Saturday night on Gilbert

I feel a responsibility to write about what will no-doubt be the most blogged-about event in Ormewood/EAtl this summer.

Charles expired another of his limited years on this Earth in June, so he threw himself a party. The parties on Gilbert are simple affairs, with a bucket of ice serving as the bar and some deli trays from the Ghetto Kroger being the buffet.

But the beauty of a Charles party is that the things – such as free food and drink – we all look for when we”re stuck at some lame party to make us feel better about being there don”t come in to play.

Two things make a Charles party a good bet for a good time – people and music.

Charles has a knack for making friends with interesting people that seems to go beyond a shared love for illicit herbs, although I”m sure that helps. Charles gets around a lot and must meet a couple dozen new people every week, so I suppose the ones who figure out that he”s a pretty cool guy end up part of the social universe that revolves around everyone”s favorite smarted-up redneck from south Alabama.

I met at least six people Saturday night who I ended up having interesting and extended conversations with – ranging from a fellow graduate of south-central Louisiana”s finest public university journalism program to Casa Charles” artist-in-residence to the fifth known reader of this particular blog.

Note the use of the word “conversation” in the above paragraph. Another hallmark of bad parties is blaring music that keeps guests from having any meaningful conversation. Of course, if the people are lame, that”s not a bad thing.

Charles has really good taste in music and is on an endless quest to find cool new bands on the edges of the music world. I”d hazard a guess that the lineup of CDs is one of the things Charles spends the most time thinking about in planning a party.

Music at his parties is good, but subtle. If you”re not sitting in the living room, you probably wouldn”t notice it. But for folks wandering in and liking what they hear, Charles can provide the What4 of each artist he”s got spinning. He”s not going to slap NOW! 18 in the changer and he”s not going to crank it up when Cum On Feel The Noize starts (I doubt he even owns Mental Health).

OK, that”s all the flowery praise I”m gonna give Charles. Good party, though.

And for the record – no, I was not drinking bourbon Saturday night even though I professed here that I “always” drink bourbon when I”m out. I should have also said that I “almost always” drink “way too much” bourbon when I”m out, which is what happened Thursday night with my boy Tom. So Saturday was a recovery evening for me. Thus the Newcastle. It”s roughly the same color as bourbon, anyway.

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