Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A turn of the page

Funny how things go.

I figured that Sunday night would be one of the worst of my life. Come Monday, I thought, I'd be in mourning.

But, as often happens on this crazy journey we call life, that simply didn't happen.

Said good-bye Aug. 30 to what has been a big part of my world for the last three years. Robinella's regular weekly gig was ending. Which meant the final night would be a farewell to my Sunday night family. It was going to be a wake, an elegy, roll the credits and turn up the lights.

Instead, it felt like one heck of a family reunion.

I sat at the front table with Mike Finn -- the good buddy I met through Robin's shows, his wife Judy, and good friends Dave, Terri and Jake Felde. Mike and I met because we always kept showing up at the concerts. He liked my attempt at singing country with Robin. So, we got to talking and found out we both like microbrewed beer and the Detroit Tigers. A bit later, Mike asked me to enjoy Thanksgiving with his family.

And that, by the way, has been the best part of this whole thing -- meeting new friends, shaking hands and slapping backs with good people. Robin and her husband Webster Bailey (and her son Cash!) have become pals. Bassist Taylor Coker and lead guitarist Mike Seal were real nice to this ol' boy from Halls, too.

Anyway, Robin's ex, Cruz Contreras, showed up, as did steel guitar player Tom Pryor. And, man, was it something.

I have a bias for country music. They nailed it, and a lot of Robin's best tunes. Cruz played that mandolin like only he can; Pryor made the pedal steel wail. It was as if we were riding the waves of time, pushing the sun back up into the clouds for an hour or so.

The second act featured several new players. It rocked the house. The standing room only crowd went nuts. None of us wanted it to end.

But end it must. When it did, I hugged necks, shook hands, tried not to tear up. I asked Mike what we were going to do on Sunday nights now. He said we'll either meet at his house to drink beer or at mine to watch the Tigers.

Mike had given Robin some live cuts he recorded with home equipment through the years. She mixed it and called the resulting CD "A Sunday Kind of Love." Let's just say it's one slice of sweetness. I'll review it in a day or two.

Speaking of which, Robin is working on a new studio album, which will be out by Christmas. She will play a couple of more road shows and then take a well-deserved break to take care of her family.

On my way out, I hugged Robin's husband Webster and told him I wouldn't have missed this for the world.

And it's cool. I don't much like endings. Never have. At some level, as Robin wrapped up "Georgia on my Mind," I knew that Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009, would forever be an elegy to three of the happiest years of my life.

But as I drove home to Halls in the unseasonably cool night, I realized that this isn't really the end. Not at all.

It's just a turn of the page.

Thanks for the memories, Robin. I can't wait for the next chapter to begin.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked with Mike Finn in Oak Ridge many years ago. Great guy. Tell him Rachel said hello.

4:47 PM  

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