August 22, 2008

Rockin Out At T.Bird

I don't know how or why, but it's been almost three full years since I've been to a 'big band' concert, that being 'Audioslave' in late 2005.
Out of the blue, Jack Johnson tics found their way to me on Tues night, and for face value of just $45 each, Jackie and I were off to enjoy a great show at Thunderbird Stadium last night.

Jack Johnson epitomizes my Central American cycling trip of 2003. I spent four months on the dive island of Roatan, Honduras attaining my Dive Master certification. After nearly blacking out on a wall dive with some friends, which very easily could have lead to the non existence of this blog all together, I was then told I could never dive again due to an ear issue (a diagnosis that was six months later proven incorrect). The irony of it all is that this incorrect diagnosis is what directly lead to this blog and my current lifestyle. Anyways, being unable to dive on a dive island I ended up as a bartender at a beach bar called 'The Sundowner'.

'The Sundowner' was a square shaped open sided bar with a central area just large enough to fit two employees. We used to joke that you could not even squeeze a Queen sized bed into the service area. Five nights a week I was locked in there with my good friend Lisa Akeson of Sweden, and we both loved every second of it. There was an incredible atmosphere at that place as the main locals would come by every night for their post dive drinks as the sun was setting out over the ocean. I recall numerous evenings where service would completely cease until the sunset light show faded into the evening dusk beside us. Some of the best memories of my life are tied up in that little island...and this is my very round about way of saying that I had no idea who Jack Johnson was before I bartended there.

We had a mini-disk player behind the bar...yeah, it was the only mini-disk stereo system I have ever seen! Every few months someone on the island would end up flying back to civilization for one reason or another and we'd all put in our music and misc food item order with them (such as peanut butter!).

One night Lisa popped in a mini disk and I remember looking very stupid in front of numerous friends as I queried as to who we were listening to,


"'s good."


Last night was great on so many levels, amazing concert, perfect summer evening, and beautiful company. The highlight of the evening though, was when Jack Johnson broke into 'Bubble Toes'. I was instantaneously transported back to Roatan. I was tending bar and trading stories with friends and soon to be friends alike. It was a perfect moment for me and something I won't soon forget.

About ten years ago a friend back in Banff, Alberta had a 'book of questions' and one question in particular was,
"If you HAD TO choose 'the experience', or 'the memory of the experience', which would it be?
I babbled on some round about answer that basically amounted to an 'I dunno' both.

Well Kealin (my Banff friend), I can finally answer this question with confidence.
Without the memories to carry with us after the fact, without the friends to cherish those moments with in time, then the experience itself is completely and utterly hollow.
Thankfully, I have been blessed with anything but hollow experiences throughout my life, and Jack Johnson was just one more of those perfect moments in time that I will never forget!



Nicola Gildersleeve said...

I am happy I got to let you re-live those memories!!!

garobbins said...

Thanks again Gilder! When we running together?