Friday, March 23, 2007

What a Pal!

Our good friends and neighbors, Tom & Wendy, moved last weekend. Tom had made several trips to eastern Ohio with his 22' trailer, and he had one more load plus a 17' U-Haul left to move. I offered to drive the U-Haul and we left really early last Friday morning for New Waterford OH, which is just outside, Columbiana, which is about 20 miles south of Youngstown. Both Tom and Wendy grew up in the Youngstown area, and despite that, are really nice people who have a firm grip on reality and a plan for the future.

After spending all day Friday on the road, and all day Saturday unloading furniture and possessions at various storage units and homes in the area, Tom drove me up to Mineral Ridge, the town where he grew up. He gave me the 25 cent tour and then we pulled into the Ice House, a bar in Austintown (right next to Mineral Ridge). Tom told me that they had really good chicken wings, and he was buying the Crown Royal.

I'm 44 years old and a child of the seventies. When I stepped into the bar, it was like walking right into Ft Wayne in 1977. I had the shortest haircut in the bar. Until 10:30, there were no attractive women. It was St Patrick's Day, and the bar was hopping...although I was told that it was always this crowded. Lots of regulars, which I like. A 70-80's cover band opened at 10pm, (with Prince's "Let's Go Crazy") and played lots of Journey, 867-5309 Jenny, some Cars, etc, and to be honest, they were quite good. The guitarists had the long hair going, and the bass player was 300 pounds with short hair and a Mike Reno bandana. Tom knew the drummer from back in high school.

Sure, it was lame compared to the Chicago or Austin live music scenes, but I was in heaven. Well, except for the lack of cute girls, anyway. I was amazed at all the long hair on the men. What kind of job lets you have this kind of hair? Granted, I'm VERY conservative hair-wise. I'm fortunate to have more than most 44 year olds, although I have some forehead creep. But all in all, it's a good head of hair.

We drank quite a bit, but I was too tired to feel intoxicated. At one point, Tom asked me what time it was, and was really sad to hear "8:40pm". We were really dragging from moving furniture. Pianos are stinkin' heavy. Our goal was to see the band's opening set, which we did. I had a dozen really hot and really good chicken wings, and had a nice time.

On the way home, Tom asked me how I liked the bar. I told him it was a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. He agreed. He moved with his family to Florida when he was 17, and has seen a lot of the world in the last 23 years. Much different from the usuals at the Ice House.

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