Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Meeting Missoula, Oxford Edition part 718B - 5-4-16 - Ric the Englishman Drummer

If you could make a living by meeting people in my new hometown of Missoula, I'd take the job.  Problem is, you can't help but meet them, so everybody'd have the job.

If I could
Then I would
Make money doing something that I love I'd thank my lucky stars above
If I could just get by meeting Missoulians
Than I would just get by meeting Missoulians
Put food on the table
Pay the money to the landlord
Buy some workin' clothes
But,  I ain't makin' money meeting people like I'm paid at the factory

"If I Could" paraphrased from the Tim Carroll song.

Here comes one now!

This is Ric.  R-I-C-no K.  Ric's from England originally, but now Ric's from Missoula.

I met Ric on a Sunday afternoon excursion to The Oxford Saloon.  He was in a heated (read: passionate) discussion about movies.  They were talking about their favorite films and relating the stories told and artistic turns taken, but like so many they were getting bogged down.  In trying to describe themes and stories, they would say "this actor so and so" did this or that, in a way so the other could follow along, but they had horrible memories for actors names.

"In 'Deliverance' that guy...that pretty boy...he was know...'Bandit'!" when trying to remember Burt Reynolds name, for example.

The problem with that is, and the reason I find frustration in it, is people then get into a trivia game of trying to name everything that Burt Reynolds was in and the point to the tellers story is lost.

Because someone in the crowd remembers seeing Burt in "Evening Shade" doesn't propel the story of "Deliverance along in the least. 

Suddenly there's no real conversation.  Just list making.

My brain lives on lists.  It's easy for me.  So at a certain point I tried to help.

"One of the greatest under-rated movies of all time was, 'Harry and Tonto'!  It know that guy...Honeymooners guy..."


Then of course I had to apologize and explain why I had interrupted them.  I wanted to hear what he had to say about "Harry and Tonto" not play 20 questions.

He smiled and told me that he appreciated the help and understanding.

Ric and I got to talking, it turns out he had spent about 30 years in Southern California, too.  He was a drummer and lived in Venice Beach and played gigs all over the southland.  

Then one day he heard about Missoula.

I explained that I had spent 30 years there as well, but I already new about this place.  But one day I decided, "You know?  Enough bullshit.  Maybe I'll go have a beer at The Ox."

Ric smiled at me, gave me a fist bump and picked up his pool cue.  He said, "Excuse me.  I have to go to 'work'."

Then he said, "If you ever need a drummer, give me a call.  I'm the most professional THIS town.  I like to hit things.  It's my job."

Then I drank my beer and left.

Talk to you soon.


  1. Haha! It is impossible to have a conversation with my father about movies or TV anymore because of the list thing. invariable, he will say, "what was that other movie he was in? With that actress? Oh, you know the one - the one that was in that TV show?" Conversation over. AND he WILL NOT continue the conversation (what's left of it) until he can follow this trail of who's who. Why don't I just blow my brains out now?

  2. So frustrating. And it puts the brakes on the real conversation you're trying to have.