Happy Birthday, Steve

Possibly my most favorite photo that I ever took of Tyra and Steve, sometime in the wonderful 1990s.

In honor of your birthday, Steve--my first impressions of meeting you. You are very much loved and missed.

I first met Steve Damm in June 1992 when he and his friend Will picked up my best friend Tyra and me for a pre-Cure concert tailgate at Texas Stadium. I came by my free ticket to the Cure concert through Tyra, who came by her four tickets through her ex-fiance. Tyra, who is just too kind sometimes for her own good, thought that perhaps we should attend the concert with the ex-fiance, as he had bought the tickets. Her friend Will thought otherwise. I agreed whole-heartedly with Will. Will’s friend from high school, Steve, finished out our happy foursome.

We arrived at the Texas Stadium parking lot with plenty of time for a pre-concert-getting-to-know-you happy hour (I vaguely recall trying Seagram’s 7 for the first time). We laughed alot. Our tailgate ended on a boisterous note with both Steve and Will each taking turns wearing my beautiful, beloved Sunflower Hat, and only slightly mocking me for owning it. It was a black hat trimmed with an extremely large sunflower. (Upon reflection, it was a slightly obnoxious hat, but otherwise still very beautiful.) Some random impressions during the tailgate:

Seagram’s 7 mixed with something else isn’t half bad.

Steve was the more outgoing of the two guys.

The concert was loud, dark and awesome. I remember very little about it, only that we stood and danced and sang with the Cure. After the concert, we stopped at a convenience store, and Steve bought some Texas Lottery scratch-off cards. (Texas Lottery scratch-offs were brand-new that summer). We watched as he scratched off each one in front of the store, and on one of them, he won $20! Lucky! I said something like “What are you going to do with your twenty bucks?” thinking he would spend it somewhere else, like I would. But Steve just said, “I’m going to buy 20 more!” He dashed back into the store and did just that. Twenty more scratch-offs later, he was back down to 0 again and couldn’t be happier. He was like a kid in a candy store. Had I ever known anyone who could derive such joy from lottery tickets?

I had half-forgotten about the lottery tickets until recently, and when I thought about it again I knew it was the first of many quintessentially Steve moments that I was lucky enough to share. He was the kind of guy who wasn’t afraid to risk it all (lottery tickets or otherwise) and enjoy every moment of it! I knew from the very first hour that I spent in his company that he was unpredictable and adventurous and funny.

Oddly enough, I don’t think I realized on that summer night that he was perfect for my best friend. But then again, they didn’t need my help to figure that out!

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