A year ago this weekend, a friend and I attended the annual UFO Festival in McMinnville. We both dressed up in self-styled “alien” costumes, and enjoyed perusing the vendor booths, watching the parade, and dancing in the street to various bands.

A few weeks later, I wrote the lyrics to a song I called “Alien Girlfriend.” Then my friend wrote some specialized sci-fi music for my poem, and sang along. When he sent the first draft to me, I played it for Rick, who laughed out loud.

“You wrote that?” Rick asked, incredulously. “I love it! Send me a copy!”

I complied, and with a few clicks on his phone, he set “Alien Girlfriend” as my personalized ringtone.

At first I thought that was more than a little weird. Whenever Rick answered my calls it played on his phone, which would have been embarrassing, but of course, I never called him when I was with him!

Last year, Rick had wanted to attend the Festival, but he knew he was too weak to make it from where we’d have to park the car to the downtown parade route. He wouldn’t have been able to stand and/or walk around all day, and any attempt at dancing would have been totally out of the question.

“You guys go and have fun,” he told me last May. “I’ll go next year.”

This weekend it is “next year,” and sadly, neither Rick nor I will be attending.

However,  “Alien Girlfriend” will be performed at the Willamette Radio Workshop sometime during the festival, and I know, absolutely, positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Rick would have loved it.