My good friend Steven has many families. There’s his family from Jiggs Tavern. Jiggs is a bar in Baltimore that’s been in Steven’s nuclear family for a few generations. When his Dad passed away a few years ago, Steven left Providence to move back home to manage the place. He’s supported a few families simultaneously, in making this sacrifice.
He knew he would eventually move back to Providence. I’d see him on his occasional visits. But I always wanted to see Jiggs myself. I was always curious about the stories of his patrons, people he served and refused to serve, wanting to stitch together the environment hinted at by images on Facebook.
So a few Sundays ago, I surprised him by showing up, unannounced, to the going away party he threw for himself. There was no better time, and no more remaining time, to satisfy my curiosity. I booked a flight only a few hours before it left. I had one carry-on bag with a toothbrush, socks, and underwear.
I witnessed an amazing community that truly loves Steven. I felt the love in the room — it wasn’t just the stiff drinks making me wear love goggles. Love truly knows no location, shape, size, color, race, gender, class, religion. The community of Jiggs is Steven’s family.