Howdy (that's the way we greet people in Texas),
This is a message from Paul Graddy. You are getting this message because I think I know you, you pretend to know me, or you ran me off the road on a Nashville highway. You might also be getting this because I bought your name from an email / Facebook user list called "100 Cool People You Should Know In Nashville" - if you don't live in Nashville, please let me know so I can get my money back.
If at this point you are wondering, "Who is Paul Graddy?" it's okay, I often ask myself that very same question. The answer is that Paul Graddy is the person who is about to offer you good food and a fun time at J. Percy Priest Lake this Saturday.
If the question still persists in your mind, maybe a picture would help you recognize me:
If you saw that picture, and your thought then became "Who is this idiot?", maybe you would recognize me like this:
If you still don't recognize me, then I'm probably some random stalker guy (it's okay, I'm a friendly stalker with free food).
Here's the deal, the other day, I was having a conversation with myself that went something like this:
Paul: So, what are you doing this Saturday?
Tony P (Anthony is my first name): Um...eating...hanging out...the usual.
Paul: I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but that sounds kind of lame.
Tony P: So what are you doing?
Paul: I'm thinking about sending out messages to everybody I remotely know in Nashville and inviting them to come hang out at the lake.
Tony P: What are you going to do at the lake?
Paul: Um...eating...hanging out...you know, the usual.
As you can see, I have some pretty riveting conversations with myself. The point is that I'm having the first free Graddy Bash at Hamilton Creek Park on J. Percy Priest Lake this Saturday (June 27, 2009 for those without a calendar). It will start at 6pm - the park closes at 11pm, so at the latest, it will go to 11pm. We will grill some hamburgers, play some games, relax and enjoy the evening - it will pretty much be the coolest thing you do this summer.
Did I mention it's free? All you have to do is let me know you are coming and then show up - I won't even make you sit through some boring sales pitch about timeshares. The sooner you can let me know, the better for planning purposes. By letting me know, I mean sending me a message or calling me and telling me "Yes, I'm coming" - none of this, "well, maybe I'll show up". I'd rather a late "yes" than an early "maybe".
Lets lay down a few ground rules.
Anybody and everybody is invited. I'm sending this out to 50+ people. If you have friends you want to bring, they are more than welcome. All I ask is that you let me know how many people are coming - you can point them to a copy of this invitation online here:
All ages are welcome. Bring your kids, bring your parents, bring yourself. Just let me know how many are coming.
No alcohol. I have some friends who drink and some who don't. I personally don't drink. To make this an environment where everybody feels comfortable, it will be alcohol free. For those of you who find the words "lake" and "beer" synonymous, this may be a unique experience for you and I think you will find it surprisingly fun. If you are still unconvinced, then maybe a short video clip from the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.) and Bing Crosby can impress upon you the evils of alcohol (at 5 minutes and 38 seconds in is where it gets good):
On a final note, I really don't know how many people to expect. Just so we are clear, the free Graddy Bash is going down even if Graddy is the only one to show up. If you are one of those people who seeks safety in numbers, I will have a counter online so that you can see how many people have responded and said they are coming. If the counter hits a certain number where you feel comfortable attending, you can send me a "yes, I'm coming". It may also provide some great entertainment if at the end of the week it still says "1" - you can laugh at how big of a loser I am (but I will be a loser who is having fun at the lake).
So, to sum it all up in a nutshell:
Hamilton Creek Park at J. Percy Priest Lake (link to directions below)
6pm - 11pm
June 27, 2009
- Feel free to invite friends & enemies.
- All ages.
- No alcohol.
Directions located here:
Response counter here:
My contact info:
Cell: 918-557-1900 (feel free to call or text, be sure to include your name if you text in case I don't have your number in my phone)
Email: (send an email)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pgraddy (send a facebook message).
Hope to see you there,
Frequently Asked Questions (in all honesty, these really haven't been frequently asked, I just thought they might be something you are pondering).
Q. Umm...this whole stalker thing is kinda freakin me out.
A. Hopefully I can clear up any confusion. You are getting this message because sometime in my life, I think I may have known you (I figured if it works for Facebook friend requests it should work for the free Graddy Bash). We may have met the other day or we may have met in high school or college and you live in Nashville. I did my best to send this to people who I think would recognize me and possibly be interested in hanging out at the lake. There is the possibility that I made a mistake and we don't know each other. If that is the case, you are still welcome to make a new friend and come on out to the GB. You also have the option of responding with hate mail - whatever option you choose works for me (you may also be interested in the next Q&A).
Q. I don't know what makes you think you can send me messages like this but it better stop...immediately.
A. Yikes! I apologize for offending you...that definitely wasn't my intention. Feel free to send me a message letting me know about your wishes and I will happily make sure not to include you in future invites.
Q. You jerk! You know I'm out of town!
A. Well, yes, that is true (the knowing you are out of town part). But I figured it would be easier to send you an invite to the 1st GB instead of trying to explain why you weren't invited to the 1st when the 2nd GB roles around. Does that make sense? (yes, I just responded with a question).
Q. Will there be anybody my age there?
A. I really don't know. I can tell you that there will be in attendance a 27 year old who approaches life like a 7 year old and can carry on a good conversation with an 87 year old.
Q. What's the bathroom situation like at the park?
A. You know, I'm really glad you asked this. I went and checked out the park this last weekend and the bathroom doors were locked (honestly, I only checked the guys - didn't want to look like a creeper trying to get into the girls bathroom). There is an unlocked and clean Port-O-Potty in the next parking lot over from where the GB is going down. I'm assuming this will affect the ladies more than the men because there are plenty of woods around. There are also stores right down the road from the park.
Q. Can you swim at the park?
A. Hmmm...when I checked out the park, there were about 17 no swimming signs posted around the park and down in the lake were about 17 people swimming. Let me put it this way. If you bring kids and they like to swim in the lake and you like to obey "no swimming" signs, you will probably want to come up with a good response to "But it's not fair, other kids are swimming in the lake" ahead of time.
Q. Speaking of kids, is this the park with a BMX course (Bicycle Motocross for the uninformed)?
A. Yep. It's got a sweet fenced in course that is a lot of fun to play on...I mean...if you are a kid, it looks like it would be a lot of fun to play on. So, you may also want to consider ahead of time how you will respond when your kid wants to "check out" the BMX course.
Q. Is there anything for my kids to do that doesn't involve swimming or hopping fences?
A. There's a playground, we'll be playing games, and there is plenty of room for kids to be kids. I'm pretty sure they will have a great time.
Q. I have like 50 friends who would love to come to the lake. Can I invite them?
A. Sure! The more the merrier, just make sure I know how many are coming (preferably by Friday).
Q. I'm on a mailing list with 1000 starving artists in Nashville. Can I send out a message to them?
A. Ummm...how about you call me before you send out that message.
Q. What should I bring?
A. You don't have to bring anything. If you are looking for a few items you can throw into your car, outdoor games are always welcome (you may also want to take a look at the next question). Also, if you play the guitar, feel free to bring one - we may have you break it out later so we can ALL sing along (please note this is not a "I'm going to give a performance and play a bunch of cool music I wrote and get a lot of fans and maybe a recording contract" event).
Q. Are there picnic tables or a pavilion?
A. There are some picnic tables but no pavilion. There is a lot of grassy space so you may want to bring picnic blankets and camp chairs (if you have a portable table that works for picnics, feel free to bring it).
Q. I'm going on a hot date Saturday night, but I'm afraid I might get stood up. Can I show up if the date doesn't work out?
A. Sure, feel free to change plans at the last minute. Just keep in mind that first dibs on food goes to those who said they were definitely coming. Who knows, your hot date might have stood you up for the GB.
Q. I don't really want to go and I would really prefer it if you would never email me again, but I have a hard time saying no to people.
A. You would have to do an awful lot to offend me - I don't have any problem with you not wanting to come, not wanting me to email you again or with you just saying no. You may want to say yes to a counselor though.
Q. I live on the opposite side of town from this park. Why is it at Hamilton Creek Park?
A. Hamilton is a great park and it's on the lake. It's across town for me too, but the trip is probably shorter than you expect if you take the highway.
Q. What's with the whole no alcohol thing?
A. This would probably be a better conversation in person - feel free to ask me about it anytime.
Q. I'm a vegan, will there be any food for me?
A. You may want to bring your own food. If you are just a vegetarian, I'm sure we can throw some grilled cheese together for you.
Q. Why are you sending this out with such late notice? My schedule is packed and I can't come.
A. Sometimes...make that all the time...I tend to decide to do things at the last minute. This is just another example. Maybe I'll give a little more heads up for the next GB.
Q. I've read this whole stupid invitation and I can't figure out the catch? Why are you giving away free food?
A. You probably don't know me very well. Here's kind of the overall goal - have fun and meet other people. Life is built around relationships and I think it is a good thing to get all kinds of people mixing together. This is kind of my first shot at it in Nashville, but I plan to do many more events like this in the future.