That’s Funny, I Don’t Care Who You Are…Unless You’re Us. (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.  It’s ok to be a little ditzy, and there can be some advantages.

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 can use their help.

And then there’s this:

Ditzy blondes never take ourselves too seriously.

Think about it – this is a great way to live life.  We know we’re not dumb – but where’s the fun in trying to prove it to everyone?  So we just enjoy life.  Really enjoy life.

That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

Once in a blue moon, though, the tables get turned, and your smart blonde friend, who decorates, raises great kids and can do hard math has a slightly ditzy blonde moment herself.

Here’s how it happened.

Shady Grove is a happenin’ place in Austin.  It’s a nostalgic location under big shade trees, where people go to sit a while.  The food is great, and there’s lots of space to eat outside. Up and coming musicians play there all summer long – and you can hear them for free.  Shady Grove has that laid back South Austin feel, and it’s a place you just have to go.

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.

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.  Oh, well, DeNise had brought a blanket, so we went inside to eat and enjoy the air conditioning a little longer.

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.

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 instantly began to feel just 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 measure up to the opener on the stage?  And what’s with this young Shady Grove crowd?   THEY like Bob Schneider from Dukes of Hazzard??  I told DeNise that I had asked two UT students how they even knew about Bob Schneider, and they  said, “Oh, our mom loves him, and we’ve grown up on Bob Schneider.” Well, then we both felt bad that we never did even one time introduce our kids to Bob Schneider from the Dukes of Hazzard. Maybe we should e-mail them some You-Tube links of his songs.

All this information was swimming around in our heads, and then…

Here it comes.  That moment when 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, very slowly, “Do you think this is a different Bob Schneider??”

That’s funny.  I don’t care who you are.

Unless you’re us.

All of a sudden, we felt like two giggling elephants in an outdoor room full of know-it-alls who knew it all.  We agreed that we still have a lot to learn about this Austin music thing, but this other Bob Schneider was good, so we decided to stay and listen.

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 and having a moment – the kind of moment that will be remembered forever by just the two of us.

When it was time to go home, I called the very kind man who married me, and he said he’d be right there.  We told him the story, and even he was a little confused by our error until a quick smart-phone Google search cleared it all up.  “Ladies,” Mike said…

BOB Schneider...

bob schneider

is not JOHN Schneider.

John Schneider

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 ever does make it to Shady Grove, we’ll get there earlier, but now that we’ve heard soulful, sultry Bob, we’ll go back when he’s in town, too.

Now, that’s funny, I don’t care who you are.

Especially if you’re us.

Encouraging intentional adventure and maybe an update on your playlist,


PS – Have you ever seen anyone famous? I’d love to hear!


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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  • 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 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.