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Big time!

I watched the Pac-12 football championship game at the Big Time after work yesterday. The Old Woolly Barleywine is always released on December 1st, so it was also an opportunity to sample this year's batch, which is very good as usual. The release of the barleywine always brings old regulars around, and I saw two of the old Big Time crew that I haven't seen in years. Mark, who left to start a brewpub in Port Townsend, told me that he has since gone to culinary school and is now a cook at a high end restaurant in Belltown. He has a girlfriend who's celebrating her 30th birthday, the dog. He headed out to pick up some gifts and food for her, and not long afterward his old girlfriend Dawn came in. We only chatted briefly, but it was nice that she came over to say hi and that she swung by to say goodbye as she left.

By that time another old timer, Greg, had sat down next to me, although he didn't show any sign of recognizing me, so I didn't say anything. Dawn gave him a hug before she said goodbye to me. When the University of Oregon pulled to a big lead over UCLA in the third quarter of the game, I got up to leave.

Greg said, "If Dawn knows you, you must be an old timer here."

So we chatted a bit, and I told him the last time I'd seen him, he was still a bartender at Flowers. Now he works for a game company in Redmond, although he still lives in the U District. He apologized for not remembering me.

Well, you know, I've been going to the Big Time since it opened in 1988. I've got a lot of memories connected to it. Later today Hazel is coming by to show me some designs for a handrail she's going to make for our outside stairs, and I'll tell her about seeing Mark and Dawn. Last night had a sweet feeling of reunion. Dawn thought the last time we'd seen each other was after the barleywine was released. Maybe I'll see her again in a few years.

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