A Night Out with Strangers (Non-Fiction)

Written for my book, In Love With a Sailor + The Captain in Me, 2013-2014 © Karen Maeby 

Taking chances to experience life is something that has become more apparent for me to do these days. Que Sera Sera, right? 

I had every intention on going to one of my favorite places at Pass-a-Grille to eat, sit and write. But instead, I called upon meeting someone I had accidentally met through social networking. Such an amazing conversation followed: chatting about work, life, my brand, my book and my intentions on everything I’m doing in life.  

Having a long conversation like that really helped because it left open some important questions to be answered, ones that were from a different perspective. When our meeting was over, I was invited to listen to a band play at a bar at John’s Pass. 

Somehow, I always end up at the “band table” which consists of super fans or where the members sit to take a break and eat. While Carl Hatmaker & The Red Headed Step Children (a band from back home in Kentucky) will always remain my most favorite, I’m really thankful to say that I finally have a band in my area to follow. 

“Ready for a little surprise? It has something to do with friendships, and it’s going to happen right at home,” was my horoscope for the first week in February. 

It wasn’t kidding. One member of the band was from Lexington, their friend sitting at the same table as I was from Nicholasville. I’m from Nicholasville, which is right outside of Lexington. 

So, you can imagine me being me, sitting at that table and finding out that in my new home of nearly three years, I was surrounded with people from my birthplace. 

I think it’s safe to say that night: I found some new friends, my new favorite bar spot, a new favorite local band / local artist to support, and a new favorite song “I’ve Got a Rock’n’Roll Heart.” I had a really good time. Who knew that hanging out with strangers would be so fun. 


When I met with my new friend at Pass-a-Grille, one of the conversations that was discussed was about this other friend that played in a band. He wrote this song about his dad being the tire man and growing up he’d always go with his dad. 

That night, as I was sitting at the table in front of where they were playing, he sang that song. The lyrics really hit home. At that point, it didn’t matter how many things happened from “back home” —it just really affected me in a positive way. 

When I went back to Kentucky for a vacation in June 2013, my mom and I met with some of my family at a Starbucks near the airport before one of them flew back home to Texas. 

That location of the Starbucks was where my great uncle owned a gas station for so many years. My cousins talked about how they starting their working years there. 

While my cousins told his stories of working there, I was on my laptop doing research, but I was still listening. I’ve always had a heart for small businesses and I didn’t know whether to be mad at a large corporation for stealing the spot where my family made all of those memories or happy that it was something like a Starbucks there so that our family could still gather there and recollect of yesterday. 

2019 UPDATE: (1) CH&TRHSC broke up about 2-3 years after I wrote this, shortly after only my 2nd or 3rd chance of getting to see them live. I was lucky enough to snag a photo with all of them and get several of their songs before they did, though. I also don’t know what they’re up to these days. (2) I can’t remember the last time I saw B&F play at John’s Pass on Thursdays since I started theatre in 2016. (3) The day I mentioned I saw my cousin from Texas was the last day I’d seen him. Shortly after getting back home, he was in a bike accident and has been paralyzed from the waist down since. He was the actually the one who bought my great aunt’s historical farmhouse for the family years ago.