The alternate title of this post could be ‘Where Mayberry meets Deliverance.’ I have to take a break from worrying about publishing to tell you of a Saturday night Nick and I shared with friends a few weeks ago. Nick asked the couple we were going out with, where they wanted to go that evening and the answer came back, “How ‘bout the Feed and Seed?”
After our initial shock we found this was a real place where they play mostly country and blue grass. Now the Feed and Seed used to be just that, an old feed and seed store. American Pickers might have decorated the place or it might that the pickers just haven’t found it yet – it doubles as a church on Sunday morning. No alcohol is served there, but I have to tell you the entertainment makes up for it and I don’t mean just the music.
I did like the music, however, one of their hits was about a man realizing that he can feed his family one more day. The song was “There’s a five Pound Possum in my Headlights Tonight.” I’m not making this stuff up. But I want to tell you about the people.
There is no way a casting department from the finest studios in Hollywood could have come up with this crowd. The average age of this group was probably seventy-seven or so. So get your mind set to that first. To describe some of the fellows; we had one guy in seersucker pants that made him look like the bottom of Matlock in court. One fellow had on a polyester shirt circa 1974 with deer all over it. One man had white zip up boots, several wore overalls, NRA tee shirts, and there were a few who wore checked shirts with camo caps.
Two brothers in particular stood out. I’d say one was sixty-five the other seventy. Both looked as if they had come straight from the still and were cousins of Ernest T. Bass. The came in in their boots, took them off and put on their clogging shoes, complete with taps. And they could dance. I loved it, one with ears sticking out from under his camo cap like cab doors, the other with a ponytail and both dancing to beat the band. When the band played ‘Man of Constant Sorrow” from ‘Oh, Brother where art thou’ another old fellow joined those on the dance floor, clogging like the rest. We found out later he was ninety-two years old.
The ladies were also extremely interesting. One lady, around eighty, wore a sparkly blouse and short-shorts. She seemed to have her eye on Nick for a while and I made sure I stayed close. Another lady in particular caught my eye the minute she walked in. No doubt she was the prom queen in high school and never got over it, she was probably in her late seventies. She looked really nice, great hair, makeup – and had the best looking stud there on her arm (not counting Nick). This was a very nice looking older man, tall, wore jeans and a nice white button up shirt. He had a white mustache and goatee and his long white hair was pulled back in a ponytail. All this was topped by a white cowboy hat. This stud was probably a bit younger than her, close to seventy.
Nearly all these people knew each other and when the prom queen sat down she spoke to all the ladies around her and they spoke nicely to her before rolling their eyes at her behind her back. It really felt like high school all over. They danced a bit, and then when they sat back down she took her clogging shoe and hit the stud in the shoulder.
“What was that for?” he protested.
“I saw you blow a kiss across the room, do it again and I’ll hit you in the head.” She told him.
During another dance she grabbed his face and turned it to her, then with two fingers, motioned from his eyes to hers indicating he was to look at no one but her. The closest we came to a real catfight was when a woman asked the prom queen to dance (lots of women were dancing together) she didn’t seem to want to, but the woman (granny A, we’ll call her) wasn’t taking no for an answer and pulled her to her feet. At that moment, another lady (granny B) swooped in and asked the stud to dance. This did not go well with the prom queen and she headed their way only to be physically restrained by granny A. As the dance ended, the prom queen shook her fist at granny B, supposedly in jest, but everyone watching could tell she would have like to have slapped granny B right across the face.
A short time later while dancing this interesting couple abruptly left the dance floor, changed shoes and headed out. I ask the lady in front of us (who was a wealth of information) if they were married. She told me no and I said, “I didn’t think so.” There abrupt departures lead to some speculation. Nick said that she was a cougar and had the money in their relationship and she suddenly wanted to get her money’s worth. I just assumed his Viagra had kicked in.
I can’t tell you when I’ve enjoyed an evening any more. I was grinning from ear to ear the whole time. I even had Nick up dancing before the night was over. It seemed a strange gathering of folks, but truly they have my admiration. To me they were old folks, (and I’m no spring chicken) but they were living! They weren’t home watching re-runs of the Golden girls, they weren’t playing bouncing balls on facebook, and they weren’t complaining about aches and pains. They were dancing, and singing, and flirting and interacting with their friends. I learned these hundred or so people that filled these benches and pilled out into extra chairs on the side walks were there most every Saturday night. I felt like I learned something at the Feed and Seed that night and I hope it’s a lesson I’ll take to heart.