Sunday, October 30, 2005

Timothy Patrick O'Reilly

Tim went by his full name at Dirty Jack’s Theater… The full Irishness of it. He had dark hair and a close-cropped beard, and wore round wire-framed glasses. He played guitar and tenor banjo, singing Celtic songs and oozing Irishness.

But to the guys in the band he was Tim, a young, soft-spoken, rather shy fellow. In our nightly dinner show at the Chuck Wagon Restaurant next to the theater, Tim adopted a charming Irish brogue and sang ballads of love and honor. He was very good.

One night Tim seemed quite distracted, opening his set by announcing, “They’ve bombed Belfast again!” and charging ahead into some kind of Irish protest song. Word came down after the show that politics were strictly prohibited in the content of the entertainment at Dirty Jack’s. I am unaware if Belfast suffered more bombings that summer, but we heard no more about it from the stage.

It seems every band member had something he got teased for… Something we ragged on each other about that was embarrassing or goofy. Tim caught hell for his hilarious reaction to boobs.

Unexpected shit happens in live theater. People miss cues or wear the wrong costumes or enter from the wrong place or any number of screw ups. The band at Dirty Jack’s was in the center rear of the stage, and we could see everything. We had the best seat in the house to watch the show unfolding around us, and we could see backstage and in the wings as well. We saw it all.

For some reason I still don’t understand, a lovely young dancer had to make a costume change backstage rather than in the green room. Something went wrong, and she had no choice. The show must go on, right?

Well, Tim O’Reilly had a full and unobstructed view of this, in all its glory. She was a tall, slender, dark-haired beauty who zipped out of her merry widow and into a dress, standing for a moment only a few feet away from Tim in only her stockings. He was so overcome by this he was literally dumbstruck.

To say that Tim was speechless is a spectacular understatement. He couldn’t talk for hours. When he finally could form a coherent sentence, he said, “I almost blew a gasket!” That was a lot funnier than it sounds, because it was a signature line from the show. Jon Stainbrook, the star of the show, said it so often is was a bad cliché for us, yet that was the only phrase Tim could put together to describe his close encounter with a pair of well-formed breasts. It became our favorite phrase for ragging on Tim.

I’ve searched for Timothy Patrick O’Reilly on the Internet with little luck. I’m not even certain I’m spelling his last name correctly. I believe he was from Kellogg, Idaho. If you know him, please direct his attention to this website. I’d love to hear from him again.