Who Karma....

O'Neal, Kevin W. Kevin.ONeal at vtmednet.org
Fri Feb 27 19:02:50 UTC 2009

Hey folks,
taking a moment (or two) from an every hectic life (I'm a Project Manager for the EHR implementation for the largest hospital in VT....go-live in 100days !!!!!) to share some recent Who Karma that I've run into.
I find these sorts of things tend to happen in bunches....

It's been big-time winter up here the last week.  Our local resort picked up 72" of snow in 6 days.  Yep, 6ft (2 meters).
As a result I've been getting re-acquainted with my little Mp3 player that is "all Who all the time."  Basically the best of each release (IMO).
I won't bore you with the thrills of ripping down un-tracked powder runs with YMB, or EF, or even Pete's WGFA classical re-mix blasting in my ears, generating the appropriate violent output toward the snow under my board.   Or the solitude of hiking up a mountain on my splitboard while listening to Quad.  I won't bore you with the blissful soreness of a tired back leg after 3 straight days, some 18 hours, of 'on board time.'
What I want to focus on is some interesting things that have happened during this flurry of intense who-listening.

First, I'm off on Friday and dropping my son off at school and hanging out for Friday All School Meeting.  A rare opportunity for me.  Ethan's pre-school teacher from 2 years back spots me and comes over to let me know that he finally googled the LROM version from the Kennedy Center Honors.  He was blown away.  A hippy from the 60's and a Who fan, we chatted for a bit and I showed him some of my videos on my phone from the last Boston show.  A good local who-moment.

Second, our EHR vendor friends from Epic stayed over the past weekend.  So, I went to hang with these serious Wisconsin "flat-landers" and provide some boarding pointers.
All in their early 20's and sharing a condo.
Yep, the expected college carry-over environment, as expected (think trash can overflowing with empties).
No sleep the night before, but still up...haggard....and ready to hit the snow.
Sitting on their couch waiting for them to get geared-up when one of them sits next to me to put on his socks.
There, on his ankle....the same place I've long considered getting the very same Tattoo (OOOO..oooo) was the magnificent RAF roundel.
What the ?!!!!
I looked at him and said simply..."A who fan!"
Stunned, he looked back and said "heck yes!"
I proceeded to tell him about my boat, license plate, shows, how much of a Who nut/geek I am, etc.
I've since directed him to various recently released shows, web sites, etc.  He's a fan, but not quite in the "nut" category that we are, or as plugged in.

Last, but most significantly, on the next day I'm riding on my own.  Deep fresh powder from the night before.  Just me and my Mp3.  Besides being fun, it's the best way to not get pulled into stupid meaningless conversations with tourists on the chair.  Very small crowd so no lines.  I step up to my chair, and an older skier slides up next to me at the last moment.
Annoyed, because there's absolutely no reason why he couldn't have taken the next chair and left me alone, I simply focus (as always) on The Who in my head.
Live at Leeds.  The full album.  After we take off, as expected, he tries to make small talk.  I look over, smile, and let him know that I've got speakers in my ears (under my helmet) and don't mean to be rude.  This bloke has a grisly grey-ish 3-day shadow, and I put him at about his mid-late 50's.  His reaction of *complete* understanding left me thinking that he was pretty cool and the sort of guy that would be fun at a party.  We ride up in silence...except for the slashing chords that Pete is unleashing in my head.  I'm actually feeling a bit guilty for shutting this guy down.  I never feel that way.  He's a local though.  You can tell.  And, he's cool.  This particular chair has a mid-lift station.  I've been hitting it all day, and on this run I'm heading to the top.  As we approach, he leans over to let me know that he's going to get off at the mid-station.  There's a pause between songs. So, as I'm helping lift the safety bar I turn to him and ask for his understanding...."I've got The Who blasting in my ears.....Live at Leeds to be exact.  I hope you understand."  He turns with this expression of exacerbation and states with the dialect of a stoner.. "I was at that show!  The encore changed my life!"  Because of his reaction, there was no doubt he was legit.  My eyes widened, I beamed a huge smile and I answered back "Magic Bus just started!" as he began to put his skis to the snow on the off-ramp.  As he got off and descended the ramp we both laughed and I shouted back..."talk about karma!"  He smiled back and waved, each of us thinking our own Who-thoughts, I'm sure.

I had let an opportunity slip away.  I felt like I was near the holy grail.  I looked for him the rest of the day, but never spotted him.
Ah well.
The Who.
Again bringing smiles.
As my friends who come to shows with me (Stu....Jess......Bill.B) say...."The Who...bringing friends together."

Keep touring.
I'll keep going.
I'm in it for the long haul.

Peace, my fellow Who Nuts !!!!

Kevin in VT

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