Jonathan Richie BW.tif

There is one aspect of this job I have no confidence in, or maybe very little confidence is a better way to put it. I am talking about photography.

I took one class in college that involved photography and I was able to pick up the basics pretty easily; the rule of thirds, color contrast, and don’t just get the backs of people’s heads. The main aspect I know to be true of photography is it takes practice and I believe my photos from this year’s St. Patrick’s Day events are much better than last year’s.

I was in Webb Lake Saturday with a couple thousand of my closest friends for their annual festivities. The event is much easier to cover and less terrifying the second time around, like most, if not all things in life. I knew when to be there, how to get there, and even more importantly – how to get out.

Don’t get me wrong, if I was involved in all the intoxicants of the day it would probably be a much different experience. I was wearing a green shirt, but that is about as Irish as it gets for me.

I am no stranger to being around drunk people while being sober. I worked at Summerfest, a music festival my boss once called “an 11-day kegger”, for three years. Trust me I am very good at dealing with people under the influence of many things.

Remind me sometime to tell you the story of the teenagers sitting in the front row at a concert asking the security guards if they could smoke marijuana in front of us. Good times.

It was also a lot of fun to see a couple of sheriff’s deputies interacting with all the citizens openly carrying their drinks. I overheard one gentleman ask a deputy what his nick-name was. Then he was shocked to find out the officer didn’t have a nickname.

Another paradegoer tried pulling the classic, “Hey officer you dropped your pocket.” I remember that joke from when I was in the third grade, so I’m glad people are still using it.

There was one phrase I heard that I was pretty sure what it meant but had never heard it before.

A friend of mine came up to the parade with a bunch of her friends and she told me she sober cabbing for the day. That is a term I had never heard before. I thought it was some sort of rural ride share thing like Uber or Lyft. My whole life I had just heard them called designated drivers. So, she laughed at me for a bit about my particular blind spot in the lingo.

I did appreciate all of the people attempting to give me jello shots Saturday, and trust me there were a lot.

“Sorry I can’t, I’m working,” is my go-to line but that gets stale so eventually it just turns into – “No thanks. No, no, no I can’t. I do appreciate it but not today.”

I did eventually stuff one or maybe four in my jacket pocket for later that evening.

Chalk it up to peer pressure.