Monday, March 16, 2009

The St. Augustine Affect

"Everywhere we go when we come to this town, you know somebody. Usually more than one someone. It's uncanny," said Beloved on Saturday when we ran across the first of many old friends in St. Augustine this weekend. We had gone back to my hometown (born and raised in St Aug dontcha know) to pick up MiniMe. She was the lucky duck who got to spend the night with her Mimi and Pappaw on Friday. 
But before we picked her up, we stopped by a little festival and took a walk through the historic downtown area. Ran into several people I knew from my childhood/high school days at the festival. No big surprise with a crowd that big in one place. But it was when we stopped for a drink at A1A Ale Works that that my native girl karma really kicked in. 

I saw several friends from high school including one I had not seen since we graduated. He was only in town for a quick visit. I wouldn't have recognized him, nor did he recognize me, except that I had already taken a seat next to his older sister, who I see frequently. Shane and I last saw each other more than 20 years ago. While enthralled in coversation with him, I happened to glance over my shoulder and who do I see? My best friend from college, Gene, who I've recently chatted with over Facebook. Haven't seen Gene in 10 years, and yet the stars somehow aligned that we ended up sitting practically next to each other on a Saturday afternoon in a crowded bar & restaurant in St. Augustine.

Funny the things you remember. Gene mentioned that he had just come from the MillTop bar on St. George Street. I asked him if he had requested the song "Rawhide," since once, many moons ago, Gene and I spent an evening in St. Augustine and he drove the poor guitar player at the Milltop that night crazy requesting "Rawhide" over and over again. 

When I introduced Gene to Beloved, Gene quickly told him that I once broke the windshield of his car, a 1964 VW bug. 

"Well now I have heard that she used to overheat the car by driving too fast when you would drive back from college on weekends," said Beloved, "but I hadn't heard that she cost you a windshield." 

Honestly, Gene. You gotta stop telling people that was me. It wasn't. It was you. I was the designated driver who had to drive your car home for you one weekend because you and your buddy had overbeveraged. You accidently broke the windshield swatting at an imaginary bug and then decided to tell your dad that I broke it so that you wouldn't get in trouble. It was a harebrained plan then and I can't believe you are still blaming that on me!

"We've got to move you back to St. Augustine," Beloved finally said to my not-so-long-lost friends that night. "You just light up when you're here. It's your place."

Wasn't that sweet?!?

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