“Can I get a hot dog?”, I asked the defensive lineman working the concession stand. I didn’t get an answer. Instead, he shot me a dirty look and walked to the other end of the concession stand and ignored me. I never got that hot dog, but I did meet my friend Michael aka MC.
I was the new kid in town and was about to start playing in the local high school’s 7 on 7 summer football league. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of 7 on 7 football, it’s like 11 on 11 football minus the offensive and defensive line. If you aren’t familiar with football and that makes no sense, I can’t help you. With the lineman not participating, they were relegated to working the concession stands during these summer tournaments. That’s how we got Hot Dog Gate. Throughout the summer practices, football in Texas is a year-round sport, we got to know each other a little better and he eventually sold me hot dogs at the concession stand.
Lakeway was a place I knew well as a summer vacation spot as a kid. We went there every summer. I had learn how to water-ski and wake-board there when I was younger, but knew no one there. When I was 15, my family and I had moved to Lakeway, a suburb of Austin filled with retirees, golf courses, yoga and white wine addicted housewives, banks, and lots of bored teenagers. Lakeway, commonly referred to as Lake Travis was where I had come with my family every summer since I was in 1st grade. I had fond memories here of wake-boarding, eating Thundercloud sub sandwiches, and gawking at women in bikinis at the marina. It’s technically a small town, but feels like a miniaturized version of “The Stepford Wives” meets “Cocoon” mixed with “Dazed and Confused”. Having moved around a lot I wasn’t worried about leaving old friends, moving, and going to a new school. This was old news to me. Still, it didn’t change the fact that on the first day I ate lunch in my car alone while listening to “…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead”. I may haven’t had minded moving, but that didn’t change the fact I often didn’t feel comfortable being around new people regardless of the setting.
Luckily for me, I had a familiar face in the last class of the day. Michael and I ended up being at the same table in art. We had a great little crew at the table. Kids from every clique you can think of and everyone was cool to each other. It was like the end of “The Breakfast Club”. Michael and I got to know each other better during this time and he actually met his wife at that art class table. No, not me.
Our real adventures would begin during our senior year. There wasn’t a whole bunch to do in Lake Travis in 2006 other than to get into your own fun. We did watch “The OC” together much more than we probably should admit though. However, we always did have one thing that peaked both of our interests and that was an interest in weird and paranormal topics. I’m not saying we were studying old grimoires and doing exorcisms (though there was that one time), but we always made sure to watch the new horror movies. This led us to go on further adventures such as “ghost hunting” and walking around more old graveyards than most people who aren’t named Morrissey.
Then came Podcasts.
Michael first introduced me to “The Joe Rogan Experience” around 2011. That was the one that popped my ear hole cherry. Soon, I was discovering a wide array new shows. Some made you think and others made you laugh. You could find a show on just about any topic you could imagine; True Crime (check), paranormal investigation (check), any time period in history (check). I had grown up listening to talk radio in my parent’s cars and had almost exclusively owned stand-up comedy albums until I was in 6th grade, so the medium was nothing new to me. What was new is that I had access to a wealth of information for free and could listen anytime I wanted to. Growing up, I had to wait patiently for the next alien or conspiracy cover up show to wind up on TV. Now, I could google a conspiracy and listen to 20 shows talk about it.
Our love for podcasts inspired us to take our own steps towards creating a show, The TX Files. Where we get to talk about ghosts and serial killers from our home state. The most important part of creating something with a friend is having fun. Sure, you’re gonna argue about things. For instance, Michael refuses to admit that Reagan was shot with .22LR exploding rounds!! The idiot!! But, at the end of the day we laugh more than we argue and most of the time when we are arguing we are laughing and that’s what matters.
I hope everyone can find a friend in their life that can create something with. I know our friends over at “Entwined” have found that same sort of thing.
Michael B (The other Michael)