If I had to pick one thing I'd never forget from our holiday in North Carolina, I'm not sure what it would be. The canoe ride, the play, being with family. It was all terrific. But one thing was really authentic down to the bone.
The Carolina Barbecue.
Rick loves barbecue. Our other favorite place, Doc's in Columbia, SC, didn't fit the agenda this year, and while we found a pretty decent chain for lunch it was -- well, not authentic.
But while he was on his ride, he discovered the Carolina Barbecue in Newland, NC. He learned there was music there that evening and we decided we had to take his dad and Kathy there for dinner.
So, off we went. Let me describe -- you walk in and order at the counter. I ordered the "Small Plate." It came with two sides, hush puppies and meat. $6.95 -- and not so small!
Then while it's being prepared, you find your seat in the main room -- checkered table cloths, tables close together. At the front of the room a bluegrass/country-style mountain band is playing -- and playing well.
People are dancing between the tables, clogging with their taps, doing the two-step.
Everyone is dressed like -- well, real people. No tourist clothes there, except us. As Kathy pointed out, Rick and his dad were the only ones not in jeans!
The band was great, the food was better. The desserts (cobblers) were delicious.
Only one other table looked as though they were passing through. The American vacation -- all this life and energy going on and the kid couldn't keep his eyes off his iPad!
Well, there was one old fellow there who was an amazing dancer! He was dancing with lots of people (seemed like everyone did), including our waitress.
Kathy said he was famous in those parts, a well known dancer. When I went up to get a photo of the band, Rick said to him, "Jeanie would love to dance with you." (Which was true -- Rick has many wonderful qualities but liking to dance isn't one of them.)
So, Bob Aldrich and I tripped the light fantastic. He taught me the simple rhythm and in no time at all I felt as though I was part of the gang.
He showed me his photos -- he'd just done a TV appearance in Durham the week before. He also gave Rick and I his phone number and was very chatty. When a second song started, we danced again.
The photos don't do it justice. Relyn calls some moments "unphotographable" and this was one of them.
But it was so very memorable! He was a genuine character -- truly authentic.
And so was the experience. If you're in that part of the country on a weekend, check out the Carolina Barbecue in Newland, NC -- and if you're lucky, Bob will be there. Don't be shy! Ask him to dance! (And leave the iPad at home!)
(Sorry the photos are a more than a tad fuzzy; dim lighting and a zoom full out, plus lots of movement do not crisp shots make! Like I said, "unphotographable!")
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