By; Ken Boone
A few weeks ago, I wrote about my friend Pete. I don't think I mentioned that he's a soft-spoken guy. He's not shy in the least bit. He's funny as hell, so that means that you've got to be on high alert for when he tries to sneak one of his punch lines past you. Trust me; you'll feel as if you just got hit by a truck if you don't see it coming.
I learned a lot from Pete during those two summers while our sons were wrapping up their high school baseball careers. To tell you the truth, the boys came to grips that they had reached the end of their playing days before we did!
In the twelve years since the boys "retired", Pete was still teaching me things. In particular, I learned the power of understatement. Done properly, it makes me appear more profound, funnier, and less obnoxious.
I called him this afternoon. I should call him more often. In fact, I promised him that I'd call him at least once per week. I always make that promise but rarely follow through. So when he picked up the phone, I told how horrible I was as a friend. Then we proceeded to jump into what was our typical 2-4 hour conversation.
For the past several years, Pete has wintered in Florida while returning to Rochester for the rest of the year. He's had some pretty serious health issues and lives alone. And after he sold his record label, he's spent much more time in solitude.
When I first connected with him, he asked if he could call me back because he didn't want his oatmeal to get cold. That's good because sometimes he forgets to eat. But oatmeal? That's for babies and old people. Who am I to talk. I start everyday with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. And since he is 10 years older than me, it will be in no time that I add oatmeal to my grocery list.
Ten minutes later, Pete called me back. I could tell by the sound of his voice that he was worrying about a whole bunch of stuff. So we just took it from the top. Starting with the COVID-19 outbreak, to the apparent incompetence of some of our leaders in Washington, to the bustling streets outside his condo in Florida. The world has gone bat-shit crazy!
We are both sheltering-in-place, so we breezed through that topic and onto the next one. Politically, we come down on the same side of this. So we were able really speak our minds without worrying that we would offend each other. He was surprised to hear that the networks were spotlighting America's Future (college students) ignoring the warnings. There were many visuals of kids crowding the beaches at Spring Break. Yup, the world has gone bat-shit crazy!
As our conversation progressed, the same thing happened as in past phone calls. The immediate cares of the world disappeared. The moaning and griping were replaced with laughter. He would tell me a story about an encounter he had with some rock legend. Particularly a story when that legend displayed bad behavior. My response was typically to call that person an asshole, and hope that they are broke today, if they are still alive. Morbid laughter floods the phone lines, and the crowd goes wild!
We then segue-way to the underlying reason for the call. Pete's next great conquest; the world of podcasting. He's currently going through the normal hiccups that all podcasters encounter when they start. After producing nearly 100 episodes, I myself am still running into these technical glitches. I tell him to relax and keep moving forward, which is like preaching to the choir, because he's the most determined person I've ever met.
That phone call lasted between two and four hours. I never check the time of the call on my display. The time always flies by. We ended the call making the same lame promise that we would talk more often. If we kept that promise, we wouldn't be able to play "Can You Top This", where we each plead our case that we're horrible friends!
Yesterday, my son called to check in on Celia and me. I told him that we are doing the self-quarantine thing. He told me that it didn't surprise him one bit that I would laugh while I delivered some pretty serious news. I guess that's the protective parent in me.
After exchanging pleasantries, the next sound i heard was a hello from my 6-year-old granddaughter. We didn't talk about COVID19, Washington, DC, or Spring Break. We got down to the important business. She told me that she lost a tooth! She also told me that the Tooth Fairy left her $8.00! The Tooth Fairy used to leave her Dad $5.00/tooth. And I thought that inflation was relatively flat these days. Like I said... the world has gone bat-shit crazy!
But wait..., there's more!
About the Author
As owner of the Descant Music & Media Group, Ken is a creator and producer of several podcast shows. He is also a music producer, as well as a writer and an accountant for small businesses and nonprofits.