Marion, NC to Greenville, SC. The hotel manager took this photo of me about to leave in the morning.
It's sort of comical, I'm in full storm-trooper gear for this little nerd-mobile. Actually it's big nerd-mobile. Most of the motorcycles I see on the road are Harley's or Honda Gold-Wings ridden by people with t-shirts and skid lids. I'm in full gear on this loaded down little scoot. But it's a blast to ride.
I made it to Asheville, NC which had been described to me as "The jewel of North Carolina" but I didn't like it. It was just another college town with no parking,. and throngs of pedestrians going in and out of cafe's with names like "The Cosmic Chameleon" . Not the South I was after so I kept going. I plugged "Greenville, NC" into my GPS, and later found out that I should have entered "Greenville, SC". Google maps isn't great with the state boundaries.
I corrected myself after about an hour. I stopped at a McDonalds and took a photo of this remarkable woman:
You can barely see her in the photo, it's the woman standing behind the woman with white hair.
She had curlers in and what seemed to be pajamas on and seemed perfectly comfortable. She spoke nicely with an elderly lady at the next table. I suppose this happens in NYC, but it seemed so neighborly and relaxed.
The gas station there (Old Bridge, NC) was run by a Moslem couple, the woman was wearing a headscarf. I wondered how much crap they had to put up with, or if on the other hand, they were accepted as community members. I wondered what they thought of the people coming in
I ended up on the right path and took Rte. 9 south. What a great ride, up and over a mountain, with canopies of trees, a river, lots of twists and turns. I practice counter steering and leaning in the opposite directions on turns. The scooter is a bit top-heavy because of the stuff in the top-case, but I do my best and it's fun to twist the throttle coming out of a turn.
Made it to Greenville SC and went for a walk. I saw this creepy bridal store
And next to it a store called "Halloween Highway" with these weird kid-in-a-rock-band mannequins:
I ate a a sushi restaurant and had some tempura-battered bananas with chocolate sauce for dessert. Yeehaw! Rebel yell.
At the sushi restaurant they had an entire room for kids to draw in:
Hey man, cart that thing off to the MOMA. Nobody would know the difference.
After watching a little Nascar on the hotel t.v., I made my way over to "The Palace Billiards" (56 Airview Drive, Greenville, SC 29607, 864-234-0428).
This was like pool Mecca to me. Around 12 9 foot "Gandy" tables, a brand I had never heard of before, $3 hr/person with discounts for groups, nice people, good music from the sound system. At Amsterdam Billiards in NYC where I often play, the music is a constant rehash of Bob Seger, the Allman Brothers, Bruce Springsteen, et. al. Great stuff but the same tunes over and over again. If I hear "Night Moves" again I'm going to kill myself. At "The Palace" they played a mixture of Southern Rap, Mexican music, country, rock, hard rock. Beers were cheap although I wasn't drinking.
I played 2 games of "Fargo" and scored a 48 and a 56. When I was done, the owner, Mike Sijon, showed me the Gandy tables, including the "Big G". They had a special "silent ball return" system that cost $900 way back when they were made, which was 40 years ago or 60 years ago or something, I forgot. Gandy tables were made in Macon GA and built like brick shit-houses. Fast Larry later told me that Gandy didn't like retailers carrying other manufacturers tables, it was a regional thing.
Gandy rules the South! Here's their signature "Big G" table:
People were friendly from the moment I walked in and I had a great time.
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