One of my brothers best friends in grades K-12 was this cat named Odell (Greg). Greg was one of those kids that your mothers warned y'all about. Well, MY mother anyway. The Skateboarder. Drummer/Musician. Crazy punk rocker. String Bean. All around nut. He and my brother were cut from the same cloth. Even though they've gone such totally different directions in their adult lives, to me they're still those skinny, bleached blond, crazy skater boys at heart... which is one of many endearing things about coming from a "little town" like Long Beach. My 1970's/80's SoCal memories at least.
Anyway, Odell lives in Portland now. Not far from Seattle, where I moved last year. Of course, he's been here in the PacNW for 1/2 of forever (& moved here LONG before it was "cool"). I don't talk to him all that often, but when I do, it's always so great to hear from him, I always wanna reach through the phone and give him a big ol' hug, or share a beer w/ him, I dunno. He's just one of those guys, ya know? Even though we're only 2 yrs apart, he's still that gangly kid that ran around w/ my little brother.
He called me last weekend because his mom isn't doing so well. I don't want to get into his personal business here on my blog, but suffice to say my heart goes out to him and his sister. I wish he wasn't going through this. I wish I could wave a magic wand & make the yucky shit of having to deal with your parents aging/ailing disappear. It sucks. What else can I say?
Since our brief phone chat, I've been thinking about all of us as kids; running around causing trouble in our neighborhood, bonfires on beaches, shows at Fenders, backyard keggers, video games and Slurpies at 7-11, my brother & his friends showing off their skater skills on the cracked pavement of our driveway, etc. A million memories of home. A place that's so far from where I am anymore.
I am also reminded me of this cool gig Odell has going in Portland -- The Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers ... (see above video). These dudes transport me back to when I was in the Long Beach Wilson High School Marching Band, when we had the baddest mother f*cking drummers (& marching band for that matter) in the whole damn state of California.
Odell was in that band. Some of my ex-boyfriends were in that band. As were many friends, serious crushes, and even some enemies (HA). For as much as I hated high school, and man oh man, I so hated high school, my fondest memories are of those sweet (errrr, I mean bad a$s) boys in the drum line.
So here's to you Odell.
WAIL! (or is it WHALE?)