Ode to 49erGirl
Yesterday our longtime reader Max had a vision while watching the Niners game in Townsend, Montana.
He wrote a story about his vision in the comment section, but it’s so important I’m making it its own blog.
Here it is. Enjoy.
Max’s Story –
I had a very nice New Year’s surprise, one that is 49ers football and 49ers blog related, so I feel compelled to share it here. Hope nobody minds. I call it -
In Your Dreams
As I’ve mentioned before, I watch all the Niners games at a local saloon called the Fish Tale Tavern in Townsend, Montana. It’s a working man’s kind of bar – “blue-collar” as Coach Harbaugh might say. Does anybody remember Jack’s Bar, now the Olde Main Street Saloon, in Sebastopol? Well, it’s kind of like that – an alley-like, old-fashioned, provincial place. Everybody knows everybody else, so if a stranger should happen to walk in, he or she immediately stands out. Well, I’d just ordered coffee and was waiting for the Rams to kick the ball off to the Niners when a stranger did walk in – a woman who could only have been from out of town.
I’m an old bachelor – a “two-time loser,” actually, as Jack Nicholson said in one of his films. But I’m not dead and can still appreciate an attractive woman when I see one – and I’m telling you that this woman was not merely attractive: she was a knock-out. Older, yes, but still a handful of years younger than yours truly and obviously a woman who took good care of herself – works out regularly (looking at her shoulders, I’d say she was more a swimmer than a jogger); eats the right foods in the right portions; knows how much make-up to put on (in her case she didn’t need much); knows how to fix her hair. And as a result, she was the type who looks great in anything – even in jeans and a loose-fitting, leather-sleeved, red-and-gold 49ers jacket, which was indeed what she was wearing and what made me sit up and take greater notice.
She had that trick of walking through a door and then coming to a standstill, holding a pose just long enough for the room to register her presence. The room did – and not a few elbows on not a few barstools prodded the drinking buddy next to them as if to say, “Hey, get a load of what just walked in.” This included the Green Bay fans, who didn’t seem to mind at all that the stranger was wearing 49er team colors.
But then I realized that the woman hadn’t stopped to hold a pose – or at any rate not only to hold one. She was carefully scanning the tables and patiently running her eyes the length of the bar, going from one patron to the next, apparently looking for someone. I sat at the far end of the bar, so figured she’d find whoever it was before she got to me – or not find whoever it was and then walk back out again. I watched as her gaze angled closer and closer. And then fell on me. And stopped. And didn’t go any further.
‘What?’ I thought, suddenly self-conscious and confused. ‘Why’s she staring at me? Did I spill something on my sweatshirt or what?’ And looking down at my sweatshirt, I remembered: I was wearing my game-day outfit, a gold-colored hoodie with “San Francisco Forty-niners” and the team’s logo prominently displayed on its front, the only one in town . . .
As I raised my head, the woman’s eyes met mine and she broke into a smile. The kind of smile that’s big. And spontaneous. And lights up a person’s entire face. In short, the proverbial big toothy grin that says “Hi!” with an exclamation mark and “I’m so glad to see you!” with another exclamation mark. And she didn’t end with just the smile. She immediately began making her way between the tables and hurried down the bar and stepped up to me as though she were going to throw herself into my arms and said, “Max!”
‘Holy Moses!’ I thought, taken aback. ‘Is this some part of my past finally catching up to me, here, at the Fish Tale Tavern, in, of all places, Townsend, Montana?’ If so, I was mighty happy that my past had finally caught up to me. But I quickly regained my composure -
“Do I know you?” I asked.
“Yes, you do. But you don’t know you know me.”
“Max, can’t you guess? ”
“Well, I suppose I should be able to, but . . .” I muttered, trying to be tactful.
“Max, it’s me! 49erGirl!”
“Forty-niner girl . . . ”
And then it hit me. Hard. And right between the eyes.
“49erGirl? You mean THAT 49erGirl?”
“Yes, yes!” she said.
Eventually we stopped laughing and hugging and calmed down enough to find her a place beside me at the bar.
“What in heaven’s name,” I asked her, “are you doing in this neck of the woods?”
Turns out she was visiting friends in Helena for the holidays. Helena is the capital of Montana and is only about a thirty-minute drive from Townsend. She needed a bit of a breather after the Christmas celebrations, recalled that I watch the Niner games at the Fish Tale Tavern, and for a lark decided to drive over, see if she could find the bar and me in it. Which, obviously, she could.
We spent the next several hours glued to the game and cheering on our team. We also talked a little about this blog, and the people who post comments here, agreeing that it was a lot of fun. “But, ” I couldn’t help saying, “I do wish ‘oneniner’ would learn how to use ellipsis points.” She only shrugged as if to say, “What can you do?” – and we let it go at that . . .
The game came to its closer-than-expected conclusion and we were both relieved when time finally ran out for the Rams and the 49ers had a lock on the first-round bye. We gave each other another hug, wished each other a happy New Year – and she was out the door and on her way back to Helena, on her way back to California, on her way back to Grant’s blog – and I wondered: was 49erGirl really here? And would we ever run into each other again? Not likely, I sighed to myself, but gave thanks for the brief time we did have together – and, of course, for the 49er win.
Happy New Year everyone!