Friday, December 29, 2006

Party at the 'Port

Last night, RMAC (that's my brother and his wife, collectively) and I went to a party in Gulfport that sure didn't look like much from the outside. Behind an abandoned storefront, boarded up and apparently forgotten, we found one swinging scene. A jam band, not formal enough to have a name, played their hearts out below posters of Herman Munster, John Wayne, Jesus and the Rebel Flag. My brother, Robert, immediately placed a cold Budweiser in my hand as I leaned against the foosball table and took in the scene. Nearby, on a long table covered with a plastic gingham tablecloth, I eyed a pot of homemade beans.

A tall fellow named Rick told me the place used to be a feed store when he was a kid. "Yeah, my parents used to send me down here to pick up chicken feed and now here we are," he said, "whooping it up." Behind him, I noted a weathered white wooden beam that stood in the center of the room. In rough black ink, someone had scrawled down the side, "Thank you our Lord and Savior, General Lee."

I met tons of folks, including Dean, a shy man who loved the music but lost all color in his face when I suggested he take to the dance floor. "I .. I .. can't dance, there's no way I would ever do that," he said. To Dean, this was a certain social death he could not bear. Then there was Kelly, who gave healthy, solid snorts with each burst of laughter. She was easy to locate at all times. I also met Lisa and Andy, a darling couple, who were notably impressed I had made it here from Denver.

At some point, I grabbed my sistah-in-law, MaryAnn, and swung her around the dance floor. We were both wildly drunk and by this time, I was a few other things as well. Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Rolling Stones – awesome cover bands who know their shit can never be appreciated enough. I led, of course, bad habit of mine. We were squealing like little girls and after the song ended, the audience - arranged along several living room-esque couches - clapped wildly.

Sure don't miss a nightlife with long lines, cover charges and velvet ropes. I'll take Southern abandoned storefronts any day.


hdw said...

Hey, next time- save a seat for me!! :)

Have a great '07, see you in a week!

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