I am going to break my traditional blog posts today. I have to be honest, I have written and re-written this blog at least a dozen times and played it out in my head many times since last Saturday. If you are wondering, I purposely did not tag this post to my Facebook or Twitter accounts today for a reason. This post isn’t about me or our adventures up here and I would rather not have any comments on my Social Media accounts. I know for a fact that the two people that I am going talk about would both smack me in the head and tell me “Knock it off Jackass, we are just two normal people.” But they weren’t, they were something special.
I first met Summer Sieben some 20 years ago when I was managing bars for River City Management. She was little shit. Granted she was in college, waiting tables at the Tap House and making more money than God but she was a tough cookie. She had a following of regulars and she loved the previous manager who was ceremoniously un-assed and I was the guy from Beale Street who replaced him. In other words, she hated me. We had our moments over that year. It was one night when we were dreadfully slow she told me; “I respect you Robo, you got thrown into a shitty situation but you won us over.” It was then that I became a fan of Sunmer. I moved on and it was about 4 years ago that we reconnected via Facebook. I recall the first message she sent me after I accepted her request and it went something like this; “Hey Robo, looks like you are doing well and loving life. I am married to my best friend and living in Houston, TX. His name is Jim and I am crazy in love with him. We will be in town at Thanksgiving and would love to see you and Shobo.”
I met Jimmy aka “Paco” one afternoon at Alex’s Tavern the Friday of Thanksgiving. He was a man of few words but I knew I loved him. Summer had made some comment about something silly and Paco, under his breath, zings her. I look at him and start smiling and nodding my head because he hit the nail on the head. Jimmy looks at me and says “Robo, I hear that you were one of her bosses back when she was in her ‘formative’ years. I applaud you because you must have the patience of Job, or did you just ignore her like I did when she would need cheese with her whine?” Like I said, Paco was a special man but his love for Summer was very evident and they both loved having a good time together.
When I announced that we were moving to New York I got a message from Paco that simply said “Congrats, I know that you and Shobo will do fine up there. Please do me a favor…teach those Yankee bastards how to properly pronounce Houston Texas!” He and Summer both would read this worthless dibble of a blog and were quick to bust my balls when I would talk about vacations or post pictures. You see Jimmy and Summer were also big into vacations and weekends away. They would go to tropical locations with friends, they would go to great locations and events for work and there was never a picture without a smile on either of their faces. They lived life to the fullest and after seeing a bunch of pictures being posted this week many of their friends also saw them love life.
Last Friday Summer posted a picture of herself standing in front of a private plane rocking her LV bag, floppy hat (Summer had the Irish skin that needed SPF 1000) and the caption read “So this is happening!” My friends Summer and Jim Austin died last Friday in a plane crash in West Houston Texas. There was other couple who were also with them and they too perished in the crash. Earlier in the same week during the 4th of July holiday I was texting Summer about when the 4 of us would get together. She was telling me that they had a busy fall but we should plan a trip to someplace warm and tropical in the early spring. My comment to her was “Only if Paco brings those America’s Cup shorts I saw earlier on FB.” Poof! Now they are gone.
I have had a hard time wrapping my head around this horrific event. Why? How could you? It isn’t fair, they both are supposed to do much more with their lives! I have played these questions over and over in my head and still can’t make heads nor tails of it. I am not much of a prayer person, I think that if I did ever get on the line with the man upstairs he may freak out and hang up on me. My only hope is that my friends when they left this world it was quickly and without pain and suffering. I already know in my mind that they were holding hands telling each other that they loved each other. I knew that the moment I first met them as husband and wife.
Paco at the airport returning back to H-Town. You can see it in his face. ‘Damnit Summer don’t you dare post this picture to Facebook!” She did anyway.
I bet she is happy that the last picture posted of her was a good one and not one of her feeding cows or something like that. LV Bag – Check, Floppy Hat – Check, Gold watch and Big Sunglasses – Check. Rocking the little Black dress and the cans are on point – Check
Summer and Jim came into town for her birthday, we had lunch at the Rendezvous and spent the afternoon laughing over beers and ribs.
So there it is folks. Again, I would appreciate no comments because this isn’t about me but about a great couple. For those that had the pleasure of knowing Jim & Summer I have seen some great tributes about their lives, they will be forever missed. If you never got a chance to meet them I can tell you that you missed a great couple. Apart they were fun people, but together they were a great couple who could move mountains and leave you wanting more. To close this out I quote the late Summer Seiben Austin who would say after the bar or food tab was paid; “And now we dance!”
Cool runnings my friends, I will see you one of these days on the other side.