Missing My Friend
At the time of this writing I'm feeling a bit blue and since I can't really talk about why (I have MANY problems I can't discuss here for MANY varying reasons - SIGH!) I thought I'd talk about some of the things I think about when I'm feeling blue due to unrelated issues.
I have mentioned often that I don't have many friends. People always think I'm lying or exaggerating because I'm such an outgoing person and "everybody likes you, Andy", & all that crap. I always find that funny because if I am trying to talk to you about my problems, among them being my lack of friends to talk to about said problems, and you dismiss my lack of friends, you are in essence avoiding listening to my problems and reinforcing my belief that I truly have no friends. The truth is I have very few people I can talk to or hang out with just for fun.
This is one of my few true long-time friends, Col. Travis Green. I met him some time ago, around Spring of 1989. We were both working on the touring indoor circus, the Family Showcase Theatre (The same show where I showered with Gabby the Wonder Horse). He's got to be about 20 years older than me if not a little more, yet we're very close friends.
Travis has been working in entertainment most of his life. He stared out as a rock drummer and has worked with damn near everyone. He started tinkering with magic & illusions and began working that act in between sets with a few of his bands. Nice gig. Work your ass off drumming then work your ass off sawing chicks in half only to work your ass off drumming another set. Of course the paychecks weren't bad. He's also worked in radio, but primarily has been an illusionist for traveling circuses for the last few decades.
When I met him he was still doing a more typical "magician in a tuxedo" type of act (and one very funny comedy magic act, Mysto the Magician) a different wife (Pam, whom I rarely saw, but liked a lot) a dog (Bandit, a GREAT dog!), and he had one tattoo. Now he's got a completely more distinctive western-theme magic and illusion show, a new wife (Rusty, whom I know well & love dearly), two different dogs (Merlin, a dreadful cur & a big-ass Newfoundland who's name I can't remember), and is "sleeved out" on both arms and has a few tats elsewhere.
He's a big wild west buff and he's made quite a career out of being a Buffalo Bill lookalike/illusionist/Wild West Gunslinger guy. Our paths have crossed many times over the years and we've had many an adventure. We both enjoy cigars and alcohol, hate unnecessary travel, and love to entertain but hate the bullshit that comes with the business. There would be many times where we'd only get to see each other once or twice a year and we still call each other often. He's a guy I can confide in, act like a moron with, and borrow money from. All told, he's one of my best friends.
Like a few other "circus friends" I've got on my short list of true friends I know that there's never any judgment about my stupid moves and actions over the years. He understands and has done just about as many stupid things as I have.
These days he's at the Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum in Phoenix and will likely be performing there on a permanent basis, FINALLY getting off the road, and enjoying all the fun that accompanies being a wild west guy living in a wild west town. I'm very happy that he's found a great place to work, but I miss my friend.
We weren't able to get together this past Christmas and even though he's always trying to drum up work for me near him, I've no idea when I'm going to get to see him again. His boss has ventures in Las Vegas and all over the west so I have hope I'll get out there down the road. Certainly there's the prospect that I will just make a trip to Arizona to visit.
All I know is that on a day when I'm feeling blue, I'd love to share some Old Crow and a good cigar with Travis and try to forget my problems, if not forgive myself for my mistakes.
If you're out in the Phoenix area be sure to check out Pioneer Arizona and find Travis & Rusty. They have a great act and are wonderful people. Tell them Andy sent ya and Travis just might not shoot you on sight, but I can't promise anything.