Road Blog: Saturday June 03, 2023 - Zanesville, OH
June 3, 2023
As the boys were waking up on Saturday morning I commandeered the van and high-tailed it to the nearest Liquor Barn, about 10 minutes away. The store was pretty empty, and I was striking out on my conquests but found a good sale on something nice and was working my way toward the register as I was approached by a young fella with a bottle of Blanton’s in his hand. Blanton's Bourbon is a hot commodity these days, and the store had a one-bottle limit. Dude asked me if could buy a bottle for him as it was to be a gift for his dad, and he’d give me cash up front. I was skeptical – the whiskey-flipping market can be ridiculous – but I tentatively agreed, just out of resignation, if he was willing to wait for me to finish my shopping. Turns out Sazerac Rye, one of the items on my list, was on the same “one bottle limit” table, and it wasn’t one of EACH, it was one of ANY, so I was off the hook. I think he found someone else anyhow.
I scooped up the boys back at the AirBnB and we headed back to Bardstown Road to the farmers market where Sondra (Michael Jett’s fiancé, ref yesterday’s blog) was working the Red Hot Roasters booth. We stocked up on some Louisville coffee (whole-bean and liquid forms) and supported some other local creative types and ordered a round of amazing omelets from a vendor. It was great to have a little block of time where we could actually take in some of the city for once (and a fantastic meal)!
I took the wheel and drove back to Ohio, up I-71, past the Site of Fatal Bus Crash May 14th 1988 in Carrollton, and up to a dead stop while responders cleared the road of a trailer-hauling pickup truck that had a run in with an unfortunate a deer. The truck was a little smashed up but it didn’t look like anyone got hurt, except the poor deer that is. Looked like he’d had better days. Nice dinner for the buzzards that night I guess. That set us back about 45 minutes, but it was pretty smooth going after that. Temps were in the high-90s, skies were blue, and Dio – Live in Fresno `83 was kicking on the stereo. We skipped the Vinnie Appice drum solo.
We checked into our dive motel east of Columbus and west of Zanesville after that long haul and were thrilled to find our room occupied, messy, and wreaking of cigarette smoke. We got that sorted, chilled out a bit and watched some super stupid move with Marky Mark and a talking teddy bear, and climbed back into the van for the 45-mile drive to Zanesville.
Zanesville, Ohio is a small little city that sits on the Muskingum River about an hour east of Columbus. We navigated over the tridge, through the downtown, back over the river, and pulled up to Weasel Boy Brewing, and old, converted glass-molding factory on the eastern bank. It’s a nice-sized room with a stage at one end set up in front of four giant beer vats. We met Lori, the co-owner and co-brew-master, who promptly put pints, salads, and pizzas in front of us over some really nice conversation and a very warm welcome. The food was amazing and the black IPA was stellar. I was disappointed that they didn’t can their beer!
After dinner we loaded in, set up, did a quick soundcheck, and got to work. Jay, the other owner/brew-master/sound-engineer arrived and got us dialed in quickly and made sure everything was clicking. We played for about 90 minutes to an attentive and responsive but slightly distant audience. People were coming and going a bit, and things started to thin out as we wrapped up around 10:30. The crowd wasn’t huge, but Jay and Lori and the people that were there were incredibly friendly and gracious, and we agreed on the drive back to the motel that we’d gladly play there again anytime.
It was my turn in the designated-driver rotation, which was fine by me as I’m not a quantity-beer-drinker. As I was getting out of the van, the box of pizza with Jake and mine in it slipped from my hands and hit the parking lot. And that’s not the kind of parking lot you’d eat off, if you know what I mean. Well, as luck would have it, Jake’s stayed in the box somehow but I lost all but one piece – still that was enough. Back in the room I nuked that and scarfed it down then washed it down with a little snort of Rye while we watched Benny Hill and then a couple episodes of Alice. Benny Hill did a `Gone With the Wind` sketch that was pretty good, but the Alice episodes were after Flo left and her (second) replacement Jolene was there, a distant relative of one Jefferson Davis Hogg, the mayor of Hazzard County (where those Duke boys beat all you ever saw, been in trouble with the law…you get the point). I gave Jake an exhaustive rundown of 70s sitcoms and their spin-offs that got into the 80s and 90s before we just crashed out.
This morning we had an early departure and were on the road by 9am. First stop was Colin's Coffee in Columbus to get some caffeine and say hey to my pal Colin from Colin Gawel & The League Bowlers and WATERSHED, and my boss at Pencil Storm. We talked a little Cheap Trick (as always), some Zanesville, some Dwight Yoakam and personal music updates before we had to take off. A serious storm had come through and done some damage to their patio and we saw a lot of downed trees in the nearby neighborhood too.
15 minutes to the northwest was our next stop: The Starliner Diner in Hillard, Ohio. Normally we can’t get on the road home soon enough and just grab something quick for breakfast, but we collectively LOVE this place ever since David Murphy suggested it one late night at The Tree Bar several years back. It’s my favorite breakfast place on earth. I got the Starliner Breakfast Burrito and it was amazing. Food took an hour to come out after “some tickets got mixed up,” so that was frustrating with that daunting drive ahead, but it was, as the song says... worth the wait.
I got us back to I-75 though an hour of rural farmland where we saw a baby pony that must’ve been just a couple days old and some slow-ass dipshit drivers. We crossed into Michigan and landed at Gabriel’s at a respectable 3pm. I dropped Jacob off in Ann Arbor and got home around 4:15, greeted by TrooperGirl22 with a smile on her face and a saw in her hands, where we had a downed tree in our own yard to tend to. No rest for the weary here, folks, I tell ya. Add landscaping to the list of accomplishments this weekend. We got the carnage to the curb and headed inside.
Tonight it’s TV and laundry, an early bedtime, and some reflection and thanks for another Tucos run in the books. Crowds weren’t huge, merch sales weren’t massive, but we met some great people, played some cool rooms, ate some righteous food, and made it home alive. THANKS to everyone and to you for reading. See ya in 2 weeks. xx