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Were I a Hero

October 28th, 2006 by jomo

Tommy, an acquaintance of 30 years, spoke at the memorial service for his cousin, and I remembered that long ago he had made me, in someone’s eyes, a hero. I later told my wife that story, and she said, write it down. So I am.

The Austin Jug Band (in which I played the jug many years back) was taking a break during our regular Tuesday night gig at Spellman’s Saloon on W. 5th. The couple who had hosted a party that some of the band had attended the previous weekend came up to me and the woman said “You’re a real hero. I want to thank you.” I asked what for. She said “For stopping the fight between Tommy and Jimmy.” I asked for more details, because I didn’t remember stopping any fight.

Tommy, she explained, was threatening to rip Jimmy’s face with the sharp end of a “church key.” It was a tense stand-off in the kitchen. I walked into the midst of it with an unopened longneck, and asked “Anyone seen the bottle-opener?” Then I saw what I needed in Tommy’s upraised (menacing) hand, and said “Oh – there it is. Can I use that, Tommy?” I took it from him and the situation was defused…and some there were who thought me heroic.

But we know the truth, you and I. It was just the tipsy jug player wanting to open another beer.

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