So we are here, the last performance day of the tour. The rain has finally taken a break and we get a little peak of the east coast sky. The drive from Raleigh to Summerville is significant, but not overwhelming. Lunch time we are pulling through Benson NC and we see a sign for the “Best Burgers in the State.” Well, for three fat men, that might as well have been a
sign that said “Live Nude Girls AND Free Beer.” We just had to stop. Was it the best burger in NC, not sure, but it didn’t hold a candle to Tulsa burger joints. But we learned as we were there, that we stopped on a very special weekend, Mule Days. Apparently a strictly redneck event as we saw this truck. It was not alone, there were almost a dozen just like it, some omitting the good ole stars and stripes. The struggle is real in NC.
The rest of the drive to Summerville was largely uneventful. On one of our stops I just had to indulge in a bit of southern tradition. Stop, I know all the jokes, I neither lowered my IQ, nor bathed in gravy! No, something that NOBODY around here has ever even heard of, Boiled Peanuts. If you have not had these, they are delicious, but very different than what you think of peanuts.
Loved seeing the intercostal waterways as we dropped into the flats that are the coastal region near Charleston. Summerville is like a small town on the outskirts of the city. It has a great feel. And today, in the middle of September, they are having Octoberfest. Who says the south is behind on everything? Since we had a bit of time before the show, I wandered around Octoberfest. It was a pretty big event for this small town. They said they had over 3k people register, and you didn’t have to register to show up. It was there that I met my favorite booth at any outdoor event I have attended. A couple of hipster guys wanted to have fun for a living, so they decked out the largest Airstream made as a mobile cigar bar. Great cigar selection for a mobile unit, big comfortable couches inside, dark wood etc… But even better, they had a seating area outside, so I could smoke and people watch.
But here’s the thing about Summerville Octoberfest, when they are done…. THEY ARE DONE! Our first show of the evening was at 6p, the same time Octoberfest was to end. At 7:30p when the show was over, the entirety of Octoberfest was closed, moved out, and cleaned. There were cars parked where Octoberfest used to be. Not a cup on the ground, no drunks wandering around, the only sign that anything had occurred was a line of port-o-potties.
As I mentioned we had two shows that night at the Flowertown Player’s Theater. A great venue. The first show was to be an all ages family friendly clean show. We had a couple of local openers, DeShawn Mason and Michael Clayton. A big thanks to Michael because he was responsible for most of (all of) our audience for this show. The other two Gentlemen don’t do clean shows that much, so I was left, as the closer with some extra time. It was a great feeling to know I can go a good 40 solid with PG clean material.
The second show was effectively a family/class reunion for one of the Gentlemen, Billy. See, Summerville is his home town, ground zero, the place where it all began. We had an incredible audience of more than just his family and friends, but there were a large number of them as well. We could not have ended the tours shows on a better note than this. They gave back as much, or more than we gave them. We had some incredible opening acts for that show as well, Justin Cook, Jessica Mickey, and the emcee, Mike Brocki. Needless to say, it was an emotional show for Billy, but not just for him. It was emotional for the rest of us because it signified the end of this run. We were all looking at our calendars for the next
week, and there was not a show in a different city every night, and we all were a bit saddened.
So tonight ends the shows, but there is still a 16hr drive ahead of us. I’ll save that for another installment. We are 7 states, 8 shows, and over 2000 miles down, and we are energized… for the moment.