Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Sweet Encounters

A few years ago while visiting friends in California I made my first trip to San Francisco. Mike and I spent the day seeing sights and eating great food and having fun. Completely fortuitously Cherie Currie, former singer for the 70s band The Runaways, had announced a concert in San Francisco the same day that we had already planned on being there. When I discovered this I called Mike and told him we were going, then bought tickets online. I wrote about that concert in more detail HERE, so that isn’t what this is about.

There were two experiences I had while waiting in line outside of the Red Devil Lounge waiting to go into the show. We were approached by a homeless man. He was the epitome of the downtrodden. His hair and beard were long, dirty and matted. He was thin and filthy, wearing clothes so ragged I’m not sure how they stayed on him. He came straight to me and I fully expected him to ask us for money and then move on.

Hey,” he said to me. ‟Nice shirt. They’re one of my favorite bands!”

I was wearing a t-shirt with the logo of the Glam Band The Sweet (Ballroom Blitz, Fox on the Run). Perhaps ungenerously I assumed this was just his opening line and the ask for money would come next. Nope. He enthused about The Sweet, telling me about seeing them in the 70s. He was knowledgable about them and we had a completely enjoyable conversation, just two guys who shared an interest in a specific band, swapping stories about favorite songs. For the duration of the conversation he lit up, happy to be just talking and connecting. At the end he just smiled and started to go on his way. He never asked me for a dime (though I did give him some money, which, though grateful, he seemed hesitant to take).

Just after he left two couple walked by. Older. Well-dressed. Out for an evening. One of the women looked up and saw the marquee which announced, ‟Tonight: Cherie Currie!”

Cherry curry?” she said while scrunching up her nose. ‟I don’t think that would taste good at all.”

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