After the tumultuous events of the previous night, Annie and I decided to treat ourselves to a little luxury in Jackson. We booked a night at the La Quinta Inn off I-55 for only fifty bucks, and the accommodations were a far cry from the hellish Days Inn we'd found in Birmingham. We were exhausted! Standing on the balcony, we shared a cigarette and discussed the possibility of just ordering a pizza and staying in for the night. We'd check out Jackson tomorrow.
Enter Scooter and Dustin: our shirtless, beer tottin', cigarette smokin' neighbors. Good old boys who worked in railway construction. They offered us a beer, which we accepted. Jackson is hot as hell and a cold cheap light beer has a way of tasting like heaven in that kind of heat. They said they were headed up the street for dinner and beers around seven and that we were welcome to join. "Can't say no to a free meal ladies!" We nodded and said we'd think about it.
In the hotel room, as we washed up we decided we'd take them up on the offer. Normally they weren't a crowd we'd surround ourselves with but this trip was all about experiencing the unknown. They were a bit crass but we agreed they were harmless. So at seven we met them outside and told them we'd meet them at the restaurant. It was called Bulldog, a beer and burger kind of place. Another friend of theirs named John came along too. These boys were a riot. The redneck, the coons ass and the yankee.
"you know what a coons ass is?"
"it's that little brown hole right under it's tail."
Dustin was the yankee on account of the fact that he was raised in Illinois outside of Chicago. The other two nicknames were self explanatory. We ordered some beers and food and sat outside on the patio. I attempted to explain the purpose of our travels to them, I told them I was writing trying to write a novel and so forth. They liked the idea of being characters in the book and demanded when it was published I send them all free copies. I told them I would, as a thank you for buying dinner. They drank quite a few bud lights between the three of them and by 8:30 they said their goodbyes and headed back to the hotel room for the night. Annie and I, our moment of exhaustion passed, decided to ask some locals where a good bar was in the area. Some college students at the table next to us recommended an Irish Pub called Fenians. So off we went.
Fenians was a cool place, the bar was upstairs and they had live music playing. We ordered some drinks and sat quietly, getting a feel for the crowd. We didn't have to wait very long before people started taking interest in us. I got the feeling it was kind of a regular spot and unfamiliar faces were a rarity. As we started telling people where we were from, why we were in Jackson, etc etc, again, we were stunned at the warmth of strangers and the genuine interest in our journey.
Enter Morgan and Brendan: two graduates of Ole Miss (University of Mississippi), both born and raised Jackson. ( I hope you two are reading this blog!)
Faulkner was a graduate of Ole Miss and Brendan told us that before every home game he would go to his grave and pour two shots, one for himself and one for William. Bad ass.
Meeting these two turned out to be the best thing that could of happened to us in Jackson that night because of the place they recommended we all relocate. FJones. Brendan explained it to us as an "interacial all night blues bar." Annie and I's mouths dropped at such an archiac world as "interacial" being used but we figured it must really still be that way down there. Crazy right? Anyways, we followed them to the club. Anyways, we followed them to the club. In fact. This next part is so great that it deserves its own post. and my fingers need a break. will post soon.
i am writing from austin, tx where i have reconnected with my dear friend kathleen. she is letting us stay with her and it feels so nice to have the comfort of a home. even if it is not our home.