kate and pansy
think about taking over the world
but instead decide to take another drink
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

More on that summer vacation.
I saw the ‘gay cowboy movie’ at the weekend. And I kept thinking, what kind of self-respecting man in Wyoming herds sheep. I grew up with my father making quite violent threats about sheepherders. I can’t ever recall him mentioning homosexuals. I suppose I still can’t quite here him say, “You know where I come from, we hang homosexuals.” Which is pretty much what he said about people who associated with woollies. Lamb has never been inside his house.

Still, seeing the film did make me think about what I know and/or feel about the Midwest. Particularly as the last trip to the great plains really shook some of the beliefs I had held since childhood. Yesterday, someone I worked with asked if Valentine Nebraska was Hicksville in the back of nowhere and I had to admit how taken I was with the house the family reunion was held in.

It belongs to cousins of my father. The kitchen was like something you would fine in a Williams Sonoma catalogue. Huge island, complete with a second sink. There was a lovely garden room where they had a monkey puzzle tree that was over 30 years old and they kept with through all their moves. It also housed their citrus trees who moved indoors and out, depending on the season. Downstairs, in the basement, was a closet kitted out and stuffed full of serious red wine. And the little office had bookcases filled with the kind of books you see in the New York Times Book review, popular but also literary, all in hard back. I kept wandering around, thinking I could live here. I want this. Oh, how I want that. I didn’t think I would ever envy someone a life in the Midwest. Or that, I suppose, you could live such a life filled with my bourgeoisie niceties.

The night before the reunion we did go bar hopping in Valentine. I’ll admit it. I learned to drink in the Midwest. First time drunk, the summer a cousin got her older brother two purchase a couple bottles of boone’s farm for us. Indeed, one could argue my first experience with cocktails would be the summer of the ‘hop, skip and go nakeds’ (you can email me for the recipe) and unrequited crushes on blonde life guards. However, I have never been to a bar in Nebraska before. The H wanted to go. My female cousins (who I used to drink with, underage) wanted to go. Even my jenny jones male cousin (he of six children by six different women) wanted to go. So we went.

We were nervous. We found a bar. We looked in. The Jenny Jones cousin was like ‘I think this is a stripper bar’. And yes, there was a little tiny stage. We got a round of drinks. Cheapest round I have ever seen. We sat down. Halfway through them, a girl said, ‘drink up, it improves my act.’ Ten minutes later, she is up on this little tiny stage, naked, writhing. And then all but begging for money. Strangely enough we left after the first drink.

Next bar, down a side street. We go in. There are only two other people. We get drinks. Not as cheap as before. We start to play pool and pinball. My aunt and uncle join us eventually. After much pool, we leave to go to the bar with the karoke.

Out on the street, my uncle we had pointed out that we had been to one of the two ‘Indian’ bars in town. This would explain the artwork and the patrons,

So when end up in a place with karoke and dancing. And it was packed. So much that when somebody went back to get more pitchers of beer, all the pitchers were in use. The H did sing rugby songs on the way home.
The next morning we told our tales and asked, a bit incredulously, about the strippers. Did Valentine always have strippers? I believe my father muttered something about that bar being owned by so and so and he always brought in his girls from Lincoln and Omaha. I don’t know. I didn’t know that the Midwest survived on cheap beer and well naked women.

posted at 3:57 AM

Valentine Nebraska? I once lived in Valentine Texas, which is fairly in the middle of nowhere. Interesting.
Valentine Nebraska? I once lived in Valentine Texas, which is fairly in the middle of nowhere. Interesting.
Valentine has probably gotten a little wilder since the casino went in (on Rosebud Indian Reservation, just over the state line in South Dakota.)
Talking to my male relatives, it appears the Valentine has had strippers for decades. Somehow I have just missed them all those years growing up and lusting after the blonde lifeguard.
Post a Comment
push/click arrows to scroll.

Just like the state of nature, nasty, brutish and short...I was always fond of the nickname 'Craxi'...Sometimes I cook, sometimes I tend bar, sometimes I even knit. Mostly I try not to read the plethora of government publications that cross my desk and write one page summaries.
favorite food: lobster. ben and jerry's ice cream
favorite show: CSI
favorite drink: grey goose vodka (with ice, it doesn't need anything else)
age: far older than I like to admit/contemplate

« expat express »

| maystar designs