I was still with Roomful when I got the long awaited call from Jimmie to join the T-Birds. Two years of back and forth calls and false starts. They had a dilemma with Keith-He was a dear, old friend (to us both) and the original bass player, there from the beginning. By the same token, I had to tell my "family" goodbye for the second time, uproot, leave my home, and move to Austin. No problema, cabrone! Are you fuckin' kidding me? I was finally joining the T-Birds and I already loved Austin. Jimmie and I decided to break our respective bad news and get it over with on the same day, same afternoon. No going back! True to the amazing pipeline between the Austin/Providence music scenes back then, Roomful's drummer, John Rossi, already knew what was up when I called the boys together to tell them. Now all I had to do was get my ass to Texas within five days.

      I put my future ex-wife wife, Cory, and our cat in my `69 Chevy
Caprice, attached a 6X9 U-haul on the back, and loaded it full to the top. My amps, string bass, electric basses, 500cc Honda motorcycle, and as much other crap as we could jam in there. Off to Austin, driving in shifts, pretty much straight through, with only one detour into NYC to pick up enough heroin for the ride, and some quick rest area stops to fix and nap. The dope was long gone by the time we got in. We woke up in a steaming hot car surrounded by locusts about twenty miles outside of Austin and headed straight for Frannie and Julie's, our new home for five days, and straight into a raging furor that I was blissfully unaware of.

      Sides between fans and band friends alike had drawn up as soon
as the news of my impending arrival hit. It was also in most of the Texas papers...Austin, San Antonio, D/FW, and Houston.  "The T-Birds had hired another Yankee (Fran being the first). Keith got royally screwed". Etc. Band intimates were saying that they fired one junkie and hired another. Not the case! True, I was a junkie. However, the band really let Keith make it for a long time, but increasingly he fucked off rehearsals, recording, and became a constant whiner about touring. He wasn't fired directly because of heroin, but it left a lasting distaste for it with the T-Birds. I was met with direct hostility from many people, and welcome and support from others. There was the Keith faction and the Preston faction, and it was a while before I was able to win over many of the former.
      Cory and I settled in on F&J's couch, parked the trailer out back, and the band had a very short rehearsal. There was no need. I had the band's repertoire down pat. We were, after all, close friends and loved the same music. Then it was off to the first gig, an outdoor show in Waco. Though it all went better than any of us could hope for, I was greeted by open, glaring hostility by a group of Chicanos who were obviously Keith fans. Oh well. After that, we just headed out on the road. No mas rehearsals. Shit, we were kickin' ass and takin' names from the get go! I was ecstatic and so was the band. This was the combination that would take the world by storm, though we little knew that it would be two years coming.

      Before leaving for the road trip, we also had a quick band
meeting, the first of many which in time would become like pulling teeth. Actually, having teeth pulled ended up being preferable! I found out a few things. We had a tentative deal with a fledgling NYC label, which would later go very sour and come back to haunt us. Mark Proct, who had started as a roadie for the band, and then became road manager, was our new management. Moreover, the band was something like $175,000 in debt. The myth that I stepped into a Cadillac situation, just in time for "Tuff Enuff", is bullshit. We were fixing to go out and really hump, doing what the T-Birds always did: tour and tour hard! We were also fixing to see less and less of our home and families, and we didn't give a shit! Bring it on! We were all pumped, ready to rock, and looking at a blindingly bright future. We just knew it!


      And so we hit the road, mostly in clubs, all over the
States. The T-Birds were still pretty much cult status at the time, despite the four incredible records that were already out, but our crowds were fanatical, here and in Europe. I managed to stay fairly heroin-free in those early days, but not by my own design. I  didn't have many connects except in certain big cities and back home in Austin. But there was plenty of booze, courtesy of our rider, and lots of coke. Lots and lots of coke. And we did it all, took all offers. Remember, this was back in the day, before it became fashionable and politically correct to be drug free (or at least lie about it!). And, of course, there were girls. Hundreds of girls. Nameless, faceless one-nighters, gone forever from my memory. Some remain with me, though I couldn't tell you their names if my life depended on it, and a few became actual road girlfriends who I stayed in touch with and saw once a year or so (even if they had married in the interim!), but most have faded into the obscurity that comes with time and copious amounts of booze and drugs. 
      When the call finally came from our label that the budget for the record was in and it was a go, we left for England. Our producer was Rockpile's Dave Edmunds. We had already worked with him on a cut for the movie "Porkies Revenge" and he  was a good friend. Dave had a favorite studio and engineer in London, and we figured we'd get more done away from home, so we temporarily moved there and took two flats near Oxford Circus. We were no strangers to London. All our European tours started there and we had a lot of friends there. The band was completely prepared to start recording, having already worked out and rehearsed much more than an album worth of material. Kim had brought the basic lyrics to "Tuff Enuff" in on an airline barf bag, which we molded into a complete song at rehearsals, never knowing that it would shoot to the top of the charts later that year and make the record go multi-platinum. However, we all had a feeling about this record.

     The actual recording of "Tuff Enuff" went quickly, as did all T-Bird sessions. Knock out the rhythm tracks, put on Jimmie's guitars and Kim's vocals, and bring in a couple of friends as guests such as Al Copley (from Roomful, who was living in Zurich)  and some of the Los Lobos guys. The T-Birds did not fuck around. We were a live, touring band and had our shit down cold! We went in every day to a small, beautiful, state-of-the-art studio in West London and returned late at night to our flats. I stayed clean during the recording of the rhythm tracks, though again not by my own design, but when I was done it was time for me to celebrate. I asked our acting road manager, Mick, who was usually The Cure's stage manager, to get me some dope.

      The dope in Europe is all light brown, from the Middle East (Lebanon, Turkey,
Afghanistan), and very strong. To fix it, you have to cook it up with a drop or two of lemon juice. Mick brought back half a gram, about 10 bucks  worth, and I snorted a fat line, having no rig with me. Good thing! I was clean and the dope was primo! I was soon rubber-legging it around the flat! Of course, the band had no clue. Mick was discreet, and I was becoming very adept at hiding my secret habit from the band.

      We took one night off in the midst of recording, were picked
up at our flats by two Mercedes limos, and were driven out into the English countryside to Eric Clapton's estate for his 40th birthday party. Holy shit! Talk about royalty! We were met at the door by Patti Boyd, Layla herself, ex-Mrs. George Harrison and current Mrs. Eric Clapton, looking beautiful and  a bit matronly. Inside, talking, drinking, shooting pool, walking around among the other guests were Barbara Bach, Ringo Starr, Steve Winwood, John Hurt, and who knows who else! A beautiful woman, dressed as a guest and wandering from conversation to conversation, would suddenly start pushing cigarettes through 50p pieces and other slights-of-hand. Turns out she was a magician hired by Patti and not a guest at all. Liveried waiters wandered around serving some kind of highbrow Champagne and hors-d'ouevre. No dope of any kind was in sight, though I was hoping. No matter. It was a wonderful night, mixing it up with so many of my idols from my youth. I would soon be meeting and hanging out with many more!

      Halfway through the recording, our label went belly up and
declared bankruptcy, bouncing a $50,000 cheque to Edmunds and leaving us stranded in London. All we could do was forge on, make financial arrangements, and finish things up on our own. Much later on, when "Tuff Enuff" became such a huge hit with Epic, our old label would come back and sue us as an asset of theirs. Although they were long bankrupt, we were still one of their assets! Unbelievable!  Yet we couldn't counter sue them as they no longer existed! Funny how the law and lawyers work, as I would later find out repeatedly! What do you call 25 lawyers dead at the bottom of the ocean? Anyway, we knew we would win the suit, but in the end it still cost us and Epic hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, I digress…

      It was time to come back home and hit the road again to pay
for all this. We had a wonderful cover done from a folk piece by an American Indian artist. Now we needed lots of money and a video. Oh, and a record label! A fledgling movie production company from Toronto who was trying to make their mark called us and offered us a cheap video deal, complete with director, soundstage, dancers, crew...the whole shot! Fine with me! I knew Toronto well from my Roomful days, and it was my wife Cory's hometown. So we headed North, working our way up into Canada, and started our first video shoot. Videos are fun to make...just like a mini movie, with full crew, make-up, choreographer, script, continuity, props, and of course star pampering. They had already cast and rehearsed a slew of gorgeous dancers, ran us through the paces, and it was done in a couple of days. One of Toronto's most famous strippers, Sugar Bush, was cast for the plum role in the middle of the video. Then for the finale, they brought in one of the two existing police Harleys that were used for the Pope's visit for me to ride across the set at the end of the video. Fucking fantastic! And I was hooked up for dope in Toronto! Who could ask for more?

      So we were touring and had paid for a record, video, and
packaging. Mark started shopping it around, all on a silver platter, and was still turned down by several labels until Tony Martell from CBS (pre-Sony) decided to run with it. We went up to New York, to the Black Rock, CBS' mammoth headquarters, to do all the signing and schmoozing, and to meet the wonderful production team they had put together for us. A memo went out to CBS worldwide: the three new priorities were The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Fabulous Thunderbirds. The record was released and worked hard by the CBS team, while we were doing the same touring. We hired  ICM, the huge international booking agency out of LA, Charles Comer (Stevie's publicist who originally came to this country with the Beatles), an accounting firm in LA who specialized in bands (whose roster included Guns `n' Roses), and opened our own office in Austin (in the new office building built on the site of the old Armadillo). The whole shot! Ready to rock the world, and that's what we did!
      The first time I heard "Tuff Enuff" on Top-40 radio, I was driving my new Iroc up Congress. Man, what a feeling! Over the course of the next year, hearing it would become commonplace as it climbed into the top ten and the record first went gold, then multi-platinum. We were still touring, but there was a noticeable change in that the crowds and venues were getting bigger and bigger. We went out on our first big arena tour across America with Bob Seger for 2&1/2 months, opening for him to rabid sold-out crowds. When he took days off, we did our own shows in smaller halls. Jimmie and I hooked up with two of his beautiful back-up singers for the duration, and both bands became fast friends, out drinking and carousing every night. I stayed mostly heroin-free for the whole tour, excepting New York and the Northeast, where I was well connected. "Tuff Enuff" was still slowly but surely making it's climb into the top ten. It was a memorable, magic, exciting time in my life.

      Stevie hooked "Tuff Enuff" up a plum spot in "Gung Ho", a film he
was doing some music for. He had already made a splash with Bowie, had released "Texas Flood" (which Roomful had included on our first record back in `78), and was on his way up, too. Another film, "Tough Guys", picked up "Tuff Enuff" also, and was to be followed by many others, kick starting a rash of movies like "Bull Durham" that featured T-Bird songs. Eventually, we would do "Powerful Stuff" for "Cocktail", a huge smash for Tom Cruise, the soundtrack of which went multi-platinum and precipitated the perk of the band and our families being flown down to Jamaica for an all expenses paid, eight day press junket. Unfortunately, Cory and I were kicking and felt like shit most of the trip. Much later on, the band was called to record "Way Down South", the title track for "My Cousin Vinnie". We even appeared as ourselves in "Light of Day" with Michael J. Fox, playing a song we wrote for the film while touring Australia. We flew in from Down Under to LA, arriving late at night, saw the wives for a couple of hours at our hotel, got up at 6 AM to go shoot "Solid Gold" (with Stevie as an anonymous guest guitarist in the background), went to an all day CBS photo shoot (at which Jimmie fell asleep in a chair as the photographer was shooting us), then boarded a night flight to Chicago to film our scenes in the movie. That was to be the pace of the band's life for quite some time.

      Being that Stevie was also coming up, and fast becoming a guitar
hero/god, it was only natural that we both tour the world together, so we criss-crossed the States and Canada, went to Europe a few times, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii. It was a rolling party. We would be drunk on the flight or bus in, hit the hotel bars immediately while the road managers were checking in, locate some coke (or in my case, some heroin, too), and stay loaded through the show, after which we would usually go out for more debauchery with the promoter and as many girls as we could corral. Stevie's preferred onstage cocktail at the time was half a gram of coke dumped into a glass of Crown! He had an Australian road manager for a while who went out into the crowd every night with a couple of dozen all-access passes, for girls only. Hand picked! He would even walk up to couples and give a pass just to the girl. He was also a master at getting various services in exchange for passes...hotel upgrades, salon haircuts, tourist shit, all that. When we got off stage every night, the dressing room would be full of beautiful women. Nothing new...the usual rock star shit! But I always made a point of telling these women up front that I was married and a junkie, giving them the option of cutting things off right then, which never, ever happened! For those of you who might start whining about this, remember: it was always a two way street! And the shows were a thing of beauty! Both bands really complimented, played off of, and pushed each other, ending each night with inter-band jams, highlighted by the duo of Jimmie and Stevie playing together on a single double-necked guitar. Truly magic nights! In between times, both bands went our separate ways, but always touring. Always touring.

      The T-Birds had initiated a rule called "The Malmo Rule",
because it was first put into effect in Malmo, Sweden. Some nights, the dressing room would get crowded with irritating blues aficionados, whom we dubbed "blues nerds", wanting to corner us and talk about whether or not Muddy Waters farted while recording "Queen Bee" in 1957 or some such crap! They would keep all the girls at bay, and we were definitely not trying to hear that shit! All our dressing rooms had BIG guards at the door, so one night in Malmo, we saw the blues nerd onslaught coming, and told the guards, "Absolutely NO guys backstage!". The dressing room was crammed full of beautiful Swedish women when we got off stage! And so the Malmo Rule came  to pass and be often used.

      We also kicked off the enormously popular "Don't Mess With Texas" campaign by
shooting the first ever television ad, which won an award, outside of Austin. Kim rewrote some lyrics from "Tuff Enuff" and we drove out to the country accompanied by a carload of chicks hired for the shoot and lip-synched the track standing in the middle of the road. I was good and fixed for that one, having made sure that I scored before we left for the shoot. I also got to do a television interview with my sweetheart Ann Richards, who the band actively helped get elected Governor. I was the only band member who showed up that morning, and I'm ever grateful that I did. There is video tape of me leaning over and whispering in her ear. To this day, I cannot remember what I was saying, but hopefully I wasn't hitting on her! We also did the Blue Santa press, parade, and benefit show every year in conjunction with the APD, who I would become very close to in a very different way years later. In Dallas, we were inducted into the Hard Rock Cafe's Hall of Fame, with a wall of our own inside and the first brass star, a la Hollywood, out front. There were hometown New Years Eve shows and my favorite: T-Bird Riverfest. Being as I was home for all these various events, I always stayed well fixed.

      Riverfest was just about my favorite gig every year, with a few
exceptions. We were the promoters, we picked all the acts (mostly friends and bands that we liked), we were home, we were the headliners and could come and go as we pleased, and flat out tear it up! One year, at it's peak, the festival drew something like 18,000 people to Town Lake, not counting the hundreds all over the surrounding areas outside the gates. Stevie always came, Bonnie, Carlos, Los Lobos, Robert Cray Band, Nick Lowe, on and on. We even brought in up-and-comers like The Chili Peppers and Sweethearts of the Rodeo. One year, our friend and "fifth T-Bird", Dennis Quaid, came to hang out, with a very pissed off Meg Ryan in tow. She definitely did not approve of the company he was keeping. Friends would take party rooms in all the hotels overlooking Town Lake and my house became the center and hangout for all the junkie bands. We would go see whatever bands interested us and return to the house in between for more dope. The festival usually ran from noon to midnight, and after a full day of drinking, drugging, and listening to great music in the sun, the crowd would be fully primed when we hit the stage around 10 pm. I will never forget the deafening roar that went up, and the girls ripping off their tops, when we would walk out and launch into "Tear it Up". Talk about a rush! Un-fucking-believable!

      As we were touring the world, I started getting very adept at scoring dope, to
keep up with my ever growing habit. Big cities were no problem. You just go into the lowest ghetto shithole `hood that you can find, and there will be junkies and dealers. Another good rule of thumb was to always find the street whores. They will hook you up for a taste. I did learn, though, to never give up my money first, to anybody. Training from my early New York days. In Europe's big cities, the main train station, if not the actual place to score, was always a starting point to at least find out where to go. Of course, all this activity was hidden from the band, and I would usually go out alone on my search, running into a few adventures on the way and seeing some unusual local junkie customs. One time in London, our stage manager, James, and I were detained and brought down to police headquarters for a strip search. James, looking to score, had approached two undercovers, who unlike in the states weren't even packing, and then called me over. Wrong! Another time in Amsterdam, I was brought in and detained while in the middle of a score. It seems that they can only hold you for one hour there, not even in a cell but in a little room, if you have less than two grams on your person. It's their choice whether or not to even confiscate your dope! All that was accomplished was my getting hooked up big time with another guy who they had detained, and scoring from him as soon as I was released. Zurich was the same way...decriminalized and wide open. They had even designated a legal dope park for a while, but then closed it down, forcing all the action to merely move across the street behind the bus station. Once I watched a couple of cops wait for two junkies on a bus stop bench to finish fixing before running them off. Civilized! Kids in Germany had a strange habit of nonchalantly drawing up water from the toilet bowl to fix with. I always preferred mine from the sink tap, personally! In Barcelona, I hooked up with a whore, scored, and accompanied her into a little street pay toilet, like a super porta-john, to get fixed. That was the norm. Later, when I went back to the same spot to score again, a young, beautiful gypsy girl approached me for sex. She kept grabbing my crotch and feeling me up, all the while talking a stream of foreign bullshit, as I kept backing off and trying to explain that I was looking for dope. She and her friends soon ran off laughing, and when I finally hooked up with a dealer, all my money was gone! She had pickpocketed only my paper money, leaving my ID, hotel key, change and all intact! Amazing! What an artiste! I had to admire her. Another time, touring with Stevie, we were supposed to hit Bangkok, the China White capitol of the Golden Triangle and the world, but the tour leg fell through for one reason or another. Just as well. I probably would have died partying there!

      Sandwiched between touring dates, we had to find the time to
make videos, record, and do TV shows. And we did them all. The Tonight Show, Arsenio Hall, American Bandstand, Disney specials, Solid Gold (with Stevie as background guest guitarist), David Letterman, Good Morning America, MTV as guest VJs, and the short lived but fun and memorable Pat Sajak Show, on which Jimmie sported six guns and I wore a silver shorts suit with boots. We caught some shit for that one back home! We also were presenters opened the envelope to announce Bruce Hornsby as "Best New Artist" at the 1988 Grammy Awards, and were up for two ourselves. We didn't win. The Bangles were also presenters, and at the 9am rehearsals, showed up looking like absolute shit. I was crushed! Janet Jackson made her entrance literally surrounded by a phalanx of bodyguards. It being LA, I was well fixed through my downtown street connects. And always, there was the unending daily stream of TV, radio, and print interviews. "Tuff Enuff" had gone top ten, with the video in power rotation on MTV, so it was time to hit them again...this time with "Wrap it Up" and the accompanying video which was shot in LA on the manicured lawns of Liberace's house with a cast of Russ Meyer-like, humongously buxom super-vixens! Whew, that was a mouthful and so were they! Later on came the video for "Powerful Stuff" from "Cocktail", which was shot one night on the beach at Malibu and intercut with shots from the movie. We were never within 1,000 miles of Tom Cruise or Elizabeth Shue, more's the pity. Well, at least in her case. With "Tuff Enuff" peaking, and the T-Birds now a household name, it was time to go in and record the dreaded "sophomore record".

      The next two records were done in Memphis. I started "Hot
Number" kicking on Clonidine and later on did "Powerful Stuff" on Methadone, as a transfer patient. Memphis was always a party, what with Joe Walsh in the next studio, Ron Wood hanging with us in ours and laying out lines of coke on the bathroom toilet, Jerry Lee Lewis getting loaded with us at the Peabody Hotel, and our friend Dennis Quaid in town shooting "Great Balls of Fire" with Wynona Ryder. She celebrated her 15th birthday at a night -off -from-recording gig we did there and Jimmie gave her a huge stuffed teddy bear. Dennis also booked the original Sun Studios for a recording session with us. I have no idea where those tapes are today. Nevertheless, it was a great session. Dennis is a good piano player and singer, and was very much in Jerry Lee character for the movie, down to having a white baby grande in his hotel suite to play on. Walking into a bar with Dennis at the time was an exercise in star power. After a short waiting period, girls would slowly make solo advances and passes by before just flocking en masse to our table. No wonder Meg wanted to clean him up and settle him down!

      We continued the constant touring, jumping back and forth from
supporting act on arena tours to our own headlining shows, and the strain was beginning to show. For Stevie, too. We had added support players to the tours, including Chuck Leavell, the Stones' keyboard player, and later on Lil' Doyle Bramhall II on second guitar. On our final tour of Australia, Jimmie, after a three-day coke and booze orgy, finally spun out, staggered off stage during the second song of the set, and got a runner to take him back to the hotel, leaving Doyle to finish the slast couple of shows. Stevie was soon to collapse off another stage across the world in London, leading to the departure and rehab of both Vaughan Brothers, and the beginning seeds of "Family Style", their only album together, and the last that Stevie recorded before his tragic, untimely death. Shortly after our return from Down Under, Jimmie gave notice, citing complete burn out. Indeed! With record sales declining, our old CBS team scattered, and the new one focusing on whatever was the current trend, the gigs downsizing, Jimmie gone, and morale at a low, we had to make a decision about whether or not to even continue on as a band. On a different note, I was lucky enough to play on "Family Style", and have the Platinum record, with my others, still on the wall. No members of either band were supposed to play on "Family Style", so as not to hurt feelings, but I got the call and drove to Dallas with Erika to do two songs, with Big Doyle Bramhall drumming. Both songs were cut live, with Jimmie and Stevie literally passing the guitar back and forth on "Brothers". Magic!

      We decided to forge on ahead. The band was too good not to, so we
brought in a couple of ace guitar slingers: Duke Robillard, founder of Roomful of Blues with a solo career in full swing, and Kid Bangham out of Pennsylvania. Two real pistols! Epic decided to stick with us and put out one record with the new T-Birds, so we started writing and rehearsing, bringing in Steve Jordan, Keith Richards' and SNL's rockin' drummer, to produce it. What emerged was "Walk That Walk, Talk That Talk ", in my opinion just about the best record that the band ever released, but Epic laid down on us in the face of grunge and let it die out of the chute. A true shame. I'm very proud of that record. But we went on and did what the T Birds always did...tour, tour, tour. During a ten-week mid-winter run across Europe, I cold kicked Methadone (with corresponding heroin habit). It was one of the hardest things I ever had to go through in my life, but I knew that it was my only chance to do it. At home, I would have been crawling back to the clinic begging for a dose within the first week. Through it all, my bass tech would keep a trash can in the wings for me to puke in, I would need a stool to sit on for many performances, and Kim would call songs sans bass so that I could go backstage when necessary to lie down. It was a nightmare, but the boys hung through it all with me, sympathizing with my plight, and I had a beautiful young French girl with me for a while who took on the role of nurse. A lot of hot baths! After five weeks of this torture, just when I was feeling better and sleeping again, we ended up in Amsterdam, the dope center of Europe, for twelve days. So much for kicking! But there were lots of good times and tours, too, and I was clean, at least from heroin, much of the time. Crossing the Swiss Alps on a tour bus in mid winter, sick or not, is never to be forgotten. We went to Estonia twice. Once when it was still Soviet where we played in front of 250,000 people at an outdoor festival, and again when they were free, poor, and proud, to do an indoor show which was broadcast to millions throughout the former Union. We played a huge outdoor festival in Peer, Sweden, where we didn't go on until 2am because it got dark there during the summer for only three hours. Stories upon stories. Memories upon memories. Meanwhile, back home, we were still criss-crossing the States, still playing to sold out crowds, but in increasingly smaller venues. And so it went.

      And so, too, went Duke. He started burning out and missing the
solo spotlight of his own career, and "Walk That Walk" was floundering, so he gave notice and left us in the capable hands of Kid as our lone guitar player. My wife and I had long since split and gone our separate ways into the dope world, things were in a backslide with the band, my habit was getting monstrous, I was burning out, and slowly easing into the Dope Game, leaving my consumer status behind. The one bright spot through all this was when I fell hard in love with Frannie's niece, Erika, and really tried to pull it all together.
      Deeply in love, I cleaned up for two months, during which we had the last of our yearly working vacations in Hawaii. I was feeling good with Erika by my side, but it was too late and soon after our return to home and the road, she burned off on me, sending me straight into the tailspin of the century. I embraced my heroin addiction again fully, along with my new rock habit, and stopped caring who knew or what consequences could come of it. My final gig with the T-Birds was a two week stand in Reno, from where I would bus into the Bay area every few days to score, and to where my homeboy and crack partner, T, flew in with his current girlfriend to hang with me and enjoy the gambling. Because of my increasingly open drug use, alongside my own dissatisfaction and disillusionment with how things were going, it all came to a head one night backstage, with tempers flaring between Kim and me. So I just said, "fuck it" and turned in my walking papers. Ten years. Truly the end of an era.