Casey and I often reflect and dream about the many unknown encounters we must have had around Oklahoma City over the years, growing up so close. We both agree that as much as we’d like to have gotten together sooner, it probably would have been a disaster. We were both very different people in our teens and twenties. We agree that those years of suffering, bad choices and stupid actions may have been inevitable. It's a good thing we didn’t inflict them on each other.
Time passed. Casey later confided that he had saved the band contact card my then musical partner had given him. He kept it in view for months, and was often reminded of me thinking, “Who was that woman?”
By the next spring, in March, I was reeling from the groundbreaking act of divorce. It was a gut-wrenching black hole that scraped my soul. Fact is that band-aid should’ve been ripped off years and years before. So I was wobbling like a roly-poly toy, coming back into myself, back to the free, right-thinking person I could have been all along. Hard Lesson.
I bumped into Casey again at the Civic Center where he was employed as a stagehand. I was keeping my mom company at a Philharmonic concert. Anyone who knows Casey will agree that he never forgets a face, and rarely a name. If you’ve gone anywhere with him, even to another state, you know he will run into a friend or friends. So even from the mezzanine he recognized me down in the lobby and thought, “I know that woman.” and came to say hey.
Months later in Sept. 2010, I was cruising facebook and saw something that interested me: professional looking videos and photos from Acoustic Oklahoma. My friend Drava and I were just kicking off our new music project, Local Honey, and realized how valuable a video and some promotion would be. We had nothing like that, and none of the know-how, or cash to make it happen, and here was a man doing it for free because he wanted to. We jumped on it. I quickly figured out Acoustic Oklahoma was my old acquaintance, soundman, Casey Friedman. I messaged him. We hoped to be a part of his project.
Early fall my partner Drava and I showed up at the HornTrader to each make a video for AO. I was shocked and disarmed to see the video camera was a tiny thing, something I thought was just for quick pictures. The process was easy, done in one take. We were number 20 and 21, in a long line of musicians.
I didn’t understand if Casey lived in the cavernous white painted space above the HornTrader or if this was just his studio. It was unclear. He was a mystery.
Soon Casey started adding Local Honey here and there to the Acoustic Oklahoma showcases. These shows, and his photos and videos on facebook and youtube, really helped get our name out there. It was also fascinating to discover through AO the large extended family of talented local musicians. Soon we were playing all over town.
One night at VZDs I was chatting with Casey and friends before Local Honey played. We were talking about this guy I had just broken up with. Casey shook his head and wondered aloud, “Why don’t you try a normal man for once.” The others at the table nodded in agreement. I felt Casey was talking about himself, and I was thinking, “You’re a normal man?” He didn’t own a car and went everywhere by bicycle. This coupled with the fact that he resided in a huge loft decorated in a churchlike, minimalist style, everything painted white, above his dad’s awesomely cluttered music store in a rundown area of downtown OKC did not say ‘normal man’ in my mind. But I kept remembering his words.
I guess I was lonely, because when Casey called to book Local Honey, our conversations lasted longer and longer. I really loved talking to Casey. One day he asked if I wanted to hang out. I said, “Sure.” And invited him over.
He showed up dressed in lots of layers of winter clothes, to keep him warm on his bike ride. He was afraid I had stood him up since no car was parked in the driveway, but he knocked and I was there.