5 years ago
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Here It Comes
It’s time to shake off that nasty experience called 2010 and get down to some livin’. I lost some good friends in the last year. The rest of us are all getting a little older and a little slower. I only seem to have enough energy to spend about 2 hours in the studio before I burn out. Maybe I’ll start taking speed. The good thing is I have no shortage of material.
Every January 1st we drive out to wine country to our friend Dennis Connelly’s farm. My son Dylan loves adult parties and insists on going with us. My daughter Chloe hangs with her own friends on New Years.
People literally come from around the world to the party. When we’re lucky it’s warm enough to hang around a bonfire. This year it wasn’t. His house is tiny and there must have been a hundred of us.
The living room was filled with musicians of every genre playing together. It kinda makes world peace seem possible. Dennis’ wife Noel always sings Funny Valentine.
This year Hillary Clinton’s State Department assistant was there.
Dennis has always felt like a dad to me. He’s a larger than life character. He’s seen and done everything. He always told me it was important to pull your own weight. He doesn’t have time for people who can’t.
I worked for him for eight years at the Broadway Oyster Bar. He and his partner Donna Jean split up. My girlfriend Joanie, Sharon and I were offered her half of the bar. I had no intention of going into business with my girlfriend. I had bad judgment. Joanie owns 2 restaurants now and is very successful.
I didn’t realize how much Dennis was counting on us. He sold the bar.
The last time I remember working with him was New Year’s 1989. He jumped behind the bar to help me pop champagne bottles open at midnight. Donna Jean wasn’t coming around any more but for some reason Dennis expected to see her that night. He was looking forward to it.
I’ll never forget feeling every bit of his heartbreak as we poured wine in the middle of that midnight storm. He looked at me and said, “No sign of what’s her name!”
New Years is a chance to bury our regrets, remember everyone we love and look forward to another chance to make everything work out.
I can’t wait!
Pics are Dennis on New Years Day 2009, 2010 and 2011 doing what he does best; shucking oysters.