Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's at the Farm

I think I might have mentioned that for years, my friends and I either worked at a bar or played the best paying gig of the year on New Year’s Eve. It’s been a tradition since the ‘80s for us to have a “hair of the dog” party every New Year’s Day for us.

Sue and Rib Tip’s Polar Bear ice dive was one of these parties.

One year after partying at Becky’s Hyde Park house we all descended on Allen Avenue in Soulard. Rib Tip got a Polaroid camera and took some great pictures. I’ll have to get them. We spent the day there in robes and PJs like we were at home. It almost felt like we should have been arrested for public indecency.

For the last 15 years or so the tradition has been spending New Year’s Day at our friends Dennis and Noel’s farm. Dennis owned the Oyster Bar with another friend Donna Jean in the ‘80s. The farm party was a great way for us all to stay in touch. We all watched each other have kids, see the kids grow into adults and the parents get divorced.

Fewer Oyster Bar people and more locals have been showing up. Dennis tends to accumulate friends. The house has always been too small so it’s great when it’s warm enough for us all to wander around outside.

There’s always great live music and anyone can sit in. Noel always sings My Funny Valentine.

Bill Stage is always there. This year someone brought his book “Pictures of People.” It’s the one Valerie found at the library that I scanned for the pics in my “Ollie” blog. Bill’s daughters and my kids were the same age and the only kids at the party this year. They were too shy too speak to each other until it was just about time to go. Then they found out they shared the same taste in music. My son ranted about Curt Cobain. Something he has a tendency to do.

Bill asked him what he thought about Cobain’s suicide. I think we were all expecting some kid’s shallow answer about how his music rocked! Instead Dylan gave a very thoughtful answer about Cobain’s sickness. I was very proud of him.

Noel and Dennis are the best hosts you’ll find and they worked their asses off making sure everyone was happy.

There were a lot of conspicuous absences this year. The most notable were Sharon, Sue, Linda, Joe, and the Haveys. We found out Jim was at Barnes getting shunts for his heart. My mother had one put in last year. I hope Jim has a quick recovery. We may have to change our party habits around him.

Pic is Dennis working the kitchen at the party. It reminded me of when he and I would make a giant pot of gumbo upstairs at the Oyster Bar. We didn’t have a kitchen downstairs yet. We used to shuck Oysters at the bar. One day the health inspector came in to find me stirring a giant pot with a cigarette dangling from my lip over the food. I’m surprised he didn’t shut us down.


Anonymous said...

Have anymore pics from the party? John Gorski

Tony Patti said...

William Stage used to write for Metro the Tabloid before he did the RFT. I didn't know he had softened his stance on William, probably happened decades ago. Richard Wachter always called him Stage.

The thoughtfulness of children who are Dylan's age can never be over estimated. Who else has as much time to think? I know you remember it well yourself.

Doggie said...

Don't think there's any more pics. Valerie was a little distracted with the party. I'll see if anyone else got any.

Valerie Pennington said...

Not only was I distracted, I just couldn't get the folks I wanted in the same room at the same time!
Great party, though . . . .

Anonymous said...

david, what a fun a great blog. I love reading about the ole friends from the oyster bar days in the early 80s. I remember you used to talk to me about skydiving all the time and told me you were going to do it. Well you have past me up. Its been 20 yrs since I last jumped. I cant beleive your kids are all getting so old. wow. Keep up the good work on the blog. Carla

Anonymous said...

It's Kurt