Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ready for the holiday

Rainy day, started in the most anodyne of settings, a white room testing center on the outskirts of corporate Greensboro, near the collisseum and some random LabCorp business unit.  Not a fun place to be first thing in the morning, people nervous, and there I was joined by Monet and his waterlillies on not one but two walls. Like the waiting room of a notional dentist.

Then I took the test, did fine, on to the next.

And the next was, in fact, barbeque.  Chapel Hill's Bill Smith of Crook's has been periodically serving bbq brought in from other parts of the state, and a month or so back it was from Stamey's, in Greensboro.  A quick check showed me it was close to my test center and voila!  A plan was hatched.

By the time you are in Greensboro you have crossed the border from the green slaw part of the state (the East) to the red slaw part (the West).*  Red slaw is vinegar and ketchup based and, from the perspective of a green slawer such as the Grouse, does not provide as effective a dialectical foil to the spicysmokiness of the meat itself.  But nevermind, when in Rome one shows props. If you don't eat the local food, it won't be there when you come back.  And it was OK, and the meat was excellent, the hushpuppies so so.  But the place itself was the joint, exactly what a bbq place should be.  Homey, old tables and very old school counter.  And all washed down with Cheerwine.  What's not to like?

Before getting back out on the high school, I stopped into a used vinyl, videotape (!!!) and CD store, which, it turned out, tilted towards the oldies.  In the small "punk" section there was a compilation CD circa 1985 featuring songs by Let's Active, The Bronsky Beat, and Miracle Legion.  Hardcore.  I snapped up a collection of Yardbirds appearances on the BBC's Top of the Pops.  I had no idea that in their early days they were such a hairless pop band, pale shadows of the Beatles.  You could definitely hear how old black blues guys would have been pissed off, so lame were some of the covers of things like Muddy Waters' "I'm a Man."  Later on they got better.

* There are some establishments, such as Clark's of Kernersville, a good spot, which hedge by offering both red and green slaw.

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