Week Twenty-Nine – Make A Memory With A Stranger

Irene and me… with no idea what we were getting into that night.

.I don’t know whether to chalk up this week’s experience to the law of attraction, a blessing, or just dumb luck, but I’m still kind of pinching myself.

I waited a while to write this particular blog, because I was having a hard time figuring out how to translate this goal into an experience. By nature, it’s a spontaneous goal, so I was trying to put myself in places where it could happen and then keep my eyes open. I went to the local farmers market, a festival downtown, and even thought about riding the light rail system, just to strike up conversations with strangers and see where they led.

Funny enough, the answer came when I wasn’t even focused on the goal… and it came in a big way.

My best friend, Irene, and I attended the concert of three legendary blues and soul performers together- Buddy Guy, Al Green, and BB King.  There were thousands of people there, but we were able to get pretty near the stage and even the performers, who occasionally came out into the audience.

JUST missed the picture of Buddy Guy as he walked past us, playing that famous guitar

BB King! (Sadly, the top of his hat instead of his face, but still very cool.)

The Reverend Al Green a few feet in front of us, handing out long stemmed red roses to the ladies in the audience…

The entire evening was a blast, but the highlight for me was seeing BB King perform. Classy, brilliant BB King- who can play one note and stop all my vital signs for minutes. I mean it. I love this man’s music. And I’ve performed some of it myself over the years. So to see him in person at eighty-four years old was a thrill.

After he finished and the music was over, the crowds started to disperse. But Irene and I lingered to take in the beautiful night and the energy of the evening. Some of his band was still packing up their gear on stage, and we wanted to thank them for putting on such a great show. We tried to get their attention, but they couldn’t hear us over the PA music.

That’s when we met Myron.

We noticed a sharply-dressed man standing on the stage and thought he was a part of the band. I struck up a conversation with him and he was a little reserved at first. After talking for a few minutes, we found out that he wasn’t one of the musicians. That he was, in fact, BB King’s step-son and personal manager. -His right-hand man that he entrusts with everything and with whom he spends the majority of his time.

Irene and I were fascinated. We talked with him about his life and his job and his (lack of) social life. He told us that since taking the job five years ago, he has only had one week of vacation. We talked about places that he’d visited and experiences he’d had. We talked for a long while, and he asked us if either of us had a card. We gave him my band’s business card with our phone numbers and email addresses on the back, and he gave us his cell phone number. He told us the hotel where the bands were staying and invited us to join him later for drinks. We agreed, and after calling my friend, Rick, to tell him where we were going, we headed over.

Our new friend, Myron.

Myron was waiting for us in the lobby, since we’d gotten a little lost on the way there. We headed to the hotel bar, where Irene and I ordered the only things on the list Mormon girls could order. Then our conversation went something like this:

Myron (looking at our drinks): So, you are drinking cranberry juice and you are drinking Sprite. Don’t you trust me?

Me: Sure. We wouldn’t be here otherwise.

Myron: Uh oh. Should I trust you?

Me: Absolutely.

Myron: (Pause) With all of this trust going around, we aren’t going to have any real fun tonight, are we?

I’m glad that he saw who we were right off the bat. But despite his prediction to the contrary, we did have a lot of fun. We talked with him for two hours and he introduced us to many members of both BB King and Buddy Guy’s bands (and Buddy Guy’s assistant, Myron’s counterpart). We found out all kinds of crazy stories and laughed our heads off. And we built a good friendship with Myron.

He did try one last time before we left to have a slumber party with us, but when we declined, he walked us to my car and gave us hugs good night. I asked if he felt like he’d wasted his time, since we weren’t going to sleep with him and he said no, that he’d enjoyed himself. We told him to keep our numbers and give us a call the next time they were back in Utah and he agreed.

Kind of a crazy and unexpected night, but it was a great memory. It was nice to be reminded that people are people, no matter what their station. From the hippie outside the concert holding a sign that said “Free Hugs!” (which we took him up on) to the personal assistants and bands of living legends, stepping outside of ourselves to interact with strangers made for a great and memorable evening.

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7 thoughts on “Week Twenty-Nine – Make A Memory With A Stranger

  1. Jennie says:

    This is AWESOME! What a fun experience! I would never have the guts to do what you did, but as you said, people are people! Thanks for sharing this amazing experience! It makes me happy for you and more resolved to approach all people as…people! 🙂

  2. Jill Halliday says:

    Carrie, I love this story! It’s a wonnnnderful story, and what a fun night for you, Irene, and Myron! And you are so right – people are people wherever you go. I’m sure Myron had a great time with you and is happy you befriended him. I also loooove BB King and would love to have heard him.

    When we lived in CA we frequently went into San Francisco and heard and saw many wonderful performers. I loved talking to them when possible…some made themselves available and were very friendly. Monty Alexander is one of them (he is suuuuuch an amazing musican and was completely friendly) and not long after we moved back home he played at the Sheridan and, yup, we talked to him again (and got photos :). As you know, also in San Francisco, David Stuart studied with Joe Henderson. When I met him it was the same….what a warm, wonderful person. My conversation with him after one of his gigs, as well as one appreciative of his great performance, was that of a mother talking to her son’s teacher. He couldn’t have been more gracious (or more complimentary of David). We felt (and still feel) like he was in the family.
    I love it that these great performers have minds and hearts and love in them….that they’re really not so different from the rest of us.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to tell this geat story. So happy to have discovered your blog. Tell Irene hi – and Myron when you see him again :). Love you! (Proud of you, too!)

  3. Sarah says:

    Wow! What a night. That’s so crazy that you and Irene got propositioned! You handled it with a lot of graciousness. It sounds like a great evening. I’m glad you got to hear BB King.

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