Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On The Road To Memorial Weekend 2010

I headed to the mountains of North Carolina to explore a couple of festivals. I’m not going to turn this into a tourism promotion for the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it’s pretty nice up there. It’s become an enclave for northern retirees, artist and hippy-types, and if you look in the right places, you’ll find portals to the 1950s.

My Google-approved route sent me on the interstate half of my drive and single lane state roads the rest. The state roads were more fun because they took me through the mountains. Part of the fun was the journey, and if I can quote myself, “No journey really begins until you’ve passed a blindfolded horse.”

And that’s what happened. I rounded a curve in a foothills area and at the side of the road was what appeared to be a blindfolded horse eating grass. While blindfolded was in question, I nailed the horse eating grass part. I know what you’re thinking, blinders. No, I’ve seen the Kentucky Derby. Not blinders. Blind-fold.

The ride continued. The road winds and I got higher into the hills. Around a sharp bend in the road and there it was, “Bob’s Place”. I’ll let the photo do the talking.

I passed it a few times and knew I had to stop. It looked like a bar, but could have been a general store. There was no town, just a house across the street and a few abandoned shacks. Some graffiti about bikers, the exact quote escapes me, so I’ll go with “We Bikers love crème brulee!”

So I got out and said hello to the three people sitting outside on the porch, interrupting their conversation, which I’m certain had nothing to do with particle accelerators. Turns out the place is a bar. I got a can of beer and stood outside to find out more. I never got any names, but I found out the 70-something woman owned the place, the gentleman with the 1950’s Bryclcreemed hair and shirt sleeves rolled up above his elbows was the bartender, and the potbellied man in the muscle shirt was a fellow patron.

I was definitely an outsider. The others didn’t have a whole lot to say to me. The patron did most of the talking.

The place had been there for 100 years, used to sell moonshine out of it. Pretty sure they still offered it. Was told it was pretty popular at night and on weekends. They even had bands perform there, so check “Yes” in box for electricity. Plus, the jukebox was loaded with Debbie Gibson CD's!

Ok, it’s slippery slope time. How to properly address what happened next without offending. The patron then went “N-word” on me. For this story I will substitute it with “kitty”.

Memorable quotes:

“You won’t find any kitties up here.”

 “I’m country. We’re not like city slickers.”

“We had a kitty come in here one time with the beer delivery man and he tried to get a Coca-Cola. He reached for it and (couldn’t understand his accent) and he got shot three times in the stomach with a pellet gun. He was bleeding, rolling around across the street over there.”

“You’ll be ok up here. No one will bother you.”

He had more to say about the surrounding areas, giving me the idea that local stores did not provide a diversity in hair care products.

Check “No” for indoor plumbing. There was an outhouse behind the bar. Thankfully, the owner had a big bottle of hand sanitizer next to her. Even the worst racists potty then wash their hands.

If you think I over-exaggerated my experience. My photo of the artwork on the side door should cause you to rethink that.

Coming soon: Never fear, the rest of the weekend was fun, involving all sorts of nice folks.

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