On the day that I went to Brooklyn, to climb down some stairs and walk through a basement and climb up a ladder into Tom Ley's backyard to remember some guys, I hadn't taken the subway in something like six months. There were a great many formerly normal things that I hadn't done in roughly that period of time, and the idea of doing it at all had only recently become thinkable again. It was sunny and mild and we didn't have a website yet. Everything about it was speculative.
Or was speculative until I left my apartment, later than I should have, and walked out into a city that was alternately wary and thirstily headlong in its pursuit of a vanished normal. Before Lauren even opened the first pack of cards, before I even ascended into Tom's janky concrete backyard, I felt at home in a way that I hadn't in some time. What has remained normal through all this—traffic, big farting trucks, train delays, the stuff that has brought people to this dumb city forever—felt kind of essential in the absence of everything else, which made the idea of being able to do the old stuff seem hallowed in a way it previously hadn't. I had always known that I was lucky to be able to look at baseball cards as part of how I made a living, of course, and I think I had appreciated that. But all of that becomes much easier to understand when it's absent. And then, at least from my experience, becomes something else when you finally emerge into the yard to do it again, outside, after putting on a stupid fucking hazmat suit.
I think sometimes about the dumbest stuff that has ever choked me up, or even made me Feel Some Feelings. Once, while high, I got decidedly misty at a scene in Babe: Pig In The City that involved a circus mishap, Mickey Rooney, a distraught orangutan, and an Edith Piaf song. I have never and will never act like my brain works like it should. Certainly the idea of making work product is not the sort of thing that should deliver such a moment. Certainly it would be ridiculous and even laughable if it had. It's a silly thing, that we've done before. The whole punchline of the bit is how wrecked my mind is after a lifetime of stupid choices in terms of what to remember (how good Teddy Higuera briefly was) and what to forget (everything I learned in college beyond a few factoids relating to early American history).
So I will leave all that out. I will just say that while I had of course Remembered Some Guys during the time since someone had last suggested Let's Remember Some Guys to me—in various venues—I hadn't done it with these people in a long while, and also that a lot of things had happened since I'd last done it that made it feel even further away. Of course you can only get so close, now. It's the times we live in. But this was closer than I'd been in so long, to my friends and to that time before. So of course I felt something. You would, too, if someone asked you if you remembered Andres Thomas.
Anyway it is with all that in mind that we invite you here, again. Let's do it. Let's remember some damn guys.
Produced by: Faction Media Group
Editor: Randy French
Camera: Omar Lopez, Ian James Ortiz, Mike Montoya