A Sad Day in Athens, Ohio

photo from The Union's Facebook page

photo from The Union’s Facebook page

Today was a sad day in Athens, Ohio. In the early morning hours of Sunday, November 16th a fire broke out¬†somewhere on West Union Street between Court Street and Congress. Extensive fire, smoke, and water has damaged buildings including The Union Bar and Grill, Jackie O’s Public House, Jack Neal Florists, Kismet, Campus Sundry, and Smoke Zone Smoke Shop. The Union and Jackie O’s both received considerable damage, as of now it appears that Jackie O’s kitchen and Public House will be closed indefinitely though the hope is the Brewery side will open soon. The Union received significant damage and more details will be known in the coming weeks. Aquabear Legion stands in full support of all of the business owners and people who lost their homes, a GoFundMe donation site is already up to help Union Street employees during this difficult time and more benefits and work is already in planning. You can read about all of the events here over at WOUB Public Media.

Simply put, the Aquabear Legion would not exist without the Union. It is an essential part of the Athens music community. It has hosted countless Aquabear shows and 6 of our County Fairs, not to mention served as the place for all underground rock and roll existing in our town and all that passed through.
When I came to Athens in 2001 as a Freshman at Ohio University I felt as I imagine a lot of kids feel: excited and confused to be out on my own and in general a little out of place. That feeling was short lived because I set foot in the Union after only being in town for a couple weeks. Instantly I felt at home. In the 13 years since then I have since graduated and made Athens my home that place has become a central location for some of the most important events in my life and led to countless friendships, creative collaborations, amazing shows, and even eventually to my own wedding. The Union is an institution. Having a space like that is essential to a vibrant community, for over 90 years people who were looking for all of the other folks who didn’t fit in found them by looking there.
The Union has been a central location to my life for the last 13 years and I cannot imagine where I would be without it. In terms of firsts alone: I had my first beer (at a bar) there and played music in front of people for the first time, and it was the first place I went to after graduating college and marrying my wife Sherri who would be found the night of our wedding in her wedding dress downstairs surrounded by all our friends. The list of great bands I saw there is endless, some from far away towns and cities and some from right down the street. I had the privilege to play shows there in every band and project I have been in and believe that I still will play on a stage at that building again.  I feel honored to be a part of that family and the Athens music community, and I believe that with the support of that community we will be able to rebuild the home base for Athens rock and roll and make sure that institution is there for generations to come.
My thoughts are with all of those affected at this time, especially those whose homes and businesses were destroyed and all of the wonderful people who will be dealing with the loss of work as a result of the damage. The damage to all of the businesses and housing is unbelievable, and the loss of The Union and Jackie O’s Public House in the immediate future will be huge for the Athens music community and the Athens community members who work in those places.

6 Bs and a P: The New Cronut (Season 3, Episode 9)

FIRST PLACE

FIRST PLACE

6 Bs and a P: The New Cronut (Season 3, Episode 9):

FIRST PLACE! This is insane! The Browns win their biggest game in a very long time defeating the Cincinnati Bengals on national TV! That put them into a tie with the Steelers for a couple days and then… the Steelers lost to the lowly Jets on Sunday and the Browns move into sole possession of first place since before the left and moved to Baltimore. Unbelievable. The 6b1p crew is pretty excited. GO BROWNS!

6 Bs and a P: Browns Browns Browns Browns Browns (Season 3, Episode 8)

The Browns are in first place, we just saw them win, and it was awesome.

The Browns are in first place, we just saw them win, and it was awesome.

6 Bs and a P: Browns Browns Browns Browns Browns (Season 3, Episode 8)

Man, this short Browns week has us a little behind here on 6b1p. This episode features the 6b1p crew actually going to and at the Browns vs. Buccaneers game, where the Browns win and our hosts discuss and analyze topics ranging from our Quarterbacks to their favorite parts about attending the game. It’s Brian’s birthday and we set the record for hosts I think. Not to mention a record setting amount of locations including a vacation house on icy Lake Erie, a parking lot in downtown Cleveland, and Brian and Sherri’s car ride home. And then after only 4 days rest the Browns go on the road and defeat the Bengals in Cincinnati to go into a tie for first place with the Steelers in the AFC North. HOLY CRAP. Episode 9 (working title: “FIRST PLACE”) will come next week. GO BROWNS!

6 Bs and a P: It’s a Mindbender (Season 3, Episode 7)

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6 Bs and P: It’s a Mindbender (Season 3, Episode 7)

6b1p had to take a bye ourselves last week, since then the Browns lost to one of the worst teams in the league (Jaguars) and beat one of the worst teams of the league (Raiders) and are now 4-3. All four of our regular hosts are in studio for a week of celebration, depression, and analysis to try to figure out where the team is. Plus there is a live in-studio Broken Bandwagon, Pie Corner, and Tweets of the Week too. Don’t miss next week’s episode all of the 6b1p’ers will be in Cleveland at the game where hilarity will ensue.

6 Bs and a P: The Horse and the Whore (s03ep06)

This sums up the game

This sums up the game

6 Bs and a P: The Horse and the Whore (s03ep06):

BROWNS WIN AGAIN! No clue how this is happening. The 6b1p crew works hard to process these unfamiliar feelings and make sense of it all and in the process talk about football, pie, how much the hate the Steelers, Brian Hoyer, and much more. They even play a game of the Pierogi Mountain 6b1p Pittsburgh Lightning Round Trivia. And the “P” word is brought up (PLAYOFFS?!? YOU TALKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS?) and a certain Lord of the Vale makes a trip to the studio from Westeros. Brian, Ian, and Kris hold it down this week and Wiebe checks in with a Broken Bandwagon. GO BROWNS!