All Noe wanted to do for his 40th birthday party was sit on his deck and grill. But the weather in South Bend, Indiana did not cooperate that day.
So we improvised, pulling the cars into the driveway between showers and setting up the grill and a makeshift dining area in the garage. When in Indiana, do as the Indianans do.
I’ve known Noe for almost 20 years. In college, we forged our friendship, discussing music, theater, and love, while drinking the cheapest beer we could find. In our twenties, as roommates in Chicago, we often pooled our meager funds together to buy cheap bourbon and pass the time getting drunk and inventing card games. Years later, I’d visit him and his wife in L.A. There, we set out to discover locally made craft beer. Now, as we both enter our forties, I visit him, his wife, and his son in South Bend, where we enjoy all of the above, plus lots of wine. I don’t mind telling you that his garage bar was the coolest joint in the tri-county area, sure as shit.
Life moves pretty fast. If you’re lucky, you find friends that make every place a party.