Sometimes the greatest stories are the ones which just happen, no plan, no thought, just BOOM, "Let's get into it maaaaaane (yes, mane, I should probably say, "Let's get into it man" but that's so cheesy.)
I could have titled this, Chance Encounter of the African Kind but none of the folks pictured are African, well, maybe the groom but I'll have to ask him the next time we share a laugh and drinks.
This picture started across the street, at a bar, from Fenway Park. It was Opening Day for the Red Sox 2015 and the atmosphere around Fenway was amazing, to say the least. My brother Brad and I had left California hours earlier, with $1,300, each, in our pockets courtesy of United Airlines and their "Friendly Skys".
The plan for the day was to go to the Red Sox versus Orioles game with some of our crew and then hop around to a few bars afterwards but we quickly found out that the scalpers were on a mission to pay their car notes, mortgages, and children's tuitions at our expense. It's funny to think about it now but at the moment, I volunteered to stand in line and purchase the tickets while the other guys went across the street and drank beers, all the while looking out the window and waiting for my call to join me in celebration of said purchased tickets. The line snaked and people talked to each other, I simply stood with a stoic look on my face because I didn't have anyone to speak to and also because I needed to be serious, these tickets were a serious matter.
After about thirty minutes in line, I could see the ticket booth, my energy levels were good, my cash on hand was adequate and I was ready to finally see the inside of the famed park; however, all of my prep led me to ask the attendant a simple question, "Does my entire party need to be here, in line with me, or can I just buy for the group?" The attendant looked at me, almost with a smirk on his face, almost with a look that your teacher gives you right before he hands you the test, which you were supposed to have studied for but he knows that you didn't study for at all. "Sorry but yes, yes, you all need to be here and no they cannot come and join you in line, they needed to be in line with you." This was the very moment that I realized I was in America and my money was being trumped by the people who studied, the peope who knew the game being played at the ticket booth!
I'm not the biggest drinker in the world but I knew the day was going to be long, when I stepped back into the bar to let the lads, who by the way had already ordered three large pitchers of beer, know that my attempt to purchase tickets had been thwarted by the gustapo. The response which I received was, priceless, "Who cares, we'll just watch it here and drink." I was across the street from HISTORY, across the street from Feeeeenweigh (Fenway) and the lads were no longer worried about the game as much as they were about food and which waitress/waiter was bringing them the next two pitchers of beers after the three which they'd just ordered!
Needless to say, we spent some time sitting and laughing about everything, perhaps it was the beer then again, perhaps it was just us being us but either way, it was memorable and as fate would have it, I turned around to find a table of folks which may or may not be pictured below, looking at us and smiling.
Look, how many times will I be in Boston, across from Feeeeenweigh (Fenway) drinking my day away? I did what any respectable African guy would do, I got up, walked over and said hello to the table and asked how their day was going. To make a long story longer, they were probably taken aback by my friendliness but remember, it's me, I'm short, I sound funny, and I'm well "different" (I went all Fantastic Mr. Fox on you).
Before long, I found out that the table was made up of two sisters, one of which was to be married soon, a cousin, and the guy, the guy whose proposal was probably one of better tragedy to triumph stories that I had heard in a while; I only say tragedy because he screwed the pooch and his girl found out what he was up to with his proposal idea.
We laughed a bit more, that afternoon, exchanged handshakes, and as life would have it.... I received this little picture on Sunday morning, showing that everything in life happens for a reason, baseball, beer, and a wedding.
And all this happened, Just Because...
Thank you Alyssa for being woman of your word, I hope this brings a smile to all who are involved and to all who read this as well.