Not to overhype, but this was one of my most Epic Weekends in history! This weekend was also a reminder to enjoy current days that we have and that tomorrow is never promised. We celebrated Saint Patrick's Day Weekend in Franklin, Vernon, New Jersey and in Mansfield, Foxborough, Massachusetts. Taking Awesome Girlfriend Megan back up to Boston for my family's annual Saint Patrick's Day Party is always one of my favorite weekends all year long. My family has a 13 foot long sports bar in our raised ranch basement, so our parties over the past 10+ years have accidentally grown to also become quite epic. Lots of laughs and funny stories.
My Epic Weekend started with a massage from my buddy Elaine. She's based in Vernon, and her medical style massage on my neck and shoulders has me feeling better than I have in a couple of years. I told Elaine a couple months ago that I have missed running the past two years, and her goal is to help me get back to that. My bad neck and back have prevented me from running, but I know we are getting closer and closer to my return. (You can always private message me for her e-mail.) I also showed Elaine how to look at each picture in my Epic Weekend In Pictures. Our site doesn't always showcase how easy it is to look at all of our pictures. All you need to do is keep hitting the right arrow on the pictures and you'll see all of them. Talk about a great way to start your weekend!
Friday, Awesome Girlfriend Megan and I were planning to see our friends at The Cottage in Franklin. I tend to avoid the crowds on actual Saint Patrick's Day and prefer to support my favorite Irish Pubs on days other than the huge party holidays. We figured Friday night we were still in town before Shipping Up To Boston, so why not see our friends? Our bestie Marky texted us Friday afternoon that a regular staple at The Cottage and all over Franklin, Bobby O'Hara had just passed away in his home. This didn't seem real to us at all, seeming like a bad joke especially with the timing going into Saint Patrick's Day Weekend. Bobby was 79, and lived in the house literally right next door to The Cottage. He could tell you exactly how many steps it was from the bar to his bedroom, and would joke that sometimes the steps were a higher total after a few drinks. Bobby and I were just talking over the previous weekend about how we both prefer to hang at our favorite Irish Pubs when they're not crazy crowded like on the big holidays. We had a fun, normal time. He seemed to be fine. Another reminder that tomorrow isn't promised. It was a somber vibe, but everyone still wanted to honor him. We knew it's what he would have wanted. We all shared our hilarious Bobby stories. One of mine happened two years ago. I was having a conversation with him and our friend Packer Fan Patrick. I was likely ranting about football. Bobby stopped me mid sentence and said "Steve, wait a minute, you sound like a radio announcer! Wait, is that YOU who's on the radio? Oh my goodness! I've known you for years, we always say hi, talk for a minute, then you go to the other side of the bar to watch your Patriots and I never put the two and two together until just now!!!" I already miss seeing Bobby's car on my drive into work every morning. RIP, my friend.
Friday night Meg and I stayed in and hung out watching NFL Network on my couch. We are very content with that victory. Then, as Meg was starting to fall asleep, they showed the Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells Two Bills documentary. I WAS SO EXCITED. Poor Meg enjoyed it even though she was fading in and out. I bribed her with microwave popcorn to help her stay up a little longer and that plan worked. How lucky is Awesome Girlfriend Megan?
Saturday, time to Ship Up To Boston! Meg and I made it in just under 4 hours, no traffic at all. Victories! I took Meg to my favorite wing place in all of America, Wendell's in Norton, Massachusetts. I grew up ten minutes away from this dive, who are still cash only in 2019, and they have the hottest wings east of the Mississippi. Seriously. They have won many awards. I have loved that place since I was a teenager. My bestie Davey and I were so excited to finally take Meg here for her first time. With Wendell's, the hotter they make the wings, the more their flavor somehow increases as well. This isn't like the hotter the wing the more flavor you lose, exact opposite. It's like a painful magic trick. I devoured my Extra Spicy wings and was wearing the sauce all over my hands and face. How lucky is Meg? Davey wolfed down his 3.5s (level right below Extra Spicy,) and Meg tried out Regulars. They were too garlic and buttery for her which I totally get. It's like they can't make stuff well unless it's super hot. Meg was happy she tried it and saw our place in person, but after that voted that Davey and my other bros from home can keep that place to ourselves. LOL. Meg is a champ.
Saturday afternoon, time to party! We had such a wonderful time with our family and friends. Padre got a keg of Smithwicks straight from Dublin, Ireland and he cooked 23 pounds of corned beef. We always say go big or go home in my family. I haven't been back home in Boston since Christmas, and it was amazing to hug my family in person. My family and friends have always been my everything. Then to make the party even better, our buddies Chris and Kayla were able to hire a sitter for their adorable twins. It was great getting to see them in person. Meg and I will be seeing their twins this June. Miss them. Also great to see JDawg, who has lost almost a hundred pounds since his heart attack last September. He's looking great. At one point, Meg made a funny comment to my family about something. JDawg joked "Meg, you're out of the family!" Meg immediately countered with "Fine, if I'm out of the family, you guys get Steve back!" My family immediately all started shouting "Nope, non negotiable, you're stuck with Steve Allan we had him long enough!!!" My family is hilarious. Irish humor.
Sunday, Awesome Girlfriend Megan and Madre let me go shopping with them. This proved to be a very painful experience for them. We have learned that I love shopping, but not perusing and searching. I am very mission oriented, want to go in and find what I like and then get the bleep out of dodge. Meg and Madre love to search and peruse. I pace and go insane. How lucky is Awesome Girlfriend Megan again? I then took them to Gillette stadium for a selfie and some victory drinks.
Sunday late afternoon our neighbor besties came by to join our ongoing party and we had several laughs, and a nice early night.
Ugh, then Monday happens. Always a teary goodbye with my parents and JDawg every single time, with me usually starting the waterworks, worse than anyone. At least we enjoyed a great farewell lunch with them at Fresh Catch in Mansfield, where I enjoyed amazing New England Clam Chowder and a seared tuna sandwich. Seafood back in New England just can't be beat, even though I'm a little biased.
Tuesday ended up being a staycation day for me which was tons of fun. I did some morning errands, and then spent the afternoon relaxing in the hot tubs at Minerals Sports Club. Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE LIVING HERE? My buddy Gary Cee from our sister station 103.7 NNJ also gave me help on my vacation. Not only does he help hold down the fort here when I'm out of town, Gary also lent me a book on Kurt Cobain and Nirvana that was written by their manager, Danny Goldberg. This book was so compelling I read it in one day yesterday. I read half before the hot tubs, then the second half afterwards. I felt the author gave a fair, balanced picture of everything. The behind the scenes stories were absolutely fascinating, especially the March 24th Intervention where they tried so hard to help Cobain get clean. I was also surprised at how strategic Kurt Cobain always was with his vision for Nirvana. One story also had him watching MTV all afternoon one day, then calling his manager worried that he saw 3 Pearl Jam videos and only 1 Nirvana video. I wouldn't have pictured Cobain to be that type, nor reading everything written about them way back in the day. Here's the Amazon link to that book if you're interested.
Overall, we had an amazing weekend in Jersey and Boston. It started off with a reminder about tomorrow not being promised, and how we need to cherish our loved ones - but also show them how much and why we love them. I'm glad that my last conversation with Bobby O'Hara was a normal, pleasant one just like any other day. Rest in peace, my friend. I'm sure you're making many laugh at an Irish Pub up in heaven.
We will continue to honor and celebrate him next weekend. I hope your weekend was wonderful. I am working every single day from now through March 30th. We will always have fun while working, that's for sure. Time to start planning next weekend!