LAST FRIDAY CORI Lyssy and I played a really fun gig at a new Hannibal bar, La Azotea Lounge. April, the owner, couldn't have been nicer and the staff was top notch. We had a lot of people stop by and it was a blast - check it out the next time you are in Hannibal, 323 Main Street, right around the corner from Mark Twain's boyhood home.
When we got there, a guy motioned me over and asked if I played in The Cheeseburgers. Of course! After chatting a bit I mentioned graduating from Central Michigan University. Then somebody said, "Fire Up Chips!"
It's unusual to hear the CMU war cry around here - Fire Up Chips is usually a sign to get the salsa, not cheer on the Chippewas. Then one of the men in the group looked at me and said, "Remember me?"
Hmmm. Maybe. Well, no. "I'm Mike Murphy," he said. "I was your boss in the late 80s in Mount Pleasant. Now do you remember me?"
Well, he had a bit more hair back then, but yes, it started coming back to me. In the summer of 1988, I was finishing school at Central and was hired by the Mount Pleasant Morning Sun newspaper to write feature stories. Mike was the editor of the paper. I didn't have that much interaction with him at work, but I do remember hanging out with him at Sir Richard's Pub and a few other places that summer.
All these years later, he is a senior group publisher for Gatehouse Media, headquartered in Hannibal at the Courier-Post. He and his wife, Kathy, moved here about a year and a half ago, and he appears to have settled in nicely.
Whodda thunk, 28 years later, he'd be watching me play music in a bar in .... where? Hannibal, Missouri?
You can't make it up. It was great to catch up with him and Kathy. Sure, everybody else in the bar didn't catch the references to Kelly Shorts Stadium or stumbling out of The Bird, but hey, we were going way back.
It's a small, small world.