For Nick

Every once in a while you meet someone who has a heart of gold.

Waaaay back in my freshman year of college, I became good buddies with a guy named Nick Pippen. He listened to the Grateful Dead and loved all kinds of acoustic music.

At first, he surprised me. Nick was always upbeat and genuine. If he wasn't already smiling, he was about to. You don't see that often.

Nick also has some of the worst luck of all my friends. I won't go into all of it, but I will say this: His birthday is Sept. 11. And a few months ago, he was diagnosed with a rather nasty case of leukemia. He got a bone marrow transplant, but we're still not sure if it's going to take. 

As you can imagine, it costs a ton of money to treat cancer. So a couple bands and (hopefully) a bunch of people are going to gather at Frazier's on the Avenue (919 W. 36th St.) this Saturday.

Smooth Kentucky's going to play, and people are gonna raise some money for Nick. I hope it's a lot of money. They're asking for a $10 donation at the door. It starts at 9 p.m.

I'll be there. And if any Midnight Sunners show up, your first drink is on me.

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