By Judd Smith


Whether it’s the stress of being under the gun for events with family or attending seasonal parties, bonds form in the oddest of places. Holidays have a way of helping us make new friends and reuniting us with old pals. What your parents used to tell you about being “the company you keep” is true, so watch out.

Ol’ Jack is in from Tennessee for a bit and wants to hang out. The problem with Jack is that everywhere you both go, he knows everyone. Well, maybe it’s that everyone knows him. He’s a legend. Everyone has a story about something Jack did that was epic or epically stupid. Heck, sometimes they even ended up in jail. Yes, he can be wild but he has a classy side. Smooth and mellow are common ways he is described with the older crowd he runs with. Did you know there are even pictures of him with Frank Sinatra?

There’s that one guy from school who wasn’t cool at all but now he’s really come into his own. Turkey comes to us from Kentucky. Tradition is in his blood and he doesn’t stray too far from the way he’s always done things. Sweet talking and bringing the heat is what he’s known for, whether it’s a formal affair or a bonfire with some ice chests and lawn chairs.

Pappy never comes to town. If he does, he only hangs out with a few people. When you talk about him to people, they haven’t seen him but they usually have a friend that got some face time when he was in town last. He doesn’t answer your phone calls or reply to attempts to get together but that doesn’t stop you from trying. You almost feel like you haven’t seen him in 23 years and you probably won’t ever again. Even though he is one of the greatest people you’ll ever know, it still hurts when you don’t get to see him and hear that he was in town.

Glenn is a world traveler. He calls Scotland his homeland. Somehow, he always smells like salty sea spray and smoke. Towards the end of the night, Glenn gets louder and more jovial. Even though he’s a nice person and easy to hang out with, people either love him or hate him. There doesn’t really seem to be any in-between with this guy. I’ll say this about Glenn — he’s a man’s man. He hunts, fishes, chops wood for the fireplace with his bare hands and calls every woman “lass.” That’s something no one else but him could get away with.

Finally, there is Jose. This guy lets everyone know he was born and raised in Mexico. He can always start a party. Don’t let the things he whispers in your ear sway you. He is a liar and is only going to embarrass you later. After hanging out with Jose for one night, you may not want to hang out with him for a long time. You will literally be sick of him.

Every one of these great guys has a time and place that it’s best to hang out with. Maybe it shouldn’t be every day but maybe it could be. I have a little unsolicited life advice for you: never hang out with all these guys at the same time. It is surely a recipe for disaster.

Judd Smith is a local wine enthusiast who also works as Cadre Hospitality Group’s beverage director. To read more from Smith, check out his blog at