This was the moment I’ve been dreading. I can remember that from the moment we decided to call ourselves Blue Sky Riders, a part of me knew this was waiting. There they were, entering the hospitality tent of the Stagecoach Festival. It was Sharks versus Jets. It was Montagues versus Capulets. It was Blue Sky Riders versus…..

Riders in the Sky.

We stood staring at each other for that breath that happens right before the weapons come out….when you know that there will be no rules. No mercy. Their western shirts and bolo ties were their “colors”…they told the world “don’t mess with us if you enjoy the simple act of breathing.” They were also a wonderful act of branding in the country music market I have long admired.

Woody Paul. Did that case hold a fiddle? Or a gun? Could he swing that thing like a hammer or run you through with his razor tipped bow?

Too Slim was the one I was most worried about. His drooping mustache did all the talking and what it said was “World of hurt, name stealers…world of hurt.”

Just looking at Ranger Doug made me shit my pants.

I knew Kenny could handle at least one. He was fast with his fists, and if it came down to it, could sing “House at Pooh Corner” and take them down while they were wiping the tears from their eyes.

Georgia was a no- brainer. One of the reasons I married her was for protection. Twelve years of martial arts and two stints in the Israeli army made her the singer I wanted at my side when the shit went down.

Me? I don’t want to brag but….I have a sardonic wit and wry sense of whimsy that can leave any adversary gasping for breath or standing confused, trying to puzzle out the many layers of my ironic word play.

We stood there for what seemed like an hour. We never meant to anger them by our name choice…or to horn in on their audience. It was just pure chance. Words thrown in a hat and selected at random that now brought us here…to the precipice. To the mother of all battles. Riders in the Sky versus Blue Sky Riders.

Perhaps in my next blog I can provide the gory details of what happened next. It’s too soon right now. Still far too soon. The screams still ring in my ears. It all happened so fast. I think Georgia made the fatal first move. Maybe someone has it on a video. Maybe future generations will be able to figure out what happened. I need time to think.