Sunday, January 19, 2020

My Friend Stanley

After I quit my 9-5 job back in September, I wanted to get back into doing open mics. So I began looking online for some places to go perform on a Monday. There were a lot, so I pondered for awhile and decided to go to Schubas on Southport.

I showed up and put my name in the bowl and sat down by myself. I was nervous as it had been awhile since I'd been to an open mic, and I felt out of place. Waiting for the show to start, I looked near the entrance and saw an old man walking in with a guitar strapped to his back. I thought "That's a big guitar for that old man to carry up all those steps." We made eye contact and he said something to me, and came over to talk. I was very glad to have someone to talk to, and I felt more comfortable relating to him than all the other people closer to my age.

Stanley Johnson
His name was Stanley. He made some humorous comments about his old age and being a former body builder. He flexed his pecs for me to prove it. The show then started and Stanley went to sit down somewhere.

It was a raffle, so they picked names randomly out of the bowl 5 at a time, then would pick 5 more after they had all performed.

I sat and watched some people perform, anticipating if they were going to pick me. After 3 rounds of picking out of the bowl my name hadn't been called.  I didn't want to watch or wait for my name to possibly be picked so I walked out of the place. I went outside and saw someone there writing so I started talking to them. Stanley soon came out and joined our conversation. I told Stanley I was gonna leave and he offered to give me a ride home. 

As he drove me home he was cracking me up telling me about getting fired from Uber and Lyft, driving a cab on and off through out his life, stories from his body building days, and so on.

Stanley 6 months ago
He gave me his card and told me to watch a YouTube video of him performing in 1990. He wants to get 10,000 views before he turns 75 in a few days, so help him out and give it a watch, it's well worth it. 

A couple months went by, and I called him every so often. Then one day in November we talked and he offered to pick me up to hang out.

We went to Welles Park to get me a gym member ship and he made everyone in there laugh for five minutes. My favorite thing that he said in there was in the midst of an awkward silence "So, do you guys still smoke a lot of marijuana here at Welles Park." They all clapped for his performance when we left. When I go back there to work out, they often ask me about him.

He approached this little mannequin boy
saying" Stanley!" So I took a picture of them.
After that we went to Target, where he found a miniature version of himself with a red flannel. We then went to a furniture store, and a guitar place, he's very talented on the guitar and the banjo.

We then stopped by Whole Foods to get some nuts and food from the hot bar. We'll go back there from time to time. He took some nuts for the road, and at the check out the woman asked him, "Do you need a bag?" Which allowed Stanley to reply "No thanks, I'm married." Which made me laugh for 4 minutes straight.

He stopped by my family's place on Christmas to play some guitar for them. They all loved him too, and I'm glad I got to share him with them. I'm always happy to introduce Stanley to my friends to make them laugh.

Now I see him close to every day, he drives me places I need to go and we have great laughs. He'll tell me stories about driving a cab, and give me health and comedy tips. We'll run errands together, and pleasantly harass people where ever we go. When we part ways he'll say"Okay, Daddio, play it by ear, I am approachable." 

He was kind enough to make an appearance on my first Vic Smith Monday of 2020. I've labeled him a comedy legend. I'm also his computer coach, as we go to the library and I show him how to use his laptop, for payment of the rides and the laughs. 

I'm a big fan of him, and he will be one of the people I will miss a lot when I leave for Ireland.