Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Dirty Yeti Beach Party days 1 and 2. Journey to the west.

The Dirty Yeti Beach Party days 1 and 2. Journey to the west.

On my discharge from the British Territorial Army, I declined the ride home and instead opened a tea shop in the provincial town of Gorakhpur in Northern India. It was located in the rooms above the editor’s office of the local office of a London paper, so I frequently stayed in the know about the comings and goings of my military companions, as well as great travelers taking the pass through Nepal to the eastern reaches of the great Russian empire.

Most of my days were filled with trading stories with soldiers and journalists, as well as aristocratic mountaineers who were passing through the town, gathering supplies and courage for the journey to the top of the world. In this way I was familiar with all of the local myths and legends.

Sir Kent
A Sir Reginald Kent stomped up the wooden stair case one day, throwing off his great hairy coat, and dropped into a chair. He demanded a cup of cold tea with a drop of whatever I might have behind the counter, kicked off his Army issued boots and propped his feet up on a table. His brash attitude surprised me, but it had been a slow day and I was pleased to have some diversion.

“How goes it on the great road north, sir?” I asked. I set down some Darjeeling and brandy in front of his unwashed feet and took a seat across from him.

“Well, Rud,” he sighed with relief from his load and took a sip of his drink. “I just saw the greatest show in Goshen Indiana.”

“You don’t say. Juggling? Magic? Veiled Dancers?” These were the usual past times around this place.

“No, a great musical wonder. A Duo who sounds like a dance orchestra.”
“Just two” I asked incredulously.
“Aye. You wouldn’t believe it”
“Who are these people?”

His eyes turned keen, and with a flick of his wrist he drained his cup, breathed a great breath, and told me the story.
“I tell you just as they told me…”

We left Maryland a little late. It’s always a little rough when you’re constantly forgetting things. Before long we were on the highway, driving west through misting rain and flurrying snow. Our goal was to tick off a few hours of what would otherwise be an 8 hour straight pull into Goshen Indiana. By the time we hit the Pennsylvania border, the sun was already setting. The wind picked up and snow began to fall a little more heavily. We wound through the Allegheny Mountains, and blasted north toward Ohio. We passed through a great tunnel, and on the other side the snow was blowing like a blizzard. Beyond the lights on the highway and the stirring snow, you could see small hamlets tucked into the folds of the valley.

Fighting to give us clean sheets.
William Shatner gave us an amazing deal on what would otherwise be an out of budget room. As the landscape flattened out, we drove through the snow and crossed into Ohio. In a few hours we stepped into our fine lodgings for the evening, greeted by the smell of clean linens. For a half hour we tortured ourselves in the fitness room, then drifted off to the sounds of cable TV.

In the morning, Blythe gymmed again while I plotted out the day on the computer. A few hours of rainy drive would bring us to the beautiful historic downtown of Goshen Indiana. Winding with walking trails and a revitalized main street, Goshen shined through the dim afternoon with all the glory of a Midwestern small town. We ate at a great local sandwich shop before setting up in the Electric Brew. Our bill mate for the evening, Emily Rodgers, greeted us. We were setting up while the room filled with thrilled locals and Emily’s family and friends.
BBQ and London Broil Sandwiches
Emily Rodgers

Emily started the evening with ballads strummed on an electric guitar, bearing a resemblance to a simplified Jeff Buckley. Chiming tones sprang from her guitar while she sang long mournful notes. Next we set up fast and launched into our tunes. The audience was in, and we had a good time. After the show we met people and shook hands and sold CD’s. Soon we were on our way to another Shatner special. A few hours’ drive brought us to a room out of our normal reach. At the counter, you could smell the indoor pool. Curled up in clean, dry sheets, we ate some Christmas dinner leftovers and dozed off.

… He leaned back, finished with his story, and watched my face for approval.
“You say they ROCKED a coffee shop? That sounds a little incredible.” I was a little suspicious.
“Credibility be damned. I say they rocked a SOBER crowd.”
I was fetching another drink for Sir Kent when I heard a familiar footstep on the creaking wooden staircase.

Tomorrow… Gary Mullins, CMKT4, The Disastr House, and crossing shifting sea ice in search of the Yeti.