The Wire | Sunshine State by Sarah Gerard
One night in 1978, my mom went to a biker bar in South Tampa to hear the Mad Beach Band. She'd dated the lead singer for a few months until he'd broken up with her. She'd taken to showing up at gigs and just kind of . . . staring. That night, she wore a striped cotton beach dress. Her hair down. She'd come alone. On her third beer, the band played her favorite song, and she began to sing along—she knew every line. The guy next to her turned to get her attention: "So, you've heard this band before?" He smiled.
The man would become my father. He had light blue eyes, a scruffy beard, and large wire-framed glasses. He wore a baby blue Jimmy Buffet T-shirt.
My father grew up in Cleveland, where he'd worked for his father since the age of fourteen—after school and long days in the middle of winter and during summer vacations—cleaning and hauling industrial chemical drums. The men in the yard drank Wild Turkey. So did my dad. He learned the motto "Work hard, play hard" from his father.
Sarah Gerard will be at The Flyover Fest in Columbus this weekend! Catch her reading at Spacebar on Saturday (5/13) alongside Juliet Escoria, with music performances by Dominique Larue, Vada Azeem, Connections, & Way Yes. Score your advance tix for $8 before it sells out!