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October 19, 2014

The Playa Provides

Back in the late 1980s in Boston I had a good friend Jeff. Nothing romantic, just a real good friend. About 1991 he left New England, moving to Atlanta, hoping to find less racism. He successfully achieved that goal. If any reader suffers under the illusion that you couldn't possibly find rampant racism in New England, suffer no more. After his move, we drifted apart and foolishly completely lost track of each other, not due to any fight or disagreement; we were just younger and stupider. He's ten years younger than me, so the younger was mostly him and the stupider was mostly me.

Time passed (something like 23 years). Wars began and ended, Al Gore built the internet for us, I left New England for a warmer clime (I successfully achieved that goal). Then it was September 2014 and I began to upload my photos from the most recent Burning Man to Flickr. A Flickr user with the user name Jeff.jeffslastname favorited a couple of them. The name leaped out at me. Could it be? I went to look at some of his Flickr photos to try to identify him. Holy moly, it was him, and there were photos of him at Burning Man! A couple of emails exchanged led to hours on the phone and the re-establishment of our friendship.

It turns out he now lives in San Francisco and has been going to Burning Man every year since 2010, and we have done some of the same events at the same time, meaning he and I were probably brushing past each other without knowing. Yesterday I finally sat myself down to start paging through my Burning Man photos from the last five years and I found him on the 2013 Naked Pub Crawl riding right behind me! We both missed that opportunity to reconnect. My excuse is that I don't have eyes in the back of my head, except for GoPro eyes [for those of you who are new here, I sometimes wear my GoPro on my head pointing backwards on these naked bike rides]. Hence the photo. Jeff's excuse, I suppose, is that after 23 years my ass isn't as lovely as it was when he last saw it, so he failed to recognize me. Black Rock City is a big place and we have been camping on opposite sides of the city. Jeff likes the exciting gayborhood while my Burner Buddies prefer the quieter 'burbs across town.

Jeff - Naked Pub Crawl 2013
Isn't that a carefully placed drinking cup?!
(Looks like a brushed metal wine glass.) He has hardly aged a bit. One or two more facial wrinkles and that patch of gray in his beard are the only aging I can see. We've been able to pick up almost where we left off, except there are all those years to fill in. It's sort of like Christmas, only a lot better. This kind of thing happens only in movies, I thought.

Filed under Burning Man,Cycling | permalink | October 19, 2014 at 04:05 PM


That is one sweet story, Ron; is it a small world or what!

Posted by: Earl at Oct 20, 2014 7:46:24 PM

Brian and I are also privileged to have met Jeff...so much fun! Atlanta is undoubtedly a much duller place these days.

Posted by: Jezebel's Master at Oct 19, 2014 5:55:24 PM

Yes indeed! I've got to go to your "church."

Posted by: Jeff at Oct 19, 2014 5:28:20 PM

How cool is that? Now you two will have to meet in person outside BRC. Do I see a trip to SF soon...and who moves to Atlanta to escape racism?

Posted by: andy at Oct 19, 2014 4:29:51 PM

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