That’s Funny, I Don’t Care Who You Are (An Evening at Shady Grove)

*This post has been updated since it was first published,  and I’ve experienced a whole lot more of Austin since then. However, nothing has happened that has made me laugh any harder. 

An Evening at Shady Grove

No one has ever called me a dumb blonde.  From time to time, that shoe just almost fits, but I prefer the word ditzy.  I really feel like it’s ok to be a little ditzy, and there can actually be some advantages to it.

  • Ditzy blondes may not always understand ditzy blonde jokes; therefore, they are never really offended by them.  That’s an advantage.
  • Also, it seems that ditzy blondes are married to very kind men.  Maybe they secretly feel sorry for us and feel as though we could use their help.
  • We ditzy blondes never take ourselves too seriously. Thing about it. What a great way to live life. We know we’re not dumb – but where’s the fun in trying to prove it to everyone all the livelong day? So, we just enjoy life. Really enjoy life.

Which is exactly what was happening when my friend and I spent an evening at Shady Grove. My smart friend. She decorates, she has two smart kids to show for her blonde-ish self, and she can do hard math. She comes prepared. She’s fit. All that good stuff.

Once in a Blue Moon

Once in a blue moon, a ditzy blonde like me lucks out and finds herself with a friend who knows about as much as she does about whatever is going on at the moment. That’s when things can turn a little Lucy/Ethel-ish. And that’s when the memories are made, my friends. The memories are made on nights like this one at Shady Grove.

It’s an Iconic Place

Shady Grove is a happenin’ place in Austin.  The setting is so nostalgic in its settled-in spot off South Congress. Nestled under big shade trees, this is a restaurant where people go to sit a while and listen to the music. The food is straightforward, delicious, and there’s lots of space to enjoy it outside. Up and coming musicians play at Shady Grove all summer long – and you can hear them for free.  This is where you go to experience that laid back South Austin feel.

Unplugged at the Grove at Shady Grove, Austin Texas, June 18, 2009. Shady Grove has been the site of the controversy regarding Austin's noise policy versusits live music reputation. A single noise complaint shut down the popular Unplugged at the Grove series one week before this photo was taken.

Iconic photo of Unplugged at Shady Grove by Steve Hopson

Good Musicians Play at Shady Grove

My friend, DeNise Merritt, heard that Bob Schneider was coming to play at Shady Grove on a Thursday night.  So, we met there, but we should have met there a lot earlier.  There was already a big crowd at 6:30 for the 8:00 appearance.  It was obvious we weren’t going to get a chair of any kind. Oh, well, DeNise had brought a blanket, so we decided to go inside to eat and enjoy the air conditioning a little longer before Mr. Schneider took the stage.

Shady Plates and Hibiscus Tea

Even the fonts and colors of the Shady Grove menu help set the mood for some no-frills relaxing.  It’s a laminated design of small-town diner and upscale drive-in.  From hearty, tasty “Shady Plates” to fresh and healthy salads, there’s literally something for everyone.  DeNise had the meatloaf and I had a grilled chicken noodle salad with Thai peanut dressing.  Delicious!  To drink?  We had hibiscus tea served in big red glasses with plenty of ice, and an even icier sangria for dessert.

Time for the Tunes

Just as we finished dinner, we began to hear the rhythmic bass as the band revved up outside.  We inched our way through the crowd, out the door, and saw a tall, dark and handsome performer on the corner stage.  He had a lazy, sultry, easy voice – different, kinda soulful.

“Wow, this opening act is really good,” we said.  He was so good that I felt a little sadness start creeping into my heart. I was beginning to feel a touch sorry for the old guy we had come to see.

I mean, really, Bob Schneider was all that and a bag of chips on the Dukes of Hazzard, but he had to be getting pretty old by now, right?  Could his voice possibly measure up to the opener on the Shady Grove stage? And what’s with this young crowd, anyway?   THEY like Bob Schneider from Dukes of Hazzard??

I told DeNise that while she was in the ladies’ room while we were waiting for our table, I had met two UT students and asked how they even knew about Bob Schneider, and they  said, “Oh, our mom loves him, and we’ve grown up on Bob Schneider.”

Austonians Know Their Music

Can you believe that? Man, these people in Austin are so much more cultured than we two panhandle peeps were, I guess. DeNise and I launched off into discussing that whole music thing for like five minutes.  Can you believe while our kids were watching Barney every morning, neither one of us had ever, not even one time thought to introduce them to the music of Bob Schneider on the Dukes of Hazzard? Good grief! Maybe we should text our grown-up adult kids some You-Tube links of his songs when we leave here, we supposed. I mean, we would hate for them to get in a situation like this, where it seemed like they were aliens from outer space who didn’t know nothin.’

All this mid-life-wishing-for-do-overs-information was swimming around in our heads, and then … here it comes.

There’s Always a Moment

This is it.  This is that moment. It always happens. It’s the split second when life goes into slow motion.  The voices blur as the thoughts are lining up.

DeNise, the smart blonde friend takes another look at the guy on the stage, tilts her head to the side like a cute little cocker spaniel, and asks her ditzy blonde friend, v-e-r-y slowly, “Do you think this is a different Bob Schneider??”

Might as Well Enjoy the Adventure

All of a sudden, we felt like two giggling conspicuous elephants in an outdoor room full of know-it-alls who knew it all. Those UT students’ mom had raised them on this Bob Schneider’s music. Not the one from Dukes! What ninnies we were!

Oh, well. (This is a very common phrase used by ditzy blondes.) With a collective sigh, we agreed that we both still have a lot to learn about this Austin music thing. But hey, this other Bob Schneider was good, so we decided to just go on ahead and enjoy the adventure.

There was literally no place to sit, so DeNise nonchalantly tucked her cute animal print picnic blanket under her arm, and we stood in the grass snickering to ourselves. What fun were having making this memory. We’ll try again sometime, we declared. The real Bob Schneider probably has another tour date we can sync up to. But wasn’t this a delightful evening at Shady Grove anyway?

Time to Call Our Ride

When it was time to go home, I phoned up the very kind man who married me, and he hustled on over to pick us up.

We had a blast, DeNise said. Yeah, I agreed, but the guy we heard was a different Bob Schneider than the one from Dukes of Hazzard. He was GREAT, though, and we were secretly a little happy for the Dukes guy that he didn’t have to follow this one on stage.

Before we actually pulled out into the traffic, Mike pulled out his phone. I thought he might not know the way home or something, but I was too busy talking to pay much attention.

The Punch Line

“Um, Ladies,” Mike said…

BOB Schneider...

An Evening at Shady Grove - That's Funny I Don't Care Who You Are

is not JOHN Schneider.

An Evening at Shady Grove - That's Funny I Don't Care Who You Are

That’s Funny – I Don’t Care Who You Are

Ah ha! Now, we got it.  The crowd was there for the opening act, all right, because there was no other act. BOB Schneider is a very well-known performer in Austin.  We were probably the only two people there who had never heard of him, and probably the only two who had heard of JOHN Schneider. If ol’ John Schneider ever does make it to the Shady Grove stage, however, we’ll be there.

Actually, now that we’ve heard the soulful, sultry Bob Schneider, we’ll go back to hear him, too.

Next Time, the Kids are Invited

Encouraging intentional adventure and maybe an update on your playlist,

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brenda

Hi, there! My name is Brenda McDearmon. I created this blog for the sole purpose of encouraging a life filled with everyday intentional adventure, whether that's trying a new restaurant, enjoying a day trip in the Texas Hill Country, or being adventurously inspired in a spiritual way. Thanks so much for stopping by! Be sure and sign up to receive my weekly newsletter. It's one of my favorite ways to connect with my readers! Your devoted encourager, Brenda

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6 Comments

  • Danelle Barber
    August 23, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    This makes me miss you even more, Brenda; and the fact that you’re there with DeNise, well, it just makes sense that it’s really all a bit ditzy.
    Appreciate your kind men. They’re getting harder to find as you get older….kinda like my keys.

  • Edy
    September 1, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I worked in an ER in Ft Worth years ago. One of the Drs was opening an office downtown that catered to muckity mucks. I went to the party and stood along a wall with my work peeps. I spied someone familiar across the room and would stare at him thinking “I know him, don’t I? Yes, he is soooo familiar! Where do I know him from ? Work? Dr nurse..no. Patient? no.. Church? no…Family? Am I related to him? no.” After an hour or two of staring enough that he had caught my gaze so many times he was looking back at me. (not in a “Hey, baby” way but a “Your weird, why are you staring?” way.) After a looong time I realized who he was. He was a Bass brother. A Ft Worth billionaire Bass brother. He is rich and famous and I had seen him on the front page of the newspaper or TV. I did not know him, unless I could say “Yes, I know Donald Trump!” as well. I felt very stupid after that and I am sure he thought “Guards! Get that stalker chick over there!” Too bad I am not related to him.

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