I Fuck'n heart seattle:
"Seattle...is currently to the rock'n'roll world what Bethlehem was to Christianity." SPIN Magazine - 1992
Welcome back Folks of the Interwebs, please allow me to preface this portion of the tale...I fuck'n heart Seattle!
From my first visit to Seattle, to see Pearl Jam live and in concert at the Key Arena, with special guest Red Hot Chili Peppers...to the Seattle Mariners game that I attended a few years ago, circa August 2013. A Seattle Mariners game in which the stands were so empty, it may as well have been straight outta a Stephen King novel. The stands were so vacant that when the announcer stated "today's attendance is 7k", it was as if my laughter echoed for eternity through the uninhabited seats of the empty stadium. There might have been 4k in attendance...including grounds crew, bat boys, umpires, food concession stand personnel, & possibly even the ticket scalpers...which btw, offered low-low prices for a mid-1st inning purchase of seats directly behind the visitor's dugout. So damn cheap, the ticket scalper almost had to pay me to take the tix off his hands!
Let me tell ya Johnny, I am a big fan of low-low ticket prices, especially since I was purchasing multiple tickets, as I had invited one of my favorite people in this big ol world, "Ma"!, and her girlfriend to the game. "Ma" is a Seattle local, she has a few years on me, but not unlike myself, you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at her...she didn't earn her nickname by looking old, but rather earned her nickname "Ma" by helping a young Garbage Can Dood such as myself stay outta trouble for the first few years of his military service...a monumental undertaking!
Back to the 2013 Seattle Mariners baseball game...good times! Here is a fun fact, my first baseball game with a lesbian couple...if only the Mormons could see me now! Of course the baseball game itself was in stark contrast to the Mariners game that I attended a decade prior, attendance wise that is. Not sure what else I should have expected outta the then Ichiro-less Mariners of 2013. I had the opportunity to contrast and compare my 2013 Safeco Field experience with my previous visit in 2002. It was the 2002 Seattle Mariners that were led by one Ichiro Suzuki, a baseball bat swinging beast! In fact, the then brand-new Safeco Field was a packed house that day in 2002, the fans eagerly awaiting the Japanese Baseball star turned MLB player, Ichiro to poke a few unorthodox style hits off of MLB pitchers. Of course neither trip to Safeco Field was without it's own strangeness or "anomalous activity" in my life...that being said, "anomalous activity" is my kinda my "normal"...BUT if we are talk'n Seattle and strange encounters, I need to dial it back to the turn of the millineum, circa November of the year 2000.
Folks of the Interwebs, before I proceed any further in this here tale...let me take a quick time out by stating this here personal note of fact. I have a robust history of events that occur in my life that may be considered "synchronicities" (a term coined by Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung...but honestly he just borrowed & expanded the concept of WW1 British Aeronautical Engineer, JW Dunne's "seriality"). Well, my first visit to Seattle was replete with its own "synchronicity" styled situations, or possibly foreshadowed, as JW Dunne would describe his "seriality" as more of a precognitive hint towards a future point in one's own timeline...a reverse memory, if you will.
It was (circa) mid-July 2000, my family had a reunion in Montana. Possibly a first, but some have inferred that it was so that I could still attend the family event. At the time I was on assignment with the United States Air Force in Montana, tasked with securing the transport of nuclear weapons. It was following the Big Sky adventures of the family reunion...you know the "folks", grandfolks, siblings, cousins, the works. My mother sent me home to my Montana residence with a bag of pancake mix. Weeks later, as I was eating those delicious pancakes, whilst working off a hellacious hangover and dealing with the orange and gray world i lived in (due in part to Montana's raging forest fires that summer). There I sat in my breakfast nook in Great Falls, MT, in the former home of Judd Nelson (probably not the Breakfast Club'r??). I specifically recall reading the label on the bag of pancake mix and saying to myself "Snoqualmie Falls...that's a dumb sounding name".
Snoqualmie Falls, WA - (Circa) Nov 6th, 2000 - approx 0300L :
There I sat sound asleep, in the passenger seat of my schweet schweet "Big Sky" Blue, 1990 Toyota 4-Runner, when I was abruptly awoken by the driver. Behind the wheel of my Yota, my ocassional friend & full-time arch nemesis, Tim. Tim pokes me in an alarmed fashion and says "wake up dood, we are getting pulled over"!
I begin to gather my bearing & take note of my surroundings...sitting to my left, Tim, very frightened...to the rear vehicle, my doods Sammy D & Matt out cold sprawled across the rear of the vehicle, illuminated by the ol red & blue lights of the local "boys". Given the frightened nature of the driver, coupled with two doods looking real dead-like in the back. Not too mention, the fact it is the middle of the night and we are on the wrong side of the law and wrong side of the ROAD! There we sat on the wrong side of the road, pulled over by the local "boys" in this small rural Washington town...my butt-hole began to pucker.
The moment of butt-hole puckering was short lived, and was immediately interrupted by the sound of a large oversized flash light blasting against my window, accompanied by an angry voice telling me to "Exit the vehicle!"...
Folks of the Interwebs, I feel like I am getting ahead of myself here...you may be asking yourself...how/why did I end up in some small town states away from my home in Montana, at the wee wee hours of the morning?...easy, Pearl Jam!! As it were...this meet & greet with the local "boys" of the rural Seattle regions occurred approximately 2 hours post-Pearl Jam-concert at Seattle's Key Arena...an epic show! Following this concert, we had approximately 27 hours before we had to report to duty to provide security for nuclear weapons, AND we had at least 14 hours of driving ahead of us...through snow mashed mountain passes & curvy-ass roads...no big deal!
Now, If we report late to nuclear missile security duty in the AM, we gotta answer to a man named "Christy"...his given name. Not unlike a situation where a giant man is named "Tiny", a man named "Christy" was built like an NFL linebacker. A reasonable dood would not even take chance with this daring scenario, specifically a dood with my "off duty" track record at that time...but I never claimed to be a reasonable dood...I am a Garbage Can Dood...I like to party!
So with a 27 hour deadline, we embarked on our trek...I immediately took a snooze in the passenger seat, as I was on deck to drive next. Folks of the Interwebs, once again...I have gotten ahead of myself. In order to effectively understand the complexities of this trip, the logistical endeavors if you will...this tale really begins the morning of the concert...
We all awoke the morning of the concert with great excitement...this excitement was likely different for each one of us. However, the excitement for this dood was the at least 14 hour drive (each way), through snowy conditions, for a live in Seattle Pearl Jam concert...well it was all those factors combined...it was the adventure! In fact, my excitement specifically revolved around my 1st PJ concert, PJ's return to Seattle in 3 years, & of course, my first visit to the Grunge capital of the world...Seattle.
Just outside Seattle, sits a picturesque little town...oh bout 45 min drive from the former Crocodile Cafe (the Seattle rock club that most famously featured such bands as Nirvana, Soundgarden, & Pearl Jam)...or bout 45 min from Key Arena...essentially a solid 45 min drive from downtown Seattle proper. The town is not immediately accessible from the highway, one must first take an exit on the highway and drive through a heavily wooded region, void of street lights for 5-10 minutes; at least this is how it appeared a cool decade and a half ago.
The exit quickly becomes pitch black, and the town was look'n like something straight outta some Twin Peaks type situation. It had one main street and not a goddamn thing open at 3am...not even the fuel station as sold to us by the highway signs...there was nothin a stir, well except for the local "boys" look'n for "out-of-towners" driving down the wrong way down the opposite lane of traffic in this one stoplight town...and those "boys" were in luck that night.
We immediately got pulled over for driving up the opposite lane of traffic (there was even a goddamn median...a well landscaped & divided median, mind you), and once again it was 3AM! On account of the hour & at the wrong way down a one way...plus the Montana license plate "BOOTLEG" (an odd point of contention from one of the local "boys") ...these local "boys" lit us up with them lights and sirens, with the quick-fast. I presume they figured they hit themselves a jackpot that night...
We pulled over to the divided median of this fancy lil town. Once again the driver, my associate & occasional arch nemesis, Timmy...myself, Double J riding in the passenger seat...with my doods Sammy D & Matt out cold, asleep in the rear of the vehicle. I could see it in their faces, these local "boys" were happier than a heard of Hollywood executives at a clothing optional Bar Mitzvah. Before we could exit the vehicle, the two "boys" were get'n all latex gloved up, sizing each one of us up for a good ol' fashioned body cavity search. Now I knew for a fact, that I was not looking to get 2-holed by a couple of rural Washington local "boys" at 3AM on the side of the road. This was not something I signed up for...
I knew in order to achieve my goal of not getting 2-holed, I better think fast and initiate evasive protocols. I could not tell you precisely what I told those local "boys", all I know is I gave them my best "these are not the droids you're looking for" routine.
Thank goodness reason prevailed...moments later, the Garbage Can Doods were free to depart the scene, and continue on the return leg of this Seattle "invasion". Even though we survived with unscathed buttholes, we still had the clock working against us...and I am not gonna lie to ya Johnny! You may as well pack your bags, change your name, and move to Canada...if you are gonna report late to nuclear missile security duty, on account of being arrested or stranded in a state that didn't even border Montana...
snoqualmie falls, wa - (circa) august 2002 - 1400l Hours on a random weekday :
Lorda mercy! Just when I thought it was safe to return to Snoqualmie Falls...forget Mount St. Helens, "Mount Ripken" explodes!!...
It was circa mid-August 2002, back to Snoqualmie Falls...same odd result! I was fresh off an overseas military assignment, figured I would spend an entire week in Seattle...you know really take in the sights. So there I went for a 7-day Seattle adventure, accompanied by a beautiful young gal...we set forth on this Seattle Grunge tour. We took in many of the musical related sites Seattle has to offer...including the Jimi Hendrix Experience museum (Hendrix of course a character in the Laurel Canyon crowd). After taking in many of the urban activities Seattle had to offer, we were looking for a day of nature, you know away from the hustle of the urban landscape of Seattle proper. I of course knew a quiet spot just outside of town, very wooded and seemingly off the beaten path. In fact, as I told the beautiful young gal accompanying me on this adventure, she inquired "isn't that the place you said you nearly got arrested 2 years ago", my reply "(audible belly laughter) Yeah".
Next stop, Snoqualmie Falls...you know the aforementioned Seattle locale where the "local Boys" were all too excited for a 2-hole search of me and my cohorts on that frigid morning, just 2-years prior. As I recall, we parked in the upper level of the falls, which included a short hike through a wooded region, down a trail in which to gain access to the overlook of the falls. The weather was perfect, sunny but not too hot...and the trail was a picturesque setting, almost something that you would expect to see on a postcard of the region. My beautiful date was enjoying the serene like sight and sounds of the pacific northwest forest...while I was actively keeping an eye on my surroundings, after all this was the middle of "Sasquatch" country. You know the large mythical ape/man-like creature that is said to frequent the heavily wooded regions of the pacific northwest. As disappointed as I was that day (possibly still am), we located no "Squatch" that afternoon...however, we did in fact encounter a different breed of large hairy forest creatures that day.
As we are walking down the trail, maybe half mile n-root to the overlook platform above the falls. We had encountered no other folks on the trail, the sounds of the forest could easily be heard even over our footsteps down the well groomed pathway. As we get closer to approaching the falls overlook, we are startled to hear the abrupt sounds of anger and despair underlining the words being shouted; hurling through the densely covered surroundings right into my ear hole. As we breach the bend in the trail, I notice the source of all the racket. Just about 40 yards down the trail, between us and the overlook...stood a large hairy creature approx. 6'3" - 6'4" tall, weighing in at a beefy 230-240lbs. This large hairy creature was in fact a huge adult male, bald headed but very hairy! This beast of the pacific northwest woods, this angry fella, was just hoot'n and holler'n at what appears to be his wife & kids. The anger on his face was one I was quite familiar with, disappointment, mashed together with a dose of spittle, that erupted from ol boy's mouth hole as he continued the onslaught of anger.
As we walk closer, I ensure to take a route which provides a good 10-15 feet buffer zone from this domestic situation unfolding in the middle of the woods. Like the motorist passing by a horrific automobile accident; my eyes are now glued to the look of anger erupting from this man's face, as the spittle continues to fly about whilst the man continued to holler. As we circled around this domestic situation, it is at that moment that I realize this angry fella looks familiar...that is when I turned to my partner and told her, "Yo, that's Cal Ripken Jr." ...full knowing the enormous baseball fan I was at the time, she responds "That's awesome, are you going to get his autograph?"
I responded with a look as if someone told me the moon is actually made outta cheese, and stated in a voice that could not be heard by "Mount Ripken" who is a mere 20 yards at most from our location. While the anger of the situation was calming down, I felt this was no time or place in which to interrupt the man. So I stated in reply, "Helllll nooo. Did you see how angry he looked!?!?"
HOTEL AT SEATTLE TACOMA AIRPORT - (circa) august 2002 - "THE WITCHING HOUR" :
Somewhere in & around the SEATAC Airport...you know the former hunting grounds of the Green River Killer, a serial killer (or perhaps killers?) responsible for the brutal murder of countless young women of Seattle.
This specific night in question, I had myself a very strange experience. However, I have very little recollection of such an experience...just as it was explained to me by the only witness to the bizarre event...albeit a very frightened witness.
I was departing Seattle from my 3rd visit to the Grunge capital. It was August 2002, I had just spent a wonderful week with a beautiful young gal taking in all of the sights and scenes that Seattle had to offer, including the explosion of "Mount Ripken"...a pacific northwest event only rivaled by nearby Mount St Helens pop'n its top decades earlier. Needless to say it was the end of a great trip, and the following day meant, back to conducting overseas operations for ol Double J. As I lay asleep, next to the beautiful gal who had accompanied me on the Seattle "invasion", again, somewhere in & around the SEATAC airport.
Well as legend has it, at some point in the night I erupt from my sleep and the bed with one swift motion towards the window (again, I have no recollection of this, only a frightened witness account the following morning). At the window, I allegedly open the shades and begin to stare off into the stars of the night sky. This of course had awoken my partner, as she awoke and questioned "Uhhh, is everything OK!?". To which I (allegedly) replied with a slight turn of my head, in order to look away from the window and back towards the bed...and said "They're coming". I am certain at this point that she was frightened and intrigued by the next question, simultaneously. To which she replied, "who is coming?". This is apparently the point in which I turned my attention back to the night sky, this time pointing directly into the mix of stars that circled above the well-illuminated Seattle sky and stated "They're coming"....
What can I say Folks of the Interwebs, perhaps Seattle brings out the "weird" in folks? (apparently myself included)...
On with the show, "Smells like Laurel Canyon"....we shall pick up this tale in & around the region Dave McGowan ended his tale, the Copeland family...but more specifically IRS records...
Stay tuned...the next installment - "The CIA, FBI, IRS....and the Pope of Grunge!"