It's a Wednesday night, and the Beacon Pub is packed. It's not because the Hawks are on or because of the karaoke machine, either. The occasion tonight is one that envelops you like a warm bear hug, immediately upon entry—decorations hang from nearly every free space on the ceiling, streamers dance and balloons sway, brightly colored metallic cardboard cutouts scream 60!, and people are in high spirits. It's Darlena's birthday party, and judging by the turnout, she's got more friends and family than anyone could ever wish to accumulate in six decades on earth. "At least have some cake! I know it might not go so well with Jack, but still," urges Mona, the woman running the show behind the bar. Out back on the patio, while gathered around the gas heater for warmth, she asks if we live in the neighborhood. "No," we say, a bit ashamed to be outsiders. "Well, you're Beacon Hillers now!" she laughs, delivering a warmer welcome than I've gotten from even the best of friends. As she heads back inside to tend to the bar, we're not alone for long—a dapper man with a booming voice extends a hand: "I'm Sammy! Pleasure to meet you!" After a few minutes of friendly banter, we learn that Sammy is a world-class blues guitar player (catch him every Tuesday night at China Harbor) who came up noodling with none other than Hendrix himself in Seattle's Central District. The man has even been recognized with his own day, "Sammy Drain Day" (his birthday, March 13), as proclaimed by the city of Seattle, for his achievements in preaching and playing the blues. Back inside, the party is in full swing, with folks old and young grooving together on the dance floor while the karaoke mike heats up. "You guys are really lucky to be here, you know," a well-dressed man leans over and says. "Now sign the card."