Wednesday, December 20, 2006

losing one of your own...

From the time I was in about....11th grade've hung out at the Amazing Phoenix Theater. Basically the Phoenix is an old movie theater that became a hang out/concert hall once the single screen movie theater bizz dried up. I think the first Timothy Dalton Bond movie was about the last big movie they had. And the Yahoo Serious movie. Then it was second run...then it was no run...then it was us. Our ring leaders were Tom Gaffey and Dave Marquez and the rest was a collection of basically...societal orphans, matt and marc, jeremy, danny mckenna, scotty, mikey, big mike, jodell, robert and Nate. There were others too but those come to mind.

Later in life, all of our paths always crossed as we were forever part of "The Phoenix Family." If a big show (Faith no More, Greenday, Primus, metallica. d.o.e.) came around, we all came to the show, helped out, got loaded (later) and had fun. It was like...our playground. Hell, when I was 17 I was booking half the shows there. We slept in there, looked for ghosts....made out with chicks. Well, not me...but people did. But as we got older, we all still kept in touch and Tom has an annual Christmas Eve party every year where us oldies can socialize with the new breed. Nate Reifers was always around. When I finally decided to really give in to my teenaage insecurities and officially "hang out" at the Phoenix, Nate was one of the first to welcome me.

My first real memory of Nate was...we were going to go inner tubing like we had a hundred times before, but we "had to go get Nate." "Going to get Nate" I soon found out is like a catch phrase for, "be ready to be delayed an hour due to fire, maiming, arguing, stumbling, sleeping, writing a paper, on the phone, listening to music, general stonerness" or just plain "Nate said he'd be here..." This time we went to Nates house and he was knee deep in making pot brownies. I frigging hate pot and he was all of 15 years old but immediately launched into a long explanation of how you have to put the buds IN the butter and let them rest. His excitement and apparent knowledge was both interesting and annoying. Luckily that only took an hour and we went tubing. Nate was a fucking blast. We did the river round TWICE.

As life rolled on, I got married to my wife Erica. Erica, as it turns out, was best friends with one of my old Phoenix Family friends, the aforementioned Nate Reifers. Ironically, I remember about a hundred conversations with Nate when he and Erica hung out, but I never met her to my knowledge. But that's another blog. Life went on and Nate wandered in and out of my life. He was at our wedding and actually got in a scuffle with his best friend at the wedding after party. His mom lives like, 50 yards away from my in-laws. Trhough all the incarnations of knowing him, Nate was...Nate. You all have a friend like that. Flakey, annoying, honest, funny and always there. In his heart, Nate was the best but sometimes he was prone to being a pain. But dammit...all the best people you know are all over the map and you wouldn't want them any other way.

Unfortunately this blog has a sad ending as Nate was somehow stabbed and killed Saturday in Petaluma. You can read about it HERE. I don't know at this point where the sadness ends or starts and where the anger/frustration/apathy towards society begins with the same jumbled confusion. I think I speak for everyone when I say, "what the fuck?"

I went down to the Phoenix Sunday after I heard the news and a good bunch of us family were all there. We hugged Gaffey and kind of stood around dumbfounded, just like when Danny McKenna died. But when Danny died, it felt like he had succumbed to his demons and kind of gradually drifted away. At least, that's the way I felt. With's just surprising. We're talking about a guy who two years ago nearly blew himself up trying to see why his gas generator had went out by using a lighter to see. He shouldn't have died at all let alone a year after his daughter was born...let alone by not doing something really boneheaded....let alone at the frigging bars in Petaluma. It's just not the way Nate Reifers was supposed to go. But he's gone now so all we can do is let the magic and memories of the Phoenix try and make it O.K. this Saturday. Godspeed Nate!! We miss ya man!


Gabby said...

Donny - You just made me cry, I haven't checked you blog in awhile (hey you started being a flake!) but I knew you would write about Nate. See you and Erica on Saturday. G

Pete said...

I haven't checked in here in a while, so please accept my belated condolences. Nate sounded like an interesting dude.