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The Carrboro stop of the “Classic Lineup Reunion Tour” did not disappoint me. Going into it, I knew that 80% of what GbV would play at Cat’s Cradle a couple of weeks ago were songs from Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes. Provided that Mr. Pollard was sober and coherent for the show, how could I have been disappointed?

The two aforementioned albums were recorded about the time I was finishing high school and leaving Burke County once and for all, so you can imagine how much the band and its fans have aged. I’d guess that the average show-goer was around 35. But, when Bob did the Roger-Daltrey-style kick, he still could get his foot up around eye-level, and there were several fans who were partying and throwing stuff like it was 1995 (don’t worry…I kept a safe distance from them).

THE CLUB IS OPEN

Highlights of the 30-some song, 3-encore set included Quality of Armor, My Valuable Hunting Knife, Shocker in Gloomtown, and Don’t Stop Now. Bob and the boys were energetic and their sound was tight. I’m glad to have had a last opportunity to see one of my favorite acts of all time.

Spring has been an adventure this year. Katie has been performing her demanding job (including travel), being pregnant, being a mother, and taking a graduate class remotely from Georgia Tech. I’ve been struggling with some home improvement projects during my hours away from work and away from my dogs. I’m even starting to think about installing a beehive instead of a chicken coop, primarily because it seems like a little less hassle.

But, no matter how busy we think we are, the whole family has enjoyed the turn in the weather at every opportunity. My daughter deserves credit for reintroducing Katie and me to the simple pleasures of being outdoors in April in North Carolina. I’ll never complain of allergies again; Jackie can hardly breathe due to congestion from spending most of her day inhaling pollen, but when she’s inside, she’s standing at the front door and pleading “ahsah” until we open door.

When my Dad called on Friday and told me that they would have to leave Durham immediately for Boone, we almost scrapped our plans to attend the Carolina spring game this past weekend. My grandmother turned 96 last month, and her physical condition worsens by the day as her mind (and will to live) remains as strong as ever. She fell early Friday morning, and my parents went home to attend to her.

So, my Mom would have miss her birthday celebration with Rich, Mindy, Katie, Jackie, and me, and my Dad would have to miss his first glimpse of the BCS-bowl-bound 2010 Tar Heels (after the basketball season we had, I’m shooting for the moon). We debated not going, but eventually decided to enjoy the gorgeous day and head to Chapel Hill. The spring game wasn’t that interesting for any of us, even though the defense met everyone’s expectations. Jackie sat in her seat for maybe two minutes before she dragged me, then Katie, out and around Kenan Stadium.

What was interesting, and what Jackie enjoyed the most, was tailgating with Uncle Rich and Aunt Mindy in the Bowles Lot before the game. I classify the event as her first major outdoor party. I hope we can do it again in September. Here’s some video:

Last Sunday was momentous. A person I love was introduced to a thing I love, and I was lucky enough to watch the interaction.

Thanks to great tickets and a parking pass from a kind neighbor, Katie and I took Jackie to her first live sporting event — UNC vs. Nevada at the Smith Center.

I grew up with Carolina basketball, and I can’t help but think that Jackie will also find comfort and inspiration from the same source. Maybe it’s a player who scored pointing to a teammate to credit him for the assist after a fast break conversion. Maybe it’s blood, shed in sacrifice to victory, splattered on the floor of H.I.S. (Hansbrough Indoor Stadium, in Durham).  Or, maybe it’s the way Woody pronounces pistachio (pi-stash-see-oh).

On Sunday, we got to our seats about 15 minutes before tip-off. Jackie’s jaw dropped as soon as we started descending the steps in our section. The lights, the other fans, the band, and the sheer size of the building kept her mouth agape until about the 15:00 mark of the first half. After the initial shock waned, she seemed to be paying attention to the action on the floor. Katie put her in her very own seat early in the second half. Cracker in hand, Jackie’s behavior could have passed for any adult spectator in the arena, snacking and watching Larry Drew II dish out assists to Ed Davis. She was taking in the game (which was a little closer than I expected) like any other fan.

It was truly one of the best experiences during my short time as a father. On that night, happiness was sitting with my wife and daughter as Ol’ Roy got his 600th win.

Image from Raleigh

Urban dirt-biking

I took this post-apocalyptic picture outside Jones Barber Shop in Raleigh last year.

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