I said my goodbyes to the Berkeley tonight.
I know, I know, the Berkeley Cafe is not actually closing. The music room is just being converted into a tobacco shop, and the restaurant will stay open. There will still be shows there, I hear. There’s still fun to be had.
The music room, though? That’s something special.
It’s not like I got my start here as a musician, or anything. Mainly because I am not, in fact, a musician. I don’t have an open mic night story, or a how-we-met-story, or a when-I-used-to-drink-here-every-week story. Not about the Berkeley. What I do have is some I-heard-some-bands-I-love here stories. Some I-came-here-with-the-people-I-love stories. Some I-can’t-believe-how-good-that-guy-is stories, and some I-wish-I-had-written-that-song stories, and some if-only-I-could-sing-like that stories. Some oh,-what-a-fun-night-that-was stories. Some I-got-a-fortune-in-a-matchbox-that-unraveled-me-and-then-spilled-a-beer-all-over-this-checkerboard-floor stories. (Just one of that last kind.)
I already miss the colored lights above the stage.
I’d miss this mirror covered with band stickers and strung with party lights, too, except you know what? It’s going to live in Tracy and Gregg’s barn, up on that sweet Virginia farm. The owner thought that would be a great home for it. He’s right. It’ll stay there, with music and party lights and laughter, at least until he needs it again.
I’ll miss this disco ball most of all, though. I really, really love this disco ball.
Thanks, Berkeley music room. Goodbyes are hard. You will be missed. But the memories are pretty great.