Some blather on the good...the bad...and the foo king ugg lee...FWIW.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Siss Boom Bah!

This past weekend was a busy one for Loretta and I. Not only did my daughter Jenifer and hubby Roth fly down from Seattle, but we all piled in the Grand Cherokee and motored our way south some 240 miles (one way) to the Central Coast. Before we left for our old stomping grounds, we had the opportunity to spend some time with Jen and Roth...cooking and photographing a nice dinner on Friday night for one thing. That time was precious to me.

The drive was also a 4 1/2 hour segment of time where were all captive audience to each other...a time to chat, catch up some more, and make fun of people! No...that wasn’t all we conversed about, just part of the time. Jen and I argued and scoffed about each other’s iPod playlists (I won out since I was relagated to all driving duties), and Roth and Loretta just rolled their eyes at the father/daughter verbal jousting. Nothing serious, mind you...just the usual.

We stayed in the Holiday Inn Express in Pismo (or is it in A.G.?) and Jen and Roth went on to stay with her mother in Nipomo after the Saturday wedding we attended. I got to visit my mom for a few hours on Sunday...then we all piled back in the Family Jeepster Monday morning and headed back to Modesto...then on to Sacramento airport. All in all, it was quite a whirlwind weekend.

One of the primary reasons we went on this soiree was to attend the wedding of Megan McManus, the daughter of my buddy Peter Hill and his wife Rosie. Megan is about the same age as Jen...they grew up together, Peter and I have been the best of friends for over 30 years. Of late, Pete and I haven’t spent much time together. Loretta and I moved away from the C.C. over 8 years ago. So it was nice seeing him again.

Pete and I met while working at Shakee’s Pizza Parlor in Arroyo Grande. It was 1975 or so...we were both in our mid-twenties at the time. Me...recently divorced from my first wife. Pete...soon to be divorced from his first wife. We had a lot of fun working there. As I remember, my cousin Dennis also worked there for a while (he lived with us for a time). We made pizzas, poured draught beer, smoked some stuff on occassion, and lived the life of somewhat carefree bachelors. Many a time after work, we would sit around the pizza parlor drinking beer with the general manager (Tom was his name) until three or four in the morning...or until the keg ran out, whichever came first. We’d smoke cigarettes...(Pete smoked a pipe)...shoot the shit...and just hang out.

Over the years, Pete Hill and I went through many changes, both personally and professionally. I eventually got married again and had a couple of kids. So did Peter. I also moved away to Idaho for a time (twice). But we always seemed to stay close while I lived there. Our families did a lot of socializing together...we both had kids near the same age. We would get together for family BBQ’s, holiday get-togethers, cocktail parties, Halloween parties, and more. Pete’s wife Rosie and my ex-wife Anna are still very close.

Peter and I worked in radio broadcasting together as well as the pizza business. He worked as DJ on and off for a number of years as did I in the San Luis Obispo area. Neither one of us is doing that now. We had a lot in common.

Pete and I would laugh and laugh at Johnny Carson’s jokes. We both lived the life of a standup comic vicariously through Johnny. We even had the opportunity on a number of occassions to emcee big parties and other events that involved a microphone. At these affairs is where we would actually stand up in front of large crowds and tell jokes...it was a blast...always.

We learned to golf together, if you could call what we did “golfing”. Peter and I were consummate duffers...but we had fun. We’d get up very early on Sunday morning and hit the “links” of the Pismo Gold Course while there was still frost on the greens. I can still remember the sound of the golf balls rolling across the frozen grass...and we just laughed about it. We drank our coffees, smoked our cigarettes in the morning Pismo fog, and kept trying to be good golfers. It didn’t really matter how good or bad we were...or what the score was.

Pete and I talked about starting businesses together many times. Nothing really ever came of it...except once. We actually had a wholesale sock business at the swap meet in Nipomo for a few months. There isn’t enough room in this particular blog to tell you that whole story...it was fun...and even funnier when he and I talk about it. Needless to say, it didn’t make either of us rich. I know it made us “richer” in many ways though.

So, Pete and Rosie’s daughter Megan got hitched this past weekend, to a nice guy called Frank Porcho. It was a really nice wedding at a very nice golf club in Nipomo. Everything was done with class, and all went well. That was the main reason for our visit to the Central Coast...to attend the wedding of Pete’s daughter.

I got to see my old best friend Peter Hill again. We had a few stolen laughs, told a few bad jokes, and pledged to get together again real soon. We pledged that the next time we see each other, it will be time set aside for this old friendship of ours.

When you talk about old friends like Pete, and you talk about things that happened over thirty years ago...you’re a lucky person. And I feel extremely fortunate, and lucky, to have known Peter Hill for that long. We endured many things over the years...and we’re still alive and kicking to talk about it. Some of those things we can cry about...but most we laugh about. We had fun together. And after seeing him again this weekend, I am quite confident that there are many more laughs to come between us.

So, Peter Hill...here’s to you. I know I can make you laugh with just a punchline to two from some old, bad joke. And when I make you laugh...it makes me happy.

Siss Boom Bah!!!


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