• Studebaker Hawk

Something about her....

by Ric Plamondon -

Ah, JRB’s. A dark, seedy, local Simi Valley bar. Some would say the place had character. I would submit that it was filled WITH characters.

We used to do regular performances at JRB’s. This was at a time when I was in the midst of a heartbreaking and expensive divorce, so shows were an opportunity for me to kill some of the brain cells that had any memory of that relationship and the pain it caused. I had a willing ally in the fight against sobriety in the form of the bartender, Kat, who Chris Fayz and I had known since she worked at Pat’s Cocktails in Studio City. Kat was built for bartending. She can have the personality of a drill sergeant when needed, but has a heart of gold if you get to know her. And her drinks should come with a warning label. At any rate, she was always prepared to get me inebriated. She poured with a hand heavier than a sack of granite. And I self medicated accordingly.

One Friday night, my buddy Gregg came out to watch the show. Gregg is a sweet guy; just never landed the right girl, so I offered to kinda be his wingman. The night’s frivolity went off as was par for the course, and at some point I noticed from the stage the silhouette of a woman slinking through the bar. There was something about that walk that I really liked.

On a break I tracked down the object of my affection who was outside smoking with her friend, a cute little Korean girl named Cindy. I approached them and delivered the dumbest opening line ever. ”You guys are hot.” (Oy-what an idiot!) But, thanks to Kat’s cocktails, it was met with enthusiasm instead of the mockery it deserved. We chatted and I was smitten by Cindy’s friend, Julie.

I went back to work and at some point the ladies were out on the dance floor swirling and gyrating provocatively. Gregg had been interested in Julie, but his attention turned to Cindy at one point, as Cindy had danced with him for awhile. Now I say “dance”, but it was more like a guy grinding into a girl. Cindy liked him because he is a nice guy, just a crappy dancer. (Me too.) Gregg had googly eyes for her and decided he would crash at my house and try and see if he could make some time with her the following night because the ladies said they would be coming back.

As promised, they did. But this time Cindy brought….her boyfriend with her. Unfortunately for poor Gregg, he had misread the signs and thought that she was available. Nope. Just trying to dance. And by this time, Julie and I shared a mutual affection…so poor Gregg was going home alone yet again. To this day, he still says I stole Julie from him.

Thank God I did. As of this writing, we have been together for 16 years. And it has been a perfect match.

The greatest gift Studebaker Hawk has had to give has been the connections with people. Not just my wife, but many, many others who have since become dear friends. There are a ton of people who have come to see us who will tell you how they were greeted as a conquering hero at every show. We have a circle that has gotten very large over the years. We’ve seen marriages, divorces, children and reconciliations. Our supporters are the fuel that keeps us running. The joy that I’ve derived from being a part of this project is priceless to me.

And I’m forever grateful.

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