Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stories from the south, ep. 1: The Girl in the Pool Hall.

Last Tuesday, we left for a grand tour that would have us visiting family in Maryland and Virginia (thus my lack of recent posts). It was a great -- if exhausting -- trip. And I have stories. Stories galore!

First up is what I would consider the strangest one: The Girl in the Pool Hall

We were in Fredericksburg, VA on Friday, visiting my sister-in-law, Kerry. Friday happened to be August 7th, which happened to be Owen's and my wedding anniversary. Ten years! Woo hoo! So, Kerry and her husband, Bruce, took us out for a night on the town to celebrate. We went to an art gallery and then to dinner. After dinner we strolled over to the Pool Hall (and I believe that is the official name) to listen to one of Kerry's friends play some live music.

Let me take a moment to describe said Pool Hall. It's a dive. A dive with the bar in the front half and the pool tables in the back. Near the bar were about a dozen tables and against the wall opposite the bar were three booths. The banjo band was set up in front, next to the door. So, when we walked in, all eyes darted from the band to us.

And, yes, if you are wondering, I did look like a fish out of water.

But that's not my point. Let me go back to my description. The place serves beer (PBR, Bud, etc.) and beer. Oh, and some soda in cans. But mostly beer. There was a sign that read, "Cash only. No credit. No tabs. Don't ask." And another that listed the full names of those folks who had been "barred" from the Pool Hall and those with "bad debts." And you can smoke in bars in Virginia, so there was that.

OK. Now that you have a picture of the place, I can get on with the story! Finally . . .

The place was relatively crowded but we were lucky enough to get some spots at the bar. Owen ordered beers and we settled in to listen to the music. Since we were at the bar, looking toward the band, we were facing the booths on the opposite side of the room.

That's how we saw her. The Girl.

She was a little girl (just six!) and she was positioned in front of a booth (where her mother and an older woman were sitting) dancing to the music. Clapping to the beat. Very well. She saw Owen and me -- mostly Owen -- and decided that, for some reason, we were to be her private audience. So she clapped and danced and shimmied like crazy when one of us was looking but stopped when we weren't. As she clapped and danced and shimmied she also stared. It got a little uncomfortable when she took a break, came back with her hair in a ponytail and proceeded to turn around, flicking the ponytail, to make sure Owen noticed and acknowledged it.

We figured we needed to leave before things got weird.

And weird they got!

At one point, she crossed the room, weaving through the older couples and the single, smoking men. She made her way over to us and, before we knew what was happening, she'd embraced me in a big hug and then moved to Owen and given him a big one, too. Then she ran back over to her mother.

It didn't stop there. She came back over again, stood in front of me and said, "Do you have any questions for me?"

Well, sure. I guess. "What's your name?"

"Anna."

"Hi, Anna. I'm Felice."

"I'm six. I have a brother who is one. I stayed at my memaw's house and now I'm here."

I think there was some more about how I thought she had good rhythm and all that and maybe Owen introduced himself but that was the gist and off she went.

And then she came back. She ran across the room again, stopped in front of us and shouted, "I love you!" and ran away. That was the end of it. She walked to the bathroom with her mother and we left the Pool Hall. We didn't see her again.

The End of The Girl in the Pool Hall

So, hooray! I'm back now and hope to catch up on my blog and yours. Oh, yeah, and the laundry, too!

But, right now I'm off to take the toddler to the beach. Have a great day!

~ Felice

19 comments:

Meg Runs said...

OMG, that story was funny but kind of weird, right? Kids never suprise me though, do you think they were homeless?? Can kids get into bars with their parents?
Can't wait for your next story!

B.o.B. said...

Strange indeed. Who takes a six year old to a pool hall? Even one that is named Pool Hall? LOL! Wish you had some photos of the place so we could see it in all it's smokey glory.

Denise said...

Gotta love bars in the South.

lindsay said...

haha. what a spunky little girl. that's just kinda weird. at least she wasn't expecting a tip?

Marlene said...

Omg, how totally awkward and funny! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait for episode 2. :)

D10 said...

Sounds weird. Doen't seem like the best place for a 6 year old, but that is just me! Too funny about the banned list.

onelittletrigirl said...

Happy Anniversary!!!

Roisin said...

Oh wow. I think I know that bar actually...Fredericksburg used to be so much cooler and now I'm afraid it's been yuppified. At least this bar survived!!!

Quix said...

I love vacation stories (and dive bars)! At first, I didn't get that the girl was *little*, and I'm picturing an of-age woman doing that and just figured she was drunk. Heh.

Can't wait to hear more!

Morgan said...

So random and yet kinda sad. I always get a little upset when I see little kids in bars, especially if they are smokey and playing loud music. You gotta wonder what kind of parents she has! Let's all hope and pray they did not drink and drive with her in the car.

Black Girls Run! said...

I'm always trying to stick up for the south, but then something like this happens. Lol...glad it didn't get too weird.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

i don't know what to think of that. speechless...

J said...

wow that is crazy!!! Glad you had an enjoyable vacation and its good to have you back!

Diana said...

Very strange. The girl, the hall itself...all of it.

I never experienced anything that weird in fredericksbergn (or the 2 months I was in VA)...but then again we stuck to beaten path places :) There's something to be said for stereotypical, ordinary stays! lol.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Happy belated anniversary! The story.... hmm, strange. LOL

X-Country2 said...

God bless the south!

I Run for Fun said...

How weird! Part II can't get any weirder, can it?

joyRuN said...

Definitely weird. And creepy.

Yikes!

Oz Runner said...

ha ha..great story..you must have made quite an impression on that little girl....and i think i've been in that pool hall, or at least one very similar....i hate it when parents take kids to smokey places..

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