One year ago, my favorite bartender , Laurien, through my then nightclub manager, Lacey, let me know that my best Nashville friend, Rodney Irvin, who I dubbed (and he accepted) “Roddawg”, had suddenly passed away at the mere age of forty-five. 

He was more than my ticket guy (assistant manager) at the Schermahorn Symphony and other events, he was a true friend from  the night at Applebees when he introduced himself and where we used to hang on those lonely days after I first moved here and was given the bum’s rush by an idiot employer.  He used to listen to me on the radio, and enjoyed R&B music seemingly much more than I, “for a white guy” lol  

The only disagreement we ever had was over Barry Bonds and whether he used “steroids” or not back in 2005 or so, at Applebees one evening.  I didn’t want to dignify the allegations, while wanting to give “the Brother” the benefit of the doubt, while Roddawg was adamant that Bonds “cheated” – even though as a St. Louis Cardinal fan, I don’t remember Rodney demeaning his “boye” Mark McGuire, or Chicago Cub Sammy Sosa with the same fervor – maybe that was why I didn’t want to discuss the divisive matter with him.  I brushed him off as he left “Apples”  that night, because he kept insisting Bonds was “guilty”, and figured it was just another “because he is black” instance. Here is Bonds, the Pittsburgh Pirate, probably after popping-up, as usual back then:

Well now with Bonds, convicted on one count of “obstructing justice”, the jury “hung” on the perjury and other more serious counts, I suppose we can move on to better uses of the judicial system.  So as I washed my dishes after dinner tonight, I said, “Are you satisfied now?” to Rodney, posthumously and with a smile.

In my heart-of-hearts, I don’t care about which baseballer of that era used the chemicals of the hour to try to enhance his stroke.  I think that every era has its perceived “magic pill”.  From Babe Ruth and beer to Reggie Jackson’s day and whatever hallucinogenic they did in the 1970s.  I just hope that Roger Clemens gets tagged with something now, otherwise the “great white baseball rocket hope” will live in denial the rest of his days. 

Roddawg, I still do not know the cause of your demise or why you suddenly died, and am still trying to make sense of it all. Sometimes I wish I could trade places with you.  After all, you had a lovely wife and the perfect American family with two kids, a boy and a girl.  I wonder why I am left here to struggle and try to still figure it all out, when you seemingly “had it all”?  I wish you were still around to know that I finally found my soul-mate, Nina, and plan to travel overseas.  I guess what I am trying to express is that while there are no Icelandic volcanoes spewing ash clouds this spring, the Earth is quaking and humans are still mistaking while I and others who knew you still miss you and “the Garagemahal” on many occasions. Why In The World Am I Here?

 Therefore, I want to tell you that, in a way, you were right about Barry Bonds, as with some other issues we tried to answer – and as usual I was correct too; so we’d toast a “beverage” or two and agree even though originally we disagreed.  I love you, ‘Bro…my “brotha from anotha mutha…” lol