Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Beautiful Evening in Portland: Happy Feet on Rainbow Lane

"Jack, Lili's on the blower. Wants to know if me, Kitty, and you can meet up with her and Mittsy tonite. There's people need talking with over off The Beach at Rainbow Lane. Kitty already gave it the up and down." The Beach is a main drag in Stumptown and one of the few on our side of the river that runs at an angle. Lots of action on The Beach and apparently some of it was going to spill onto Rainbow Lane. "Count me in, if trouble's on his way, Mittsy and Lili can use the help."

Lili Barbarula and Mittsy LaCroix were friends from back before me and Dolly-girl set our brake west of Big Muddy. Fact is, me and Dolly-girl saw the first time Lili and Mittsy locked lips. It was after what some would say was too much skidrow one time when Dolly-girl was saying hello to a new decade. Others would say that it was just the right amount of rosso, if you're with me. Anyway, Mittsy's called that from back when he was tending goal for the Les Maringouin des Chicoutimi, a junior hockey team up on the Saguenay. His mitt was so fast that mostly he hardly had to use his stick or blocker.

Lili's a people-sort-a-person who kept folks in line for a drug crowd back east. She left that behind like a bald tire in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, pulled Mittsy out of the penalty box in the Greek part of Gooberland, and did a Horace Greeley. Now they live down The Valley where Mittsy uses the web instead of a mitt and Lili's doing time with the State in Capital City. Lili's sister lives on Rainbow Lane and they were some of the who that needed talking with.

I tucked my heater in my belt while Dolly-girl picked up an applesauce cake and Kitty grabbed a cooler full of cold ones. "Hey, this ain't no picnic at The Beach," I told them. That got me a look through the wave and a "That's exactly what it is, Jack, a picnic. A block party. Food, music, fun. Leave Messrs. S&W home, will ya?" Well, you can imagine I felt 2 inches tall. Here I thought there was some sort of caper afoot but instead, there's just some foot-longs and some capers in a dip. I got to quit taking Stumptown so serious.

We arrived and right away, things were looking up. Turns out, Rainbow Lane is about in the backyard of a place where they brew some pretty good brew and someone had rolled a barrel of Hop Monkey down the street and it was cold.

OK, so The Beach doesn't have to be all business. There was plenty of food around which helped me get past that all-business-in-Stumptown sort of attitude. Plus there were kids, dogs, Tiki torches, and music. I decided to let sleeping dogs lie, got a plate, had a couple of brews, and talked with Dolly-girl, Kitty, Mittsy, and Lili.

The band, called the Slimjims were jammin' up a storm and they were easy on the ears. The pedal steel man knew his way around all sorts of guitars, the lead was singing songs we hadn't heard sung (some for good reason) since back before Stumptown was where we were setting the brake, and they had a chiquita banana on fiddle that was playing everybody's tune. Wasn't long between the Hop Monkey and the steel, and the fiddle, before there were happy feet on Rainbow Lane.

The band kept playing, the blue lights came on, and Kitty was cutting the rug on the street as you can see just to the left.

Me and Dolly-girl swung each other around a bit like Lawrence Welk and little Janet Lennon, and Dolly-girl was working up to a polka, but mostly we tapped our toes, sang along, and watched the Happy Feet on Rainbow Lane!

When the night was done and Kitty and Dolly-girl and me packed into the roadster to head back to our part of Stumptown, we agreed it had been a keen time!

No comments: