Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 6 – Dry County but not a Dry Soul - or – Adventures with Police for Jesus

We took a long time getting up, sinking into a soft bed and alternately reading chapters from “On the Road”. Slinking groggily, we slide out of Curse’s house, with its every surface covered in symbols and statues of Baphomet. We collected up our unfinished vodka and pizza before we went, sure we’d need a recharge somewhere along our route.

The road to Berea from Lexington is clean and straight, lined with horse farms and small towns made for truckers to pass through. Once in town, we rolled through the old town, watching from a distance the movement, like ants, of people in and out of a dense row of boutique craft shops. After a lunch in the car and a short nap, with the breeze pressed through the open driver’s side window, we settle in McDonald’s for some free WiFi.

This little Berea Barn Rat popped up from under our table while we were working in McDonalds. No matter how many fries we threw at him, he wouldn't go away. So we tied him up with old straw wrappers and left him in the lost and found.

While plowing through some band business, we noticed some activity on the Facebook event for the evening. “There is no alcohol permitted at this event!” it shouts. We were struck with a moment of righteousness. After contemplating for a moment, we figured on an answer. Dry County? We’ve met with this hellish concept only once. For your enjoyment, a short flashback.

After visiting in Memphis with Catherine, touring Sun Studios again, and basking in the afterglow of a very relaxing trip back from New Mexico, we found ourselves on the road to Lexington. The evening wore on, and we thought to claim it for ourselves by grabbing a hotel room and a case of beer and watching local cable commercials until dawn.

Cave City appeared on the horizon. It was the home of several roadside amusements based around some caverns and giant foam dinosaurs. After checking in, and lubing up with a little whiskey from our ever present flasks, we gather the moral strength to make the cold walk to the corner convenience store for our evening’s imbibements.

After a few moments wandering the lonely fluorescent aisles, a growing uneasiness became too apparent to ignore. No Booze! NONE. Not a tallboy or hip flask in sight! We walked a good way to check some other stores, but to no avail. Very disappointed, we marched indignantly back to our room, no beer or whiskey in tow. A short moment of research confirmed our suspicions. We were in Barren County KY, barren not just in name, but in state of inebriation.

Berea exists in once of these fabled counties. It was confirmed for us by Aaron at The Black Feather. In fact, our description of the event (Food, Booze, and Dancing etc.) had given cause to one good citizen to call the Sheriff’s office to investigate. One wouldn’t want the sincere offer of alcohol by a disembodied facebook event to be fulfilled by the Black Feather, which does not serve any alcoholic drinks. The Galt Line thanks this citizen for their concern.  

Since we were not familiar with the restrictions of a dry county, and it was hinted by Aaron that check points may be set up, we thought it prudent to secret away our stores of homemade cider.

Since the amount is considerable, I must remark that we were quite ingenious in our smuggling. However, we discovered later in the evening that it is not illegal to possess, or even drink alcohol in these dry counties, but only illegal to buy or serve it. Lesson learned.

The show was very good. Mateo Steiner made the evening with his Amigos de Mateo project, an ever-morphing collection of musicians who play Latin flavored scorchers. This night it was Matt, “Griz”, and Matt’s mom. They tore through a set of these hot Latin tunes with simple ease executed with effortless passion.

We got up and played a sweaty set to Mateo’s friends and family, and a number of very curious passers-by who kindly stuck with us through the whole set.

What followed was a torrential drive across three states, fueled by “Nos” drinks, energy shots, and diet soda (with consistent nourishment from day old pizza and nuts). In seven short hours, the neon skyline of St. Louis loomed.
With hours until the show and temporarily homeless, we jerked into a spot at the back of a Wal-Mart parking lot and slept fitfully, niacin pumping in our veins, at intervals watching the tangerine sun climb over the warehouse façade.

Thanks to Thomas, Aaron, Alexis, all of the Steiner & Brock families.

(Check out Thomas’ awesome punk band Eco-Bombs!)

Tomorrow… Morning show at a respectable institution, Chris and May Jo, and our very own room, not to mention 3 free drinks.

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