On flight from Sacramento to Seattle
As the Silver BMW glides up to the Sacramento Airport curb, I leave my luggage behind and run over to hug 9-year-old Rogie. “Hi dad… I love you!”
Our first stop on the way to our vacation destination is to visit Frank Hannon, founding guitarist of Tesla. A warm greeting and soon we’re watching his son Alex play a classical guitar – one of many Frank has acquired over the years. Alex has a gentle, mature demeanor as he coaxes sweet tones from the instrument. His dad is busy making smoothies for my former wife, Eva; her boyfriend, Josh; Rogie and I. Alex picks up a Les Paul and plays the opening riff of Barracuda through a Marshall amp. His touch is like his personality – quietly confident.
We’re then guided around the property, meeting a few horses and an endearing goat. If it were mine, I’d name it Butter, as he did just that, with a seeming gentleness.
I tell the small audience the story of how I once owned a goat, in the eighties. I lived in the middle of five acres of woods. After breakfast in nearby Redmond one morning, I notice a man selling goats. Thinking about a particularly overgrown area that needs clearing, and knowing a goat’s propensity for accomplishing such a task, I shell out the $45 for the goat and happily drive the mini van home. The goat seems friendly and willing enough, and is soon tied up next to blackberry vines and thick brush, munch, munch, munching. I walk in the house, patting myself on the back, delighted with our new guest, and use my newly-purchased freedom to sit and play guitar. Little over an hour later I go out to check the progress and am shocked and really pissed off! He has chewed through his rope, destroyed several rhododendrons, and is excitedly tromping through and devouring a flower bed.
“That’s it, that’s it… you’re outa here!” I yell as I muscle him back into the mini van. Arriving in Redmond I hear, “I’m sorry, we don’t take returns on the goats, sir.” The goat seller must have seen something special in my eyes when I said, “Well, you’re taking this return, buddy – give me forty five bucks – here’s your goat!” He responded quickly.