Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The Great Red Bay Hostage Crisis, Day: 30
Ok, so to add a little humor to our situation we actually posted a sign on our front window that read: THE GREAT RED BAY HOSTAGE CRISIS, and kept a tally of days underneath. Most of our fellow RVers appreciated our humor, but I am convinced that the local workers did not and are now in a conspiracy to see just how long they can keep us here.
I believe we have seen every "sight" northern Alabama has to offer. We have stumbled across some gems, some wildly known, others not so much...with good reason.
First, Torben took me on a date to my first drive-in. I had no idea what to expect, as I rarely do. He was pleased as punch: it only cost $5 each for entrance, add in an additional $5 for popcorn, drinks, candy, and snow-cones and a whopping $15 later my husband's cheap ass was ready to kiss the gal behind the counter. A nice contrast to the fortune it usually costs to go to the movies. Our feature: Iron Man 2 (it rocks). We pulled up and hooked an old-timey speaker to our half-rolled down window. The sound was scratchy and a little hard to hear, but I think it totally added to the mood. I went to the bathroom and stumbled across a lady cursing at the sink and telling me she was going to ask "them" to turn it on. ??? Ok, I'm a psychologist, so I figured I was pretty much in my element. Moments later water started pouring out of the little rust stained sink with such veracity that it drenched the walls and the floor. I laughed aloud in the stall realizing that the woman was not crazy, but indeed asked them to turn it on. Alabama is a different kind of place. A very kind man told us the history of the theater, it has been open since 1949.
This guy started working there when he was 9! He lead the pony rides! At age 12 he began running the projector and that has been his job ever since. He gave us a behind the scenes tour of his projector building. I have to say I was keenly impressed. You would not believe the amount of film that is threaded through this tiny room for one movie.
Torben was afraid to walk around for fear his gigantor self would make the delicate web come tumbling down. If you have ever seen the shows American Pickers or Antiques Roadshow - this place was a goldmine. So my first drive-in was pretty cool. The balmy evening will be etched in my memory with the scent of bug spray and the laughter of the children playing on the nearby swing set...not too shabby.
We also ventured to the world renown Lost Baggage Center Capitol of the world...somewhere in northeastern Alabama. Ever wonder what happens to the stuff you lose on an airplane? The books left in the seat backs, the luggage that went to the Bahamas when you didn't, Jen - your camera? It all ends up here (don't ask me how) and its all for sale. All of your lost children's booties and bonnets, glamorous sunglasses and straw hats intended for some fabulously sunny get away. At first I was amused, awed, but amused, then a little saddened. They had everything. Someone's wedding dress and engagement ring. Kelly - do NOT check your dress to Cabo! People flocked from all around like it was the best damn department store they had ever shopped. It even had a generator for sale - not sure if that was really checked cargo or not. If you ever thought of something for sale, this place had it. (Happy Mother's Day G-MA! I finally found your favorite non-skid socks!)
By far one of the most intriguing places we have been is the Rattlesnake Saloon. Yup, sounds authentic and it is. We heard about this place by word of mouth. We've lived in a dry county for 30 days and idea of a stiff toddie was appealing. We were told to take "the road" across the county line, then over the hill, take a left after the old fire station, and follow the sun. As we drove we both exchanged curious impressions about what we had gotten ourselves into. Nothing, I mean nothing could have prepared me (how many times am I going to say that?). We came across a big field with hundreds of cars and horses tied to fences. Everyone was standing around waiting, so we joined in and waited with them...for our taxi. Not long after our "saloon taxi" pulled up and we all hitched a ride in the back of a dirty old pickup truck. I knew things were going to get interesting. We took off down a steep incline and wound around a mountain and ended up at the mouth of a cave with a saloon built right into the side! It was the coolest thing I have ever seen, bar-wise of course. There were two ways to get there, buy saloon taxi as we did, or by horseback riding. There was a natural mountain stream that flowed right down the middle and the locals just kept jumping over it back and forth like it was a hole in the floor. I witnessed cowboy hats and southern belles line dance their way across the cool earthen floor. I felt like life had transported me to a place I had only read about in books or watched in old western movies. I relished the sight while enjoying a cool draft pitcher. Life was good. My husband, never to know a stranger, quickly made friends and learned more about these gents lives than I am at liberty to write, lets just say we were endlessly entertained.
So you see, life in Red Bay can be interesting. (But I am still more than ready to move on!)