This morning I met with my Uncle Paul for a good old fashioned Waffle House breakfast in Atlanta. Hits the spot, and then I feel like hashed browns for the next five hours.
Afterwards we headed back to his house, it’s always fun to look around his house, as he is an artist. As he explained it when I pressed him to FINISH one of his projects, his house is like an art studio. He likes it under a constant state of flux, and construction. It is his creative outlet, and he doesn’t judge its worth based on whether or not it seems “complete.” That sort of hit me with a wave of understanding. I’m not an artist, but I kind of “get it.”
Next stop, Nashville. The drive seemed like a long four hours, but I made it. I found a free street parking spot, and used it as my home base.
I first walked to Hattie B’s to get some hot chicken. Nashville is known, as it should be, for its hot chicken. I got hot, and it was hot. Real hot. I don’t know if the 95 degree sun or the chicken was making me pool sweat, but it sure tasted good. That and the mac n cheese, and the fries, and the side of ranch to dip it in. And the sweet tea. Mixed with lemonade. I had myself a time.
I walked from the 19th Ave location down the Honky Tonk Highway to check out Cumberland River. The riverfront is peaceful compared to the 15h00 drunk mess right beside it.
After a quick sit, I found my way to Whiskey Row. I had a Basil Hayden’s straight, and a Jack on the rocks. I listened to this amazing three man band mesh song after song, and when I was asked if I had any requests, I came up short. If I ever get asked again, I want to hear “Singing in My Sleep” by Semisonic. Damnit I wish I had asked for that song.
A lot of my relation with you is from frisbee. I played with you in a league, on a team, and then under your leadership for a prized season of making the Pro Flight in USAU standing. PoNY (Pride of New York, our club team) was an experience I’ll always have mixed emotions about. I spent a lot of the time enamored with the great group of guys that I got to play with. I got to play some of the highest level ultimate of my career (so far). I led every warm up during my final season, much of the time unsure if I was even on the team.
I remember looking back at the day I finally got my roster spot, and even then confronted a mixed set of emotions. I remember talking to one of my captains the night I got offered a “purgatory” spot, and almost walked away entirely. My point is, I’m sure you’re wondering, that I had a Basil Hayden’s, straight, today. And that reminds me of the time I met you at American Whiskey in Chelsea.
You’d sent out a call to the team, and I responded wanting to catch up with you and some teammates. Little did I know, I’d wandered into a gathering of you and your college / high school friends. One friend in particular, and I forget her name, mentioned that Basil Hayden’s was her favorite whiskey, and I’d never had it until today. A small link, but I remember starting that evening thinking what the hell did I get myself into. At the end, after a lot of entertaining conversation with a lot of really great people, one being, of course, Phoebe, I had a great time. That’s it. I’ll always have in my mind a lot of time, and a lot of energy spent on building a team that in the end was composed of a lot of guys that mean a great deal to me. Regardless of my personal struggles on the team, Basil Hayden’s reminded me that the team was composed of men who are friends through and outside of any team environment.
I have all of the time in the world now to make my way to St. Louis, where I’m grabbing dinner with Kristie (my lovely woman friend) and her family. If you’ve followed my route, you’ll know I’ve already been to St. Louis on this trip. And this is the beginning of eight days of backtracking. I have a few weddings to attend. It’s not the best thing in terms of the driving fatigue I’m sure to start feeling, but in terms of wanting to be a part of the moments in my friends’ lives that mean a great deal, it is the exact thing I want to do. There is no better place to set my foot next. So, back to St. Louis, back to Kansas City, then back to Detroit. My final 16 states will have to respectfully wait a damn minute.
- I entered my 34th state, Tennessee
- I entered Kentucky, but I’m just skipping through, so I won’t pen it in just yet
- Live music, man, it doesn’t suck