At the Bar, a $12 Cover Sends Me Packing

I sat at the bar at the Lady Killigrew and watched the Sox on a flat-screen, high def TV. I was waiting for Steve, who had taken the scenic route over on his scooter, enjoying the vistas of the late afternoon sun on Blue Meadow Road. Outside people were sitting at tables beside the roaring Mill River; downstairs at the Night Kitchen, an elegant white tent was spread over the deck. I looked down and all I could see was a man’s leg and sockless loafers.

Steve said he wanted to hear the music upstairs at the Book Mill. It was two women who had just been sitting next to me at the bar, one played guitar and the other a banjo. A sign said the cover was $12 to get in. Instead, I ambled back down to the bookstore and read a passage from one of my all-time favorite books, Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth. Ironically, the book cost the same as the cover charge, so I decided to head over to the Rendezvous. There, the cover was only $3, so I figured even if the band sucked, it was worth it.

At the bar TV game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals had Pittsburgh leading the Detroit Red Wings. I asked the chubby bartender if they wouldn’t mind switching it to the Red Sox game. But beside me, a man called out, “no no, don’t turn it, this is game seven!” He later apologized for his vociferous objection, but I complimented him on being a sportsman. I told him about how much fun I had visiting Pittsburgh last June, and about how it was the smallest city in the US to have its own pro football, baseball and hockey teams.

The musicians began to play: two very loud guitars and a guy banging on drums. The decibel level crept up so that the four guys next to me in baseball hats had to yell into each other’s ears to be heard. I was glad I only paid $3, and walked out into the night to go back home.