It was a somewhat typical Sunday evening at Ridley’s Bar in the mid-90’s: Plenty of rough guys and some equally rough girls writhing to the somewhat-muffled sounds emanating  from a DJ booth perched precariously in the upper corner of the bar. I had been to the bar hundreds of times and have to say I never noticed the DJ booth until the night I saw records being flung from it that night at high velocities. The guest DJ that night (they actually never had a house DJ, so they were all guests) was none other than Joe Mc-fuckin-something-or-other: a sizable man with hands the size of extra large Pasquale’s Pizzas and a belly likely full of the same. The booth floorboards bowed as they courageously occupied the space-time between this hulking creature and a frustrated earth’s gravity.

Just as the song tailed off, and on some kind of cosmic cue, the front door to the bar flew open and the silhouette of Stucco Mike appeared in the doorframe. He was holding something over his shoulder and by the time I recognized them as bagpipes, the pipes bellowed to life and he processed into the bar. The people froze in amazement as this man, who we all knew for years but never as a musician, started marching in place and playing the bagpipes…and very, very well.  Stucco with as serious and sober a face as I’ve ever seen on him,  only played for a  few moments when he turned to exit the bar revealing a large boom box strapped to his back, blurting out the droning tones we assumed were coming from yer man’s pipes. The bar erupted with laughter as Stucco walked back out into the night, as quickly and mysteriously as he arrived. The next song started up and people went back to attempted dancing. A moment in time.