Just returned from a trip to Johnson City, Tennessee. I have now driven past the highway exit sign to Jonesborough, TN so I feel my life is that much closer to being complete (j/k). Jonesborough, TN is somewhat of a Mecca for some Storytellers. Next time I might actually get off the freeway.
I did however spend Saturday night with Karen and Tim Dietz. Karen is the executive director of the National Storytelling Network. I did an interview with her and you can hear it at www.storyteller.net.
We ended up with dinner at steakhouse restaurant with Texas in the name. After a 15 minute wait or so we ended up seated at a table not in the smoking section but only about 10 feet from the Bar. You can smoke in the bars in TN and folks were taking advantage, by the lung full, of the ability to not have the government interfere with their lives. I could feel the smoke crawl up my skin. By the way, portions at said dining establishment were really large. Yum.
We had a crabby wait staff member. Our party inquired about the availability of on-tap beers. She replied that they had all the usual. When pressed for a list, she replied, "All the regular ones." Hmm. We then asked what they had in bottles and she replied, "Oh, about 30 of 'em." When asked for a list or even some examples, she replied after a deep sigh, "Well, what kind do you want?" Our party answered with an obscure German import and, rest assured, this harried young woman had not heard of it. At that point we gave up. Looking around the place during dinner, we did come to the conclusion that the at least 15 of those 30 kinds of beer had the name "Miller" or "Bud" in them.
The iced tea in Johnson City that night was full flavored, had a rich texture and smooth delivery with just a hint of lemon.