db: Classic fans

“Every single night…”

Dateline: You

“I was an amazing bartender and a great waiter. I think, in a way, that was my acting school.”
~ Nick Frost

I’m a shot and beer pourer who learned how to type.

I am basically a Buffalo, N.Y., bartender, who got lucky.

Now, the keyboard, is my bar. Over this bar I talk to you more so than write for you.

I have no classic training as a writer, I did on the other hand graduate long ago from bartender school. Certified mixologist, that’s me.

I look at the world as an old school bartender, all my life I have dreamed of owning a “Gin Mill,” an old oak wood bar, chrome stools with black plastic seats, some with duct tape holding the innards, in.

A “joint,” with a neon Pabst sign flickering in the window, highball glasses stacked on rubber mats on the back bar, a long mirror behind the bar with the good stuff liquor somewhat dusty sitting in front.

And a round corner for me to lean on, and listen.

To you.

Inside me is an old bartender, a neighborhood guy, with beer stains on his black orthopedic shoes.

That was how life was supposed to be.

“…every single show…”

I am shocked anyone wants to meet me.

Shocked that I’m asked for my autograph.

Shocked to be standing with strangers who want a photo of them with me.

Me, an old bartender with beer stained black ortho shoes.

Not how life, was supposed, to be.

Without the keyboard in front of me, without the curved oak wood bar to lean on, I hope when you meet me, I don’t disappoint you, hope I didn’t waste your time.

I feel I do.

I’m not sure I would want to meet me.

But for a couple of days during this Classic shindig I got to stand behind a bar, sort of, got to lean on the curve, sort of, got to be an old bartender, sort of, got to be as it was supposed to be, sort of.

The best part of bartending is not the pour, but the people you pour for.

It’s not the liquor, it’s the listen.

And that was the gift I was given this weekend by the bosses at B.A.S.S., and especially by April Phillips, marketing manager of the company, she built a round wood information booth on the Bassmaster Classic Expo floor…and she let me stand behind it.

And for three hours on Friday.

And for two hours on Saturday.

I was once again an old bartender with beer stained black ortho shoes listening to folks on the other side of the bar.

I loved it.

It was, where I was meant to be.

“…time to give…”

“Hey db?”

I wanted these two days behind the information desk to be about YOU, not me.  I didn’t want our interaction to be just a drive-by meet and greet, I want to know you because knowing you actually helps me be a better writer.

You know me through what I write, but I want to know you as well…and that introduction always came through, “…are you db?”

Meet the Rawlings: Dad Jarrod, mom Lainie, sons “I’m almost six-and-a-half-years-old” Chase, and the young man with my hand on his head…Trip age 4.

This family photo is the one you are supposed to see, everyone all nice and proper: