Monday, February 29, 2016

It was the week after September 11, 2001.

I was on one of the first American flights to leave from anywhere in the US after the attacks. And my flight was to Boston on the sister fight of American #11, hijacked by the terrorists. The crew was wearing black armbands, signifying both solidarity and mourning for their fellow employees, but it meant so much more than bits of fabric could transmit.

I wondered what in the hell I was doing on my way to do a comedy gig. It seemed too soon to laugh and way too soon to tell jokes. But I did and because Boston is a tough ass city and its inhabitants know that survival happens in most unexpected ways and places.

As I finished my show and was stepping from the stage to their kind applause, a man came up to me and put something in my hand. I looked down to see what it was...

(Interruption from your 'sponsor' to say that, per an agreement with a collective of humans who stay sober a day at a time, references to said collective are best left unwritten, unspoken to protect the whole. I'm not being coy: 99% of you will be able to figure this out. And 98% of YOU will figure out that not commenting on it is just the high road. Thank you. Very much.)

The book was a list of addresses where, if I was so inclined, I might meet up with others who were hopefully on their way to knowing there is never a good reason for folks like us to pick up a drink or drug. Sorry if anyone reads that as pedantic. It's anything but. It's the Little Rascals high sign from Spanky for our code.

Anyway, that was the beginning of my friendship with Joe.

Tonight when the Academy Award for Best Picture went to Spotlight, great cheers went up from many quarters, I'm sure, but none louder than the one at our house.

Joe was one of the folks whose courage in coming forward about the scandal in the church made possible the exposure of guilty parties as well as the story breaking.

He did it a long time ago without thought of fame or recognition but because it sf the right thing to do and, by telling the truth, perhaps stopped these crimes from happening to other children.

Sometimes you wanna brag that you know someone like that.
This is that time for me.
And this isn't least on the list of reasons I'm glad I know Joe, but he's been about as good a friend as a person could possibly want.

Hey, Joe. This Bud's not for you.

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