Monday, 8 January 2018

Surprise, surprise ...

My friend Dave, from Dave Wright & the Midnight Electric, asked a few days ago if I'd be free to help with a 'project' on Sunday (yesterday). I said of course. He picked me up at 1:00. As we pulled onto a nearby street he said his wife Effie and their twin girls were at a park around the corner from my place. He asked if I wanted to say hello. I said of course. We parked and walked over to them -- one of the girls, Memphis, ran up and hugged my legs -- and after saying hello to Effie and the other twin Sophia, Dave tilted his head in the direction of picnic tables about 10 metres away. I looked that way and saw a good 2 dozen friends: Dave had organised a surprise goodbye picnic.

'Shocked' doesn't begin to describe my mindset. Later on in the day it occurred that I'd never been the recipient of a surprise party. Ever. It was like getting tossed into a pool of ice blocks. My friends, of course, melted those blocks instantaneously and embraced me in a hold that kept me from running back to my place and reclaiming my hermit throne.

Amid the colossal spread of food and booze everyone had brought, there was even a beautiful goodbye gift:

Oh ... why the goodbyes? I've taken a job in Auckland. Rented a place in an Auckland suburb called Devonport. Moving at the end of the month.

After Dave presented the gift and said several kind words I coughed up thanks and tried to express appreciation for the collection of people I've been lucky to call friends here in Melbourne. When Aradhna and I moved to Victoria in December 2007 we knew no one -- literally, no one -- in Melbourne. Bit by bit we began to make friends, mostly through her work, but for me the dam burst after Springsteen's 2014 tour of Australia and New Zealand. I found my Southern Hemisphere kin.

Who are, and always will be, brothers and sisters for life.


Shona said...

Beautiful words. I agree, there are many special people in the Bruce World. Best of luck in Auckland. It's another beautiful city in this wonderful hemisphere.

Jane B said...

Hi Joe
Although I have only met you a few times I do feel like within this special group of people, we all have a connection through Bruce and indeed music in general. I too feel honoured to know them!
Good luck with your new venture across the ditch and make sure you keep that room ready for all us Aussies coming across to say "Gidday."

Rita said...

Wishing you great success and happiness as you begin this new chapter in life Joe.
You will be missed by many
The love of music works in mysterious ways and binds some souls forever.
Lucky NZ

Kika said...

You are a great guy! I hope to see you again sooner or later. All the best my dear friend.

The Rhyme Animal said...

Good luck on that move- wish I was there to drive the contents of a van load or two across the ocean to help you out! (nice things your friends did there for you)

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