My whole world has completely changed. I’m in a beautiful, strange place reminding me of Fargo, but with water, sunshine, and lots of crazy Southerners. I find myself playing the part of the mysterious new guy in town….but this town is more like a rural lake front community. Beaver Creek is not a metropolis. The entertainment here is confined to Ike’s Bar and Grill, a sports-bar like establishment filled with colorful characters and friendly people and The Flamingo, an exciting, sometimes dangerous biker bar-like establishment also filled with, well…sometimes friendly people. There is also the Riverdeck, a gas station and fast food restaurant with excellent food and a place where you can periodically eat with Steve-O and Wee-man of the infamous Jackass movies, who both own houses nearby. Beaver Creek is a very down to earth place with honest, down to earth people who accept most anybody who’ll take the time to sit and have a drink with them.
I chuckled to myself the first few weeks here as everyone I met seemed to be named Larry or Mike. There’s Captain Mike, Military Mike, Big Mike, Little Mike etc. and then there’s Goodtimes Larry, my jovial neighbor who owns the houseboat adjacent to me, and Trailer Park Larry, who lives in the Camper-trailer area nearby, and a few other Larry’s that I’m not sure what their nicknames were because I was in a…well…alcohol-induced, memory shortened condition when I met them. They all are super-nice, good people who have opened up their welcome wagon to me. I have been blessed to come here and have the opportunity of a lifetime…to live on the big boat at the nicest marina on the lake. It seems the big boats at the marina are somewhat of a status symbol here and if you actually live on one…then you’re somewhat of a celebrity. (Everyone knows everyone here and a stranger sticks out like a sore thumb, much less a stranger on the big boat!)
At first, everyone was a little wary of the new guy in town. They didn’t talk much and were kinda suspicious of me. Upon seeing me for the last several weeks, they have slowly opened up their world to me and suddenly I have people coming up to me and acting as if they’ve known me their whole life.
Ike, the owner of…well…Ike’s…didn’t make me buy a membership to join his private establishment for the first two weeks, but then stopped me at the door to insist that I buy a membership as everyone else had, now that he knew I would be dropping in from time to time…it was now a necessity…and only fair to everyone else who had to. I wasn’t sure if he liked me after that, but for the last two weeks he always comes over to talk and we’ve sat at the bar to chat on a few nights over some beers and I’m certain that he does like me now. He recently offered to send over an electrician he knows to help me with an electrical problem on the boat. He is a very genuinely good person who loves the lake and this community. His employees are Little Bit, the bartender, whose real name is Dana, Jackie, the waitress, and Crash and Hammer the cooks. Crash is a red-headed young lady who was once called Red, but got her new nickname a few months back when she crashed her car and totaled it. Hammer is a hilarious young man in his 20’s who claims he used to weigh over 300lbs and is always in a happy mood, joking, singing loud, and always looking for a woman to sleep with. He once told me he didn’t care how old a woman was or what she looked like, and proved it by hitting on a 70-something year old woman who frequents the bar. (He said she excited him cause she told him the only thing she smoked was in the bed!) Hammer is a story in himself with his contagious laugh and constant joking…
Surprisingly, Ike’s has some of the BEST dance music around! They are constantly playing Prince, The Gap Band, Cameo, Michael Jackson, Steve Wonder, Rick James…(Bitch!), and numerous other oldies but goodies. They also play country and contemporary music from today and I simply love most of the songs I hear there. It is so funny to watch these folks singing 7 Spanish Angels at the top of their lungs and then watch them bob their heads to The Black-Eyed Peas beat. I love to dance, but have been keeping a somewhat low profile…and really haven’t found anyone I wanted to dance with…yet. Though Ike’s has been relatively slow as far a crowd, everyone continues to tell me that by Memorial Day, this place will be packed with people.
One of the things I have thought to be funny is that most of the people who go to Ike’s say The Flamingo, the biker bar which is across the bridge approximately 100 yards away, is way too dangerous to go into. Many people have warned me that I’ll get stabbed or shot and that the place is known for trouble. Of course, THAT is what made me HAVE to go there!
I’ll have to say that Ike’s is always the place to go around 9 or 10, but that usually the adventurous leave there sometime after 12 to meander across the bridge to The Flamingo, which is the Sodom and Gomorrah of Beaver Creek. TC is the owner there. He is a large, portly fellow with a bald head, a big, thick mustache and more tattoos than Amy Winehouse. He looks really tough and mean and I guess he has to look that way to keep peace at the place, but he is really a great guy who just wants everyone to have fun. I must say at this point that I HAVE seen a few fights, but TC and some of his fellow bikers who come to ‘The Dirty Bird’, as I recently found out the biker clans call it, usually break up altercations quickly and throw out any instigators.
The music is always either rock or surprisingly some rap, but usually leans toward older hard rock. They frequently have great bands there. The bands are always good and I have heard some awesome up-and-coming alternative rock bands there. Yes, the crowd is much rowdier than at Ike’s but, much like life, I think everyone should experience all there is out there and danger can be quite exciting. Harmony and Tashia are the bartenders there and are always sweet and even give me a coozie for my beer every time. (Harmony even slipped me her number the other week with my coozie.)
I haven’t really met any single women since being in Beaver Creek, which is ironic to some degree based on it‘s name…lol. It seems every woman who has come up to talk to me was WITH someone else. I have actually caused a few fights at The Mingo….the nickname I’ve given the place. I must say at this point that though I can handle myself and am not afraid to go anywhere, the fights were always between couples who had jealous males that didn’t particularly like their woman hitting on me and flirting with me. They usually are ignoring their mate or treating her disrespectfully and then get mad because she stops to talk to me. I would never want to cause a fight or even stir things up, but when you’re bored and a nice-looking woman comes up to talk to you, it’s hard not to talk back.
Last weekend, a very nice young lady came over and started writing her phone numbers on a napkin and her ex-boyfriend got really angry at her. (She said it was her ex-boyfriend and I assume she’s telling the truth…though I am not a good judge of women telling the truth…this we all know.) He was furious and cussed at her outside as she and her friends all scurried to leave as the bar was closing. He looked at me once….but DJQ knows how to give the Stink-Eyed, Don’t Fuck With Me look and he quickly decided to leave me the hell alone. I ended up staying out wayyyyyy too late regardless.
The next day I woke up and walked out on my Boat’s front porch to see a pretty blond lady standing on the houseboat next to me…I groggily looked over and said “Good morning.” and she laughed and said “It’s 1:00 in the afternoon!”…and then smiled a big, flirty smile at me. My neighbor, Larry, invited me to go out on the water for the day with him, his wife, and two other couples on ‘Goodtimes’, his pimped out adjacent houseboat, and after thinking about it a minute or two, I said “Give me 5 minutes to get my shit together, brother!”
He showed me areas of the lake unknown to me and some really great islands to take my boat this Summer. The blond was quite friendly and playful, especially after the blender got rolling, but she was with her boyfriend and I was not feeling like doing a re-play of the night before. I continuosly avoided her and moved when she would sit close every time her boyfriend walked to the back of the large vessel. She slapped me with a noodle float several different times playfully, splashed me with water continually, and kept giving me that flirtatious smile over and over again, but I was not takin the bait.
It was a fun day in the sun, nonetheless, and I enjoyed the grand beauty of the lake and the friendliness of my neighbor, new friends, and the people who boat there. As we sat on the island and had a beer, I listened to a song that says “I got my toes in water, ass in the sand, not a care in the world, a cold beer in my hand; Life is good today….life is good today”….and I truly was loving life.
Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend and it’s supposed to get wild around here. If yall don’t hear from me after that…I’ve probably found a single girl or a jealous boyfriend’s bullet!