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“I had a stroke…”

Originally we were going to hit up East End Winchester, but my buddy GM needed to be a little closer to home before we got to work on a few drinks, so we instead went to East End HWY 64 and oh boy, what a treat…

Myself and the guy I simply will refer to here as GM made our way from the Winchester location I mentioned before to East End HWY 64 to visit James, good friend and long time bartender. We get our drinks and GM exchanges pleasantries with people he recognizes and introduces me to. Again, this is a quiet setting that allows proper conversations and a “get to know” environment. One particular person we got to meet was a former military man, now retired, and a wealth of knowledge we now know as Ray. Ray sat down next to us with an eagerness to speak and socialize which I find to be awesome quality in a person. Braver than me honestly. He picked up on our conversation of restaurants and how to manage. He gave us an already studied idea of the “Servant Leadership” practice that he swears by without question. I personally have never heard of it before and after reading it, I like the idea. Do not be close-minded on it based on the name; read and share your opinion. He expressed it in great detail over the course of an hour and few shots. Well shots for me and GM, I can’t speak for him as he nestled his lone beer like a trophy and only tasted it after a few moments of personal zen after each end of his personal opinion and commentary.

As he spoke to us about these philosophies, he mentioned an anniversary that was special to him in the very bar we sat. In fact, he pointed a seat close to us and said these words I am sure I will not forget: “See that seat right now, its my anniversary of when I had a stroke right there.” As he told us, a blood clot made its way to his brain that caused the stroke and he was now just “getting his feet wet again.” Needless to say, myself and GM were surprised. Very. Myself personally, if I had a stroke in a bar, I am sure I wouldn’t repeat the trip nevertheless the circumstances surrounding it. But I revere him a brave man for facing his fears and chasing them down. He came off as very awesome, very knowledgeable, if not extremely eager, individual. Eagerness is a side effect of belief, so I do not judge. If you believe in something enough, than eagerness follows.

The nightlife of Memphis is very strange sometimes, but damn it do I love it. Never know what you’re gonna see or witness from a View From The Barstool.

-Randy