Out & About

TORRES: Saying goodbye to Roger Riddle is bittersweet

Continuing the theme of my last article about “making your own fun” in Macon, I’ve been doing exactly the opposite by writing, recording and rehearsing heavily these past few weeks.

Don’t get me wrong, because I LOVE what I do, but somewhere along the fourth or fifth 10-hour day of music, you get the feeling that summer has passed you by again. With that in mind, last weekend I was determined not to miss Shawty Slim’s “Over-Do” party and Roger Riddle’s going away party. Rehearsal ran late so I had to miss the “Over-Do,” but I did make it to Roger’s party.

For those who know, Roger Riddle is a retired (I use “retired” loosely) DJ, marketing rep, curator, writer and frequent name changer. He’s an all-around great guy and is also fearless in selecting the color of his jeans for the day and the pattern on his socks.

Roger announced about a month ago that he’s moving to Akron, Ohio, to join Chris Horne (remember him?) and write for his magazine “The Devil Strip.” Initially, I was bummed out -- for selfish reasons -- but at the same time I’m extremely happy for him.

I’m mainly happy for him because of the courage it takes to leave your comfort zone and start something new. I don’t know the details about how Roger got here from Detroit, but I’m sure being back near home helped in the decision to move.

When the after-party got to that weird moment where someone yells “speech” and people start getting all mushy, I found myself thinking that I don’t know Roger that well. There were some hilarious stories from back before my time in Macon, but there were a lot of them that happened while I’ve been here. I almost felt like I didn’t fully take advantage of this great person who has been within arm’s reach for the past few years.

I do feel that in the past two years I got to hang out with Roger more often and we talked about music, frustrations with Macon, dating, sports and a bunch more. The thing that’s always stuck with me is that most of those conversations ended with a “hang in there” sort of theme that never came off cheesy.

When he said it, I actually believed it. So thanks for everything, Roger, we’ll miss you down here but I’m making it a point to come visit. Oh, and I’m sorry for beating you at dominoes at your going away party.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, and you stayed in last night, you’ve already missed the first night of the Macon Film Festival. There will be some amazing indie film screenings as always, and this year’s special guest is Burt Reynolds. The film festival is a great date-night opportunity, or fun if you’re just looking for something new to do solo. You won’t regret it. Get tickets and more information at www.ma confilmfestival.com.

Floco Torres is an artist/songwriter. Contact him at flocotorres@gmail.com.