “Oh, Louisville!”

For the next hour or so I learned everything there is to know about Mr. Blue Moon. The most important thing is that his wife was sitting right next to him! Along with his SIL and maybe his wife’s brother. They drive a Chinook, class B vehicle, they travel every week end, they are from Michigan, he searches for wild flowers, and rocks, they go everywhere, they are going to Memphis next, they married in 1975, he was a social worker first got into education after 10 years, wish he’d done it sooner, wife retired two years ago, he could have too if he’d done it sooner….

Joe comes in with Step Daughter, drinks the end of my Blue Moon introduce him to “Jerry” and they leave to shop some more.

……going to the Grand Canyon, have grand kids, love micro breweries, going to write a coffee table book when retire, Coach Calipari will be good for Kentucky, did his post-graduate studying at Michigan State, go to Canada not Mexico though he heard you can live like a king for $1000 a month, the stock market is killing him, they love karaoke, his BIL is a musician and plays the up right bass, they got right on the Ryman Auditorium and sang, stood right where Johnnie Cash stood, got others to come up on stage and sing with them …….

Michigan State wins!!! They stood up and shouted out the Michigan State Fight Song, then a hardy cheer followed by more shouts. It was great!

“Was that too much? He asked me.

“ Hell no, I’m a Kentucky fan.” I had a brief flash back of running wild in the streets of Lexington one night after a monumental win. I recalled waiting at the Blue Grass Airport late at night to welcome the team home AFTER THEY LOST in 1992 (the famous Duke buzzer beater, damn that Christian Laettner). So the four of them shouting singing and prancing around in a Nashville bar in Printers Alley after their team earned a spot in the Last Dance was not a breach of etiquette but fully expected. In Tennessee, we all understood.

They left, to go to a Karaoke bar.

Joe and Step Daughter arrive to collect me.

“He was a trip”, I commented to Joe, “You know, if we lived closer to each other we could be best friends! Too bad.”

“Life is a bitch.”

(Jerry, sorry that UNC squashed you last night, like y'all squashed Louisville. I know how much it sucks).


Chris said...

Sorry Jer.....I can't say I'm sorry that my 'heels did so well, but after our spanking by Kansas last year, well, ya know:)

Loved this post. Alexis and I shared a picnic table with a guy last week for lunch and talked with him the whole time. We had a great conversation and by the end learned he was "between homes" and had two stays at the local mental health hospital. It amazes me how people will open up to you when you speak to them person to person. It's a shame what we miss when passing by strangers.

gigi said...

What fun! One of our favorite things to do when we travel is to stop for a pint or two at the most colorful local tavern we see. We've learned more about the people and places we visit, not to mention have more fun, than from all the museums and tour guides in town. I discovered the pleasures of Blue Moon (with orange!) in a college brew pub in Milwaukee. If I'm ever in...well, wherever you are going to be, I'd love to join you in a jar. Or two... ;D

Lori said...

Oh I LOVE this entry! I'm so glad you were kept entertained while you watched the game. (I SO remember that triple overtime KY/Duke game!!!)