Monday, September 10, 2012

4 A. Labor Day weekend, Africans, Buddnark and More

Sunday was another OK day. I forgot I won tickets to the Irish Festival at the Lake County Fairgrounds. All this culture, African, Irish, Budnarr what ever culture that is. I had two tickets but went by myself. Just getting out as I was parking was a car from out of town. He saw the Bus and said Wow that is cool. I asked if he wanted a ticket he said sure. They drove all the way up from Columbus about 150 miles away to attend what they thought was the Oktoberfest. I walked away as they were still squabbling about it. Later on I found out the Oktoberfest was at the Berea Fairgrounds about 40 miles away. German fest Irish fest what's the difference both have beer besides at least they now had one free ticket.

These cultural fests are turning into real bland generic events or simply American. I thought I stuck out amongst the pale face but not as much as the ladies manning the coffee and snack booth I bought from. The lady asked do you want SHOE GAR? Awww, you must be Filipino. Yes I am. Shoe gar is sugar. I learned that from Ruth.

But whats weirder than an Italian buying coffee from a Filipino at an Irish fest? A Hawiian doing his native dance. All I could think of was the Irishman who set up the entertainment at the time had to be drunk.

I didn't stay long my sister and niece we waiting for me to go to Geneva on the Lake. More culture, bikers culture.

Gotta GoGo!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

3. Labor Day weekend, Africans, Buddnark and More

I met up with Walt at his reunion. Everyone Walt talked to he would introduce me this way: This is Carey, my wife couldn't make it so he is my date. I had enough of that real quick so I went over to where you signed in and lo and behold just what I was looking for a name tag, Gary Buddnark, that should work.

I slapped it on and rejoined Walt. Hey Gary I remember you, you use to wrestle. I did? I was into science. Oh come on you wrestled. Well one time I wrestled the teacher. Are you guys trippin? You were pretty good at wrestling. I'm sorry I had brain damage and don't remember much maybe I wrestled.

Another lady thought I was sick because she remembered Gary as being taller and heavier. And then she blurted out OH YOU ARE NOT GAR BUDDNARK! Yes I am. You know why I know? Because that's his best friend right there he told me. I walked over to this guy who was just laughing at me and said hey best friend so glad to meet you. They showed me Gary's photo in the year book and said you know I guess you could sort of pass for him. After some small talk and info on Gary and I ran with it.

Next person who came up to me I made a routine up. Hi remember me, I use to wrestle, my brothers did to, I was sick that's why I am thinner. It was a riot. The best was a lady who earlier in the night Walt introduced me to but before I wore the name tag. She saw us again and said hi to Walt and noticed my name tag. Gary Buddnark??? Now I am confused. You are Gary? Yes I am Gary. Huh? Was your brother here? Yep and he looks just like me. OK now that makes sense.

I even took a few photos for their school reunion with the name tag on. I wonder if it will make the booklet?

About an hour later the lady sitting with Gary's best best friend ran up to me and said give me the name tag, the real Gary is here. OUCH! I think its time to go. No come with me and you can meet him. When Gary saw me he made a fist like he wanted to knock me out. But my wit beat him. I hope I did you well, I told everyone I was an excellent wrestler. They even took our photo together.

Before I left I walked over to Gary's best friend and said I feel sad, I feel like I just lost my best friend.

Hey memories were made. Who knows at the next reunion, maybe I will get an invite or fill in for Gary if he can't. At least they will have something else to talk about... remember the two Gary's at our last reunion.

2. Labor Day weekend, Africans, Buddnark and More

 Julia my Kenyan friend invited me the day before to an east African gathering in the park and Walt called to remind me of his 30th school reunion he wanted me to attend with him.

 A huge car show with free food and free everything in exchange for an African outing and a school reunion because of a magnet. Did I mention the magnet already? What a trade off. Don't laugh this is real but now I am glad the magnet got stuck but Gary Buddnarrk I'm not so sure. Who's that? I'll get to him.

This is the email Julia sent me:
Please join The Ohio Association of East Africans (TOAFEA) for a fully charged afternoon of fun events and tantalizing food at North Chagrin Reservation. We will be at the Strawberry picnic area. Let's get together to celebrate with refreshments, great food, good friends and a goat barbeque. Pass the message along to all your friends from the East African Community.

I told my friends where I was going and said I will just tell them I am the white sheep of the family. I'm glad I went it turned out to be a fantastic time. It gave me a glimpse of what it is like for foreigners to come here and some of the hardships they face in settling and getting acclimated. The organizer of the event gave a short speech what the group was all about. The one thing that stood out was when he said we are here for many things and if you need to be bailed out of jail we are even here for that. He went on to explain when someone asked him what exactly he meant. This is for if you have a bad day and run a red light or something like that but not for criminal activity. I wondered if all foreigners face this or just Africans or people of color? OK maybe that observation was to political for this story.

The food they had was wonderful. I won't even try to tell you what I ate because I don't know. All I remember was the goat, some kind of beef and spinach. Delicious. There are only so many foods.  Most nationalities eat the same thing but its how the food is prepared and what seasonings used. I really enjoyed what I ate and had a fun time conversing and learning new things.

 I asked the lady at our table what part of Africa she was from. She looked at me kind of strange and said I AM AN AMERICAN do I look like an African? Uh - how do you answer that? So I quickly thought and said sometimes I assume the wrong thing. NEXT.

As I was leaving I told Julia I brought the GoGo Bus wanna a ride? We walked to the parking lot and I asked see if you can find the purple bus. She replied I think I can see it. I hope so. Julia and her friend climbed in and I drove them around the duck pond and back. Instead of leaving them at the parking lot I drove right up to where everyone was gathered. Before I could even open the door there was a rush.

What is this thing? One kid asked do you sell ice cream? Another kid wow this is a house on wheels. So it was another trip around metro and the count was I think 7 on board.

  I had an ideal spot in mind to show them - Squires Castle.  Everyone thought I was just joking, they didn't think there was an actual castle.  Well - surprise surprise surprise when they saw it and it was just perfect timing when we arrived. The castle sits atop a hill, it was a little after dusk, just enough light and circling over the castle were... bats. Serious! We had a great time walking around the castle and just acting silly there and driving back to the picnic. 

I dropped them off but felt bad because another group wanted a ride. Oh well had to leave, it was time to meet Walt.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

1. Labor Day weekend, Africans, Buddnark and More

It's been a learning process that has taken me years to learn that if something goes wrong that's my luck um yes but that's not what I wanted to write. If something goes wrong just go with the flow and see what comes up or where you're led and most of the time things will turn out OK.

This past Labor Day weekend I planned on attending The Glenn Christian Ox Roast car show. I wanted to enter the GoGo Bus. It hasn't been used much in way over a year and was sorely lacking in sparkle from just sitting. So I worked in earnest all week like a nut to bring it up to show condition. And then it happened.

Now don't laugh because this is the truth. A magnet got stuck on the GoGo Bus. I know what you're thinking... well that's what a magnet should do, but not like this. I mean it got stuck. It cost me a set of fingernails and a chip in the paint to remove it. It was Mom who came to the rescue and said try a wooden popsicle stick or I may still be out there. In the end that stupid magnet cost me over a hour and a half.

Why didn't I just leave it? Well it was a fairly large American flag magnet and when I went to remove it to wax the Bus only half came off. How could anyone show a vehicle with half a US flag and one that was crooked, it had to come off.

About that lost hour and a half... Registration for the car show closed at 7pm Friday. I am one hour and 20 minutes away. I pull out of my drive go to my sisters down the street, leave there, look at the time it is 6:20. And then reality hit me, even though it is the GoGo Bus it really is the go slow bus. I never would of made it so I turned around and went back home. It was that darn magnet that cost me. Friday was a bust but the rest of the weekend actually turned out grand all because of that magnet.

Stay tuned.....
Gotta GoGo!!