About nine years ago, I shared a story about some people in a place at the end of a 24 hour drive. And this kind of subject came up yesterday. And somebody said I should share the story again. Here it is…
~ After a long, almost 24 hour drive from Kansas to South Carolina, we pulled into the hotel where we’d be staying and playing. Luckily we had the rest of the day and night before we started. So, we caught up on sleep that evening.
And the next day I needed to get a document notarized. So, we went to the town hall where a notary public had been recommended. I asked a guy if I could get my document notarized. And he asked me what the document was for. Then, I asked him why he needed to know. And I promptly got the in-the-movies-southern-good-ol’-boy third degree…
“Boy!” he exclaimed, “we don’t appreciate smart aleck long hair types like you around here.”
I would have thought it was a joke, but he didn’t have a smile within a hundred miles of his face.
“Never mind,” I said. And we went to a convenience store to ask where else a notary public might be.
(Did I mention this was all after a 24 hour drive?)
And the clerk, who seemed to have the same high opinion of me I’d just experienced at the town hall, pointed out one down the street. But we ignored the lack of pleasantries and walked a few blocks to another office. I hope I’m not being politically incorrect when I say this…
A very nice lady, with skin the color of mocha, came to the front of the office and said she was the notary public and that she’d be glad to notarize the document for me. It took about a minute and cost less than $5. And it was all done with smiles and kindness. Nice change…what a concept.
And later that night, at the end of our 4 hours of music, we went out for a walk. But, before we left the front parking lot of the motel, the owner drove up to us.
“What are ya’ll doin’ out here?” he asked.
“Just goin’ for a walk before we go to bed.” I replied.
“Well, I suggest you just go on to your room. Because you don’t need to be out here without something like this.” And he pointed to a gun he had in his car’s console. “People end up shot or missin’ if they’re out too late.”
So, we opted to go to bed. And the next day, sure enough, we heard a report of a killing in a field not far from our room and the motel.
We played that establishment for 2 weeks before moving on to our next stop. But it felt like 2 months. Pitch black walls. Some guy in the back making wolf calls almost every night. And smoke so thick you could see pillars of it from the canister lighting.
This story is true. So I’ll keep the name of the town and its people anonymous to protect the innocent…if there were any.
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