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A heartwarming story

July 23, 2007

Courtesy of my good friend Joe Gordon:

So I went to this place called the White Star Tavern on Saturday. It’s a dive down by Drake Field. A guy at work told me about it and says that he goes there all the time. A few of us from work, Todd, my colleague in employee relations, my old boss Robert, and Brent, our guide, went for the sheer hell of it. And let me tell you, if Roger’s Rec [a filthy Fayetteville bar—ed.] is a 6 on a 10-scale of nasty redneck bar-dom, the White Star was a good 8.5 if not 9.

It’s one of those places where, when the door opens, you immediately go from blazing sunlight to smoky, neon-lit ambiance. The Johnny Paycheck song blasting from the jukebox seems to be turned down and all conversations cease when a stranger (me) walks in. Robert was already there, so I strolled over to him at the bar and then ordered a Busch (not Busch Light) in a bottle. They only serve beer ($2 anything) and they only take cash. The music seemed to get back to it’s normal level and the conversations resumed. Soon after taking a pull on my beer, a gentleman also by the name of Joe asked me if I wanted to play pool. And, if I did, I had to use the cue he was offering to me: an old mop handle with blue chalk rubbed over the nub end. I politely declined, but Joe gave me the crook eye nonetheless. We took a seat at a table. At one point a sign fell from the wall revealing the sole window in the place allowing sunlight to stream in. The crowd at the far table erupted in jeers toward the bartender who quickly ran over and wedged the old metal Budweiser sign back in place, thus calming the rowdy redneck vampires. I stayed for about an hour and a half, had four beers and then left. Quite an adventure.

I should say so. Here’s to broke-down bars and mop-handle pool cues. Long may they live.

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