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Friday, September 22, 2006

goodbye jonanna

Last night was Jonanna Widner's last night in Santa Fe so, in true Santa Fe fashion, many of us gathered at The Cowgirl to give her a send off. This photo was taken at the Cowgirl more than a year ago when Dan, Darius, Jonanna and I had dinner prior to the closing night of The Paramount. We also had dinner, the four of us, last night at The Cowgirl. I thought we'd get to reminesce about old times but mostly the conversation centered on basketball (Dan, Darius and Jonanna) and sex toys (me and Jonanna).
It was a very sentimental evening (Jonanna herself is massively sentimental when she drinks) because Jonanna leaving is a big deal to many of us and also because it was a group of people who used to see each other all the time when The Paramount was open but since it closed any kind of central scene has become massively bifurcated and then some, so you can go months without seeing people you used to see every weekend.
Jonanna's last column talks about that changing music scene, all the great places that have come and gone and all the memorable shows. I will miss Jonanna a lot; she and I went to a shitload of shows together over the last four years, but in addition to going out and hearing music, last night reminded me that going out also is about the people you run into and the scene itself. Not "scene" in a wannabe trendy way (way too old for that), but being a part of what's happening simply by making the choice to go check things out versus stay home and complain. The last year, since The Paramount closed, has been kind of rough that way. Between that, the smoking ban and various other little things, Santa Fe has felt a little dead, and everyone I saw last night remarked on that fact, on how much things have changed in the last year. I have the benefit of 20 years in Santa Fe, which gives me the confidence to believe that it always feels like we're losing great stuff or there's nothing to do or whatever. But the truth is, we're not a big city, but there's been an amazing number of amazing things that have gone down here. And there will be more. But there won't be Jonanna, and that does make me sad. For those who are wondering, she's taken a job as The Music Editor of The Dallas Observer, moving back to her home state of Texas. It's a big job and, despite being sad she's gone, we, I, am very proud of her. She wasn't a music writer before taking this job but over the last four years she became a kick ass music writer and an important voice in SF's scene. Seeing her move on and up to a big paper and into a big-ass job makes me feel like I did my job. And now it's my job to find another new writer! That part I know will happen. But replacing Jonanna as a friend? Not possible!
I will say she left town in the nick of time. It feels like it's about to snow.
This is the most revolting photo ever taken of me and J; it's several years old and I'm pretty sure neither of us had had more than 10 minutes sleep the night before:

And here's a link to SF New Mexican writer Steve Terrell's post about Jonanna leaving, in which I am smoking and my arm is the size of Texas. Oh well.