Follow the Fellows: NightBus Radio’s Latest Adventures
This is a guest blog post by Jack Kennedy. Follow along his adventures of NightBus Radio where he’s traveling by Greyhound Bus across the US. Here’s his account of his time in The Carolinas.
Dreamcatching in The Carolinas
Leaving Nashville seemed like a logical step. I’d been there for 2 weeks and the people at the hostel were getting hostile.
The kid at the front desk had a “friend” driving out to Asheville, NC, so I thought that would be my next stop.
The ride was quiet and solid till we got to Knoxville, TN, when the driver had to make a “stop” to see some friends. We drove down some back roads to a run down apartment complex. We went upstairs into a small apartment, which was littered with empty Sudafed boxes. My driver disappeared into he bathroom with a man and a woman and I was left sitting on the couch with 2 children, aged between 4 and 8, staring at me and asking me questions like “Why does the milkman come at night?” I was happy when the driver emerged from the bathroom, deal done, and we hit the road.
We rolled into Asheville late where the driver dropped me off at Bon Paul and Sharkey’s. I let myself in and fell asleep. In the morning, I was greeted by a young man named Nathan. He gave me breakfast and mentioned something about spaceships and lake house in the woods. I needed about 8 cups of coffee to start processing
I spent a few days wandering around Asheville, interviewing some freaks on the street, and taking a tour of the Moog factory.
Nathan invited me out to a lake house with his meth dealer, a girl called Dara. She drives a 65 Mustange which someone had chopped the roof off with a flamethrower.
On the way to the lake house we stopped at a hillbilly wedding. Everyone had overalls on and there was pig running around during the ceremony. At least the food was good and free. We ate jerked possum with sweet potato fries and pickled rabbit ears.
After the wedding we drove to a man made lake that was created by flooding a valley with a small town in it. The locals said you can scuba dive in the lake and see a church, cars, houses, even a Hooters all under water. I don’t scuba dive.
We spent all weekend singing, dancing, playing card games, swimming and nearly sinking a boat on the lake. Dara pulled a 38 Special from her purse and recommended I sleep in her room. I sunk a canoe in the lake house.
Sunday we wiped the crusts from our eyes and headed back to Asheville. When we walked into Bon Paul And Sharkey’s we met a quiet and somewhat intense girl with a guitar case. Her name was Rachel Sauls and she played us a few songs, which I recorded. She also did a brief interview and spoke about Jesus. He sounds like a lovely guy.
Dara invited me to another wedding in Charlotte, South Carolina. Her cousin was marrying her grandfather’s brother in a civil ceremony so I obliged.
We piled into her Mustang and hit the road. She had an 8 track of Steely Dan’s Katie Lied. “Bad Sneakers and a Pina Colada” for 5 hours! This was an endurance test.
The wedding was a strange combination of primitive mating rituals and religious ceremonies. Throw incest and a load of alcohol into the mix and you have a traditional southern wedding. Luckily we only stayed for a few PBR’s and continued on toward Charleston, S.C.
People from North Carolina frown upon people from South Carolina. You would think people from South Carolina are a de-evolved species of Slee Stack. It’s just the pot calling the kettle black to me.
Dara and I got to Charleston in the morning. We walked through a cemetery and I saw a grave with my name on it. We went to the center of town, which was formerly where white people auctioned slaves. Charleston was a hub for ships carrying slaves into the United States from Africa. Thank got it is now a Starbucks, cuz I was dying for some caffeine.
We drove out to the beach and went skinny-dipping in the middle of the day. No one seemed to notice. The water was warm and the surf was high. My hair was in need for the salt water. I spent a few hours tanning my peanut gallery and tried to bury Dara alive in the sand. She kept shooting the 38 Special off into the sand. She was just bluffing but it caused a commotion so we got into the car and headed back into town.
We found a room at a boarding house, dropped off the gun and my laptop, and went out for a pizza. The waitress told me she was a songwriter so I took her number down. She said she had some time later that evening to do some recording. Dara started giving me the stink eye as I was getting the waitress’s number. I was happy Dara didn’t have the gun on her. The last thing I need is a manslaughter rap in South Carolina.
The waitress’s name was Lily Slay. We showed up at her house around 10pm and recorded her and her friend for a few hours. (This will make next weeks show.) She had a great voice and her cat kept attacking the drummer’s sticks. We had a good time talking and singing.
Driving back to North Carolina, Dara rolled the Mustang while trying to do her nails on the interstate. It only flipped one time but it went lengthwise so both axles were busted and Steely Dan tape got crushed by my temple. We wrote the car off and waited for the Greyhound, the Greyhound again.