happy birthday to the original ginger

Mike (left) and his BFFL Trevor circa a long time ago.

A little over five years ago,
I graduated from college. It was a glorious graduation weekend, filled with back-yard barbecues, lunches at McAlister’s (one of the top reasons Gainesville truly is heaven on Earth) and plenty of Pomp & Circumstance, the single song that can make me tear up every time I hear it. Really, I still remember that weekend like it was yesterday. It was awesome.

The most awesome part, though, was that my middle brother Mike was there to celebrate. (That’s right, this means my other two brothers weren’t there. No comment.) And celebrate we did.

The Friday night before my 8 am graduation ceremony, after the parents and grandparents had retired to their Alachua County hotel (fancy, I’m sure), we decided the time had come to introduce Mike to the wonderful world of Salty Dog, the best college bar in all the land. With my then-boyfriend’s ID in hand, Mike swaggered right through the door, found a seat at the bar and proceeded to charm the whole place for the next five hours. Really, by the end of the night, he was like a local celebrity, high-fiving the regulars (meaning me, of course) and ordering pitchers of Yuengling for the masses on our family friend Ted's tab. We tried to explain to him that college kids don’t drink Yuengling. In fact, I said, it was flat-out stupid to waste quality like that on our Miller Lite tastes. But, he wouldn’t have it. Seriously, for a few hours, it really was Mike Scott’s world. We were just living in it.

Like Cinderella and her pumpkin, though, when the clock struck 2 am, Mike was back to his usual self. And come Saturday morning, I woke up to find my baby brother (who’s 6 foot 2, I might add) sleeping in a cardboard box down the hall. It was back to reality...but not without first making one of my favorite memories of all time.

Today, Mike turns 23, and he’s really become that guy that I hung out with at the Dog that night back in 2004. He’s confident, and interesting, and hilarious, and kind, and he always, always, always has a smile on his face. Sure, he still wakes up in mysterious states on a regular basis….no big whoop. Old habits die hard, right Mitey?

Happy birthday, brother.


Kristin said...

Dear Sara, my twinnie twin twin... of course college kids drink Yuengling... but ONLY at the Dog, because it's as cheap as the cheap stuff. A pitcher of Yuengling served up by Matt or Kate sounds might good right now...

Janet said...

I love that you come up with the exact right story and the exact right words to describe that which is the spirit of Mike Scott. He is so random and so unique..... and I have loved him from the bottom of my heart every day of his life. Party on Garth!

Sara Brown said...

I NEVER drank yuengling at the Dog! I guess my brother was smarter than I thought:)