|Photo by Sarah Smith|
An unexpectedly long weekend, the company of a nice lady, first-to-finds on a couple of geocaches, lots of wine, an old dude making a bunch of racket, too many hamburgers, a migraine, a 40th high school reunion, and worn-out feet.
I knew it was going to be a whirlwind weekend before it started, but it ended up one of the most special weekends I've had in a long time.
Mum's automatic garage door had broken a couple of weeks ago, and I ended up having to take Friday off work to go to Martinsville and be there when the repairman came. I'd had trouble working with a company there in Martinsville, so a special hats off to Overhead Door Company of Greensboro, NC, who came promptly and fixed the door with no problem—a great relief to me after the ordeal I'd been through trying to get the work done.
A couple of weeks back, I had attempted to find a puzzle cache at Fairy Stone Park—"GinGin Learns About Fairy Stone State Park" (GC7CB40)—but the container had gone missing even before the listing was published. The cache owner disabled it and promised to have the cache back up and running in a few days. After the garage work was done on Friday morning, I decided to take a chance that the container was back in place and rode up to Fairy Stone again. This time, I was rewarded with a quick first-to-find, which was especially satisfying since I had devoted such a long time searching in vain on my previous trip there.
And Friday evening, it was off to the Songwriters' Showcase event at the Daily Grind in uptown Martinsville. Ms. Brugger came up after work from Greensboro and met me there, just in time to tear into a couple of DG's cheddar & bacon burgers, which, I swearz, may be the most fantastic burgers anywhere, certainly better than the burgers of highest repute here in Greensboro. There weren't many musicians on hand this time, so that meant we select few got to play more than the usual number of sets. Since the Martinsville High School Class of 1977 was having its 40th reunion this weekend, a number of old classmates were in town, and a couple stopped by to hear the racket (and as near as I can tell, they're still talking to me—thank you, Sarah Smith and Marcus Hall!). I was informed that a couple of other classmates of some musical renown—Mssrs. Rick Godbee and Rich Lawrence—would be playing guitar at Forest Park Country Club, where I spent much of my checkered youth. The hosts were kind enough to permit me to crash the party, and once again the old guitar came out and assaulted the sensibilities of quite a few classmates as well as some other innocent bystanders. I'm not sure this could have been any more fun.
Over the course of the evening, Ms. B. and I had enjoyed a spot of wine, but as we had eaten an early supper, by near midnight, we were feeling uncharacteristically ravenous. So, casting aside all feelings of guilt and/or good sense, we hauled ourselves up to the Burger King drive-thru and snagged a couple more burgers...plus french fries. And just for good measure, we went the short distance to the nearest trailhead of The Dick & Willie Rail Trail, on which I frequently hike/bike/geocache, to tear into these goodies whilst parked in our vehicle. Yes, for a couple of damn near elderly souls who are trying to make at least token efforts in the healthy eating department, this was evil and decadent and probably overkill in the burger department, but by Yog, it was good. Take that, heart health!
Furthering our decadent adventure, on Saturday morning, we returned to The Daily Grind for breakfast, where we ordered the much-needed coffee and a couple of egg & cheese breakfast croissants (mine featuring a guest appearance by sausage). To our surprise, these bastards were bigger than our heads, and we marveled at the horror of them, but we ate them, every bit of them, and they were good. Dammit.
And I'd do it again.
The next phase of our day's plan, however, was a bit more cardiac-friendly. After breakfast, we drove—by the most scenic and circuitous route possible—up to Smith Mountain Lake State Park, for some hiking and geocaching, where we put in several miles in everything from moderate to rugged terrain over the course of the day. I made an unexpected first-to-find at a relatively new cache—"The Turtle of Turtle Island" (GC7D0M7)—and found a number of well-conceived, entertaining hides, featuring props such as a deer skull hanging in a tree, a giant wolf spider, a snake, and a turtle. We also found a very old, charming little graveyard out in the woods, which especially caught Ms. B.'s fancy, since she goes for that kind of thing.
On the drive home, I had a horrified moment as a portion of my vision dropped out of existence—the telltale evidence of migraine setting in. Of all times, of all nights! Rather surprisingly, and much to my relief, no prismatic aura set in, and when the headache hit a short time later, it was so mild I barely noticed it. Thankfully, it did not affect the events of the evening, and by eight-ish in the PM, all traces of the migraine had passed.
|Old Rodan on Turtle Island at Smith Mountain Lake State Park|
|Ms. B. hanging out with some dead folk|
|My love is in league with the freeway.|
|Big old cache guardian|
|The McCray sisters and Rick Godbee|
(photo by Sarah Smith)
The next phase of the weekend: The Martinsville High School Class of 1977 Reunion. The event took place at Chatmoss Country Club, where I also spent a respectable portion of my checkered youth, not to mention some time as a scarcely less-checkered adult. Classmates Timmy Pharr, Pam Mann Wren, Karen McCray & Sharon McCray Godbee, and several others put together the event and managed the music programming, for which I, and no doubt the rest of our class, are most grateful. We had a good turnout, though some number of old friends were unable to attend for various reasons, the saddest of them being health issues. And over the years, we've lost more than what seems our share of classmates, so there's a certain sense of the bittersweet in these gatherings. Regardless, those who came seemed genuinely pleased to have made this pilgrimage, as I certainly was. And how pleasing to see so many people looking so well, so healthy—and so goddamn suave!
|Who do you think this is there?|
Once again, my guitar and I made an appearance, this time for three songs—two originals ("My Loves Goes On," "Today Is for You") and one cover ("Hold On" by Ian Gomm)—and lord knows how, I once again escaped without suffering retribution from an aggrieved audience. This may be due, at least in part, to the fact the sound didn't carry all that well to the far corners of the sizable room, and thus those who weren't directly in the line of fire escaped the full impact of the assault. My performance, such as it was, opened for a beautiful set of songs by the ever-talented McCray sisters and Rick Godbee. And then there was joyous dancing (at least from some, not necessarily the old dude) and general merry-making with tunes blasting from DJ Tim Pharr's sound system.
I've not missed any of our class reunions, and I don't know if anyone else felt the same, but there seemed a stronger sense of camaraderie among all our classmates this time around—I suppose because we are getting older and have a deeper understanding of true friendship, and a deepening appreciation of our times here, accentuated by the sadness of seeing the images of so many of our friends who have passed away, some quite recently.
I loved, loved the event last night.
And while there, Ms. B. and I, as on the previous evening, enjoyed a number of nice drinks, but still fell short in the nutritious food department, so after we warmly parted ways with my old friends and classmates, we sought out something to fill the empty crevices in our respective physiques. This time, it turned out to be Applebees, one of the very few establishments open until the slightly later hours of the evening. We polished off some surprisingly good quesadillas and dead little shrimps—not burgers this time—and then, finally, returned to Mum's to retire for the night.
And now we are back to our respective homes, among our respective cats, all irate about humans who have the audacity to not be at their beck and call day in and day out.
To every member of the Martinsville High School Class of 1977, my love goes on.