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Late one night in Portland OR

November 1, 2013

In the early 1980’s, in Portland, Oregon, I had a radio show on KBOO-FM, a Pacifica station.  Once every other Tuesday, late night, I played blues.  Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, Jr. Wells, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy, James Cotton, Jr. Parker, Freddy King, etc. 

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I had a full beard for much of that time, which I mention because it’s pertinent to what occurred.  I played records.  There were no CDs, MPGs (or whatever they’re called – that’s actually embarrassing that I don’t know that.  Fuck.)   And so I’d lug two huge, heavy bags filled with blues records, to and from my car, wherever I managed to park, and the studios of KBOO-FM.  And one night, after my show, about 1 in the morning, I’m lugging these two heavy bags through the damp streets of downtown Portland and I’m coming to a corner where I know there’s a bar.  And outside the bar, leaning back with one foot on the wall behind them, two guys were smoking cigarettes.  And one guy glances my way and pushes off from the wall.  “It’s that guy,” he says, “from the bar last night.”  And he looked as though we hadn’t had a very good time.  And the other guy, who thank god had a beard too, looks at me and calmly says: “Nah, that’s not him.”  And that was that.  I passed them by, walked on to my car.  Drove home.  Went to sleep.  Down these mean streets, yah?

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