The Zoey Blog: Be Nice to Strangers...especially those born unto White Panthers FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Be Nice to Strangers...especially those born unto White Panthers

In 2001 I was wasting some of my not-so valuable time in San Francisco, crashing South of Market on the edge of the Mission, not all that far from a very interesting and often intimidating Castro. My friend Colin and I full of fear and loathing, as the saying goes, and didn't spend a lot of daylight hours wandering around the city. We spent most of our time across the Bay in Berkeley. In the evening we would slip down to a little laundry/cafe called Brain Wash on Folsom Street, between 7th and 8th to hang out. We could wash our clothes, eat some food, drink a beer or two and on most nights, watch some really great musicians. On one particular night we struck up a friendship with one of the musicians. His name was Ethan Daniel Davidson and he had some stories to tell. He was a scruffy and funny young guy who was wandering around the country in his beat up old van, playing coffee houses and giving away CDs...that's right, giving away his CDs. We joked about the University of Michigan since both of us had spent some time there and both of us had stumbled away from Ann Arbor with other things on our mind. He was a decent guy and we stayed in touch for years afterward. Ethan would send me CDs in the mail and for awhile I was even spreading the vibe by taking in stacks of his recordings and doling 'em out to friends etc...He was a pretty talented guy, and cool enough to just strike up a friendship on some random city street and then keep it going on years and years later.

The memory is always a good one for me and I pull out some of Ethan's CDs every now and again and soak 'em up, eyes shut and dreaming of Folsom Street again. Up until 6 AM this morning that was all just a fun memory...until I read this article. Now I'm floored. For nearly 10 years I've been friends with a billionaire, or at least the heir to one.

Be nice to strangers. I just learned a very important lesson in how absolutely small the world is.

Condolences Ethan. Your Dad was one helluva guy, even if I had no idea all these years...Keep well fella. Ring them bells.


Blogger John Teeter said...

That's a pretty neat story.

What's he sound like?

January 20, 2010 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger Brian DeWagner said...

He's awfully folky, but he's definately got some rock inclinations. His writing smells like Bob Dylan...well, not really "smells" but you get the drift...Lyrically he's almost too damn intelligent for his own good. Dropped out of Harvard, dropped out of Michigan...He's crazy intelligent. YOu can sample some of his stuff online but I like the old stuff better.

I'm still in shock...I think I even bought him a beer or two over the years...WTF!

January 20, 2010 at 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




February 22, 2010 at 10:23 PM  

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