A Good Day!

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Written few years ago now, but the sentiment is the same…

October 18, 2014 

 How do you write about meeting a lifelong idol? How do you write about a 2 minute meet with someone larger than life itself?

Everyone knows, as of late I’ve had some tough days… REALLY tough days! But yesterday was different…

It actually started Thursday night / Friday morning. Most of you may know the hours I work, which means I wake up to get ready for work everyday at midnight. I know at least Wendy knows a little of what this like… Not saying it’s harder than anyone else, it’s all relative. And actually there’s a lot about it that is not only easier than the way others start their days, but also, there’s often a strange beauty to it. But we do see, and encounter things that are so varied, that your whole day often becomes one big variable. You witness the calm of the world, without one certain animal’s behaviors, and then watch the chaos it makes of the world, when that animal awakens to disturb it.

But yesterday was different, almost unnoticeable at first… I found myself waking up before 11 PM Thursday night, with an incredible anxiousness. Not unusual for me, with what my work has done to my own sense of peace as of late. Tried to sleep until the midnight alarm, but no… After several 2 minute long intervals of checking to see if it was 12 yet, I got out of bed, shut off the alarm, and proceed about my morning (night to the rest of you, but literally after midnight is considered morning). After making breakfast and lunch, I got my day started, headed off to work a little early… But before I could leave I noticed Mary parked the truck to close to the car, and there was no way I could get my fat ass in there. My work keys have keys to the truck so I just moved the truck…. However, these were not “MY” set of keys. Whoa! They were Mary’s! I had all the keys in our house in my pocket. Good luck that Mary parked so close, or else I would have the house and her with no keys to get to work herself… Is today a lucky day? Just stop, you don’t have lucky days silly!

The day started off with no drama, no fanfare, no real concerns. This is not typical by the way. Again, not much to notice at the time, other than, “this might be a decent Friday”. My load was good, paperwork was done, my pallet jack was finally back after being MIA for a week, all problems fixed, No garbage in my truck from the previous driver, Load was correct and proper order, dispatcher’s said good morning, my pen even had ink… These very small things in life are greatly appreciated by some of us.

Traffic was Friday “light”er than normal. Got to the city, everything went great. In and out in less than an hour. 2nd stop in Berkeley, even got there early enough to get the dock before other trucks arrived; fresh coffee waiting upstairs… 3rd stop, quick and easy, receiver even took the time to let me know how much he appreciates my work… Done with my Friday’s work by 8:00 AM! That’s awesome… Now just drive back, and hopefully punch out without any discourse from management, who for whatever reason seems to be addicted to discourse. Wow, not even traffic going over the Dublin grade into the 580/680 intersection… Good stuff…

Out of work before 10:30 AM, and home before 1130. Now I find out my wife Mary actually CAN go with me today. Starting to notice the little things that are making this a pretty special day. Camera charged-check, Wallet-check Shit I don’t need anything else let’s go!

Wow we even had enough gas to get to Bart, and a parking place right out front. Got our tickets, walked up the stairs and right onto the waiting train. In the city, downtown Embarcadero plaza, in less than tow hours from Oakdale! That’s fucking cool!

It’s a beautiful day! Mary and I took a leisurely stroll over to the Ferry Building, where within a few hours, I was about to shake hands with maybe one of the most inspiring and influential people in my lifetime. We were early, 3:45 PM for a 6:00 signing, and neither of us had eaten much all day. I ate my lunch at 5:00 Am, and Mary only had a small breakfast at 8. So we decided to get what had to be the best cheese sandwiches in the entire world, as it cost $25, for 2 cheese sandwiches and some water. Again, don’t be upset at the price, It’s my lucky day to have had “The Best Cheese in the Entire World” for only $25.00, right? And the best service in the world only took a half hour to make the sandwiches and serve… Right now, I am so excited and even a little anxious at just how great my day has been and the incredible (for me at least) good fortune I’ve had so far…

After we eat, we decide to go ahead and wait in line. It’s only 5:00, by now I’m going on 16 hours, and getting a bit sleepy, but still anxious. Talked to a really great guy in line with us, who has been to quite a few signings, from what he had to tell us, He told us stories of how he Knows and has taken lessons from Joe Satriani, how he has met “Sammy” a few times, at a signing and while taking lessons from Joe Satriani at Sammy’s studio in San Rafael. He was truly a huge Hagar fan. He told about and showed us pictures of his Satriani signed guitar, and his Montrose signed guitar… All of the sudden I started to feel like I was on the set of “Wayne’s World”. You see, I may be the most UN- musically inclined person on the planet. I started to think “I’M NOT WORTHY!”, but you know what, I’m cool, I can do this…

Then someone in line noticed a big black, Suburban type 4 wheel drive, limo pull up on the pier, and park about a 100 feet from the line of people waiting… You could feel the crowd take the air out of the surround with a huge confluence of gasping from a hundred or so people… And then it happened!

A man, maybe not even 5’-5” tall got out, and stopped to shake hands with security, and a few other paid personnel. This man’s presence was huge! Bigger than “just” a Rock Star! Bigger than “just” a movie star. But all the while, with an aura of humility that makes him who and what he has always been. It’s a cross section of the most real personality, of an entertainer the world may ever know, mixed with a sense of understanding who he is, to both fans and his family. At 64 years old, never getting ahead of that, always aware, always grateful, never taking anything for granted… The man exudes graciousness and gentleman like characteristics, and at the same time, is as blue collar as they come. I have a new belief in life, that although some people have an extreme amount of “class” without a doubt, it’s a precious few of those people who have character. And the same goes in reverse. I don’t put a lot of salt in class anymore. I’ve been let down by it so often, that it’s almost an oxymoron. But when a man has both, so evenly distributed, it’s an amazing thing to be in the presence of.

As we got closer taking a few pictures, I just then started to feel that nervosa of being “Star Struck”, will anything that comes out of my mouth make any sense at all? Will I forget everything I wanted to say? Will they let me say anything at all? Will they think the envelope I was carrying might be some kind of terrorist chemical weapon, and make us all hit the floor and put me in cuffs and take me away by S.W.A.T. in front of this man?

As I got closer, I felt like that 16 year old “gaunt” kid again… I WAS THAT KID AGAIN! I watched Joe’s gracious mannerisms to adoring fans. I so did not want to be one those fans wanting a superficial moment, for my own satisfaction. I so did not want to trip and fall on the floor. I checked my shoe laces, sweating with anxiety, as I got closer, all the while feeling like a 5 year old on my 1st roller coaster, I watched Steve have a short but what seemed to be a welcome conversation with Joe, undoubtedly about his signed guitars. Joe seemed genuinely interested in what Steve had to say, although to me… all I heard was the teacher in a Charlie Brown cartoon. “John”, Joe’s handler asks me to come up, but I needed to keep my composure. I asked John if I could give Joe a little gift. John looked at me with an almost surprised look, and said “yeah, why not?” Steve was having a moment that kept Joe’s interest, so even though John was doing his best to keep the herd moving, I had to stop and respect…

When it came to mine, and Mary’s turn, it was all about composure…I looked Joe in the eye, as he looked me straight in the eye, and I thanked him, not for music, not yet at least, but thanked him for coming… for all of us… and welcomed him, and his wife to our beautiful city, (although Billie was not there). I got that very subtle Joe Perry smile. I couldn’t help but think, I may have been the first, at least at this event, to actually say that… maybe not, but I like to think so. I then handed him an envelope, with a brief letter I wrote, along with a few of my “Top 100” writings, but open from the envelope was a picture… A picture not unlike millions of others in this world, nothing extraordinary, other than the meaning of it, and the lyrics on it…

I said to Joe; “you wrote this song many, many years ago.
Although I know, a little too well, what the lyrics meant when they were written, they mean something entirely different today… He looked at the picture and his eyebrows rose, as if it actually was appreciated. As if the meaning of the once such dark lyric could mean light… I told him that it was a place just outside of Yosemite, that my daughter Natalie and my wife Mary go to on hikes, and told him how much that one lyric means to me… He just raised those e eyebrows and said “wow”, I hear someone say “it was beautiful”, maybe John, I really don’t know. But again, I like to think I made an impression. John asked me what else was in the envelope. I told him it was a letter to Joe, of things I wanted to say, but didn’t have time for, and some of my impressions of a few songs. I shook his hand again, I think a few more times, said thanks at least 2 more times… Took a picture… started to put my arm on his shoulder and thought to myself, “You can’t do that! That’s Joe “Fucking” Perry!” Joe put his arms around Mary and I both, and took a few pics. I left telling him closely that his wife shares her very unusual female first name with my mother…

I didn’t get a chance, or maybe just plain forgot in all my giddiness to ask him how his hands were feeling… I didn’t get a chance to tell him that I was right there with them almost parallel, although on a much lower level, from start to finish… I didn’t get a chance to tell him I was rooting for FVB all the way, and was quite upset when they lost, and even wanted my money back…

It’s probably a “lucky” thing I forgot those things…

That was a good day.

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Published by

BrotherSpike80

I am a man of simple means. My family is what's important to me. My family and my 3 girls mean more to than the sun! If you ask me what I think, I will tell you straight! So don't ask if you don't wanna know. I like people who are real and don't like those who aren't. You'll know where you fit with me pretty quick. I give most everyone the benefit of the doubt, at least until they prove me wrong. I've lived most my life like there was no tomorrow, at least until my daughters were born, and then even a bit after. By the way; That is NOT good advice... just a statement. I don't believe in "Halfway" Why put on the skis if you're not gonna at least try the face? But I also believe that there is more than Black and White. I believe in where I came from, I don't believe what I went through was ALL worth it! I believe in doing the right thing, more than doing what's right! I believe in "true" friendship, I also know that 99% of them aren't true. I will live a happy life and die a complete man if my kids learn from my mistakes.