Friends from home. My old friend Diana arrives with her friend Paul and Pat Arnow, free lance journalist and photographer. (http://arnow.org/) I give them all the full archi-socio-cutural tour of West-Park. Tell all the stories. Pat taking photographs the whole time.
My friend Diana is a journalist with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette who covers neighborhoods wit her own blog. (http://blogs.post-gazette.com/news/city-walkabout ) Although Diana and I had pretty much the same circle in Tulsa, she arrived as I was leaving and our paths didn’t cross until Pittsburgh. A random mention of a favorite Tulsa Vietnamese restaurant in her column caught my eye. A lunch and many conversations led to a friendship. And at a low point in my life, she helped me to rediscover some important parts of myself.
During a newspaper strike she had created a ‘zine called the Recession Supper Digest (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19930213&id=eIRIAAAAIBAJ&sjid=x24DAAAAIBAJ&pg=1740,4530613) as a creative outlet for first out of work journalists and then writing and cooking friends of hers around the world. Each issue was an adventure. And before I knew it I was writing a regular column. The writing helped keep me alive and get through a rough time. Reminded me I could never go without writing again.
Diana also played in a zydeco band that went by the Pittsburgh clever name of Mon Gumbo. I also needed to get back to my music and in Christmas ’94 some of her Mon mates a former Eddie and the Otters member or two and my favorite lounge singer minister turned out two nights of seriously fun seasonal music with slide guitars, rubboards and all. Mainly I’ve always appreciated her appreciation of neighborhoods and the people who make them.
So I wanted Diana and her friends to meet the inimical RL. After a lunch at the Gate, we returned to the church and went to RL’s studio where he introduced them to the world of Dusty Withers, famous side kick and the wonder mule, Mr. Blithers. All of course initiated into the fan club with a CD and a Dusty badge. (http://www.rhapsody.com/artist/rl-haney/album/the-lost-episodes-and-dusty-tales/track/the-adventures-of-dusty-withers-famous-sidekick-episode-one)
I gift my friends with Angelo’s angelitos. I wish they could have been here for Amanda’s ice cream truck and Indian Summer Tour. Or a Friday night open mic. But as I watch them leave, I’m thinking how important it is to always give thanks for the people in our lies who remind us of who we’re supposed to be.