Bonus Feature: The Little Darlin’/Roxanna Firehall Football Jamboree, Part 2

FullSizeRenderAs noted in yesterday’s post, I received a mysterious email with the following submission. I’ll leave the lead-in, in case you missed it:

I retired about a year ago, to pursue interests other than those of my employer, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  They were interested in me working.  I was interested in traveling, grandkids, drinking craft beers and “having a life.”  For once, I won.

 My wife, Little Darlin’ (LD) retired too.  She wanted to pursue  traveling, grandkids, drinking craft beers,  “having a life,” and supervising me.  She’s ambitious. 

One of the major pieces of this retirement gig was to purchase a recreational vehicle.  After many months of looking at older and smaller models, we purchased a brand new 38 foot motorhome with three slide outs.

Day 3

We’re off to St. Louie.  LD took the first shift again, as yours truly prefers to meet the day slowly.  We left the American Gothic in high spirits, looking forward to staying put for a few days in the Gateway to the West.

All went well as LD guided the Behemoth across the washboard they call I 70 in the Hoosier state.  We bounced along in good time and stopped for lunch at a truck stop in Terre Haute.  I’m not bragging, traveling in style has its moments and yes, we actually ate in the truck stop parking lot in lovely Terre Haute.  The good life.

We ate and minutes later were back on the road, with me, Roxfire, behind the wheel.  After all the crappy roads in Indiana, I figured things had to looking up.  However, nobody told me that in Illinois, they fix the roads, and they were fixing them all at once. One thing you need to know here.  Both LD and I have the language skills of aa marine drill sergeant and a carpenter with a hammer-impacted thumb rolled into one.  When we’re on the road in the RV, our conversations regarding the driving habits of others is less than kind and would have made Richard Pryor blush.  The profanity was epically grotesque.

My shift was grotesquely epic.  Nothing like construction zone crossovers when you are twelve feet high, eight feet wide and sixty feet long.  I swear, I drove 160 miles through Illinois and 80 miles was under construction.  I was dodging semis and trying not to play ping pong with 87,000 orange barrels all afternoon.  I was wondering if the orange barrels had anything to do with the Brownies or Bungles.  Coincidence?  I thought maybe . . . until I discovered a barrel-high gouge in the side of the RV when we stopped.  &:/@.”(@$$&@).

Well, we arrived in St. Louis, actually a bit outside the city  around 3:00 pm, having gained an hour when we entered Illinois.  Unfortunately, I have to give the hour back on the way to Canton.

This campground, Roaring Asphalt, is nothing like American Gothic.  It’s urban, convenient to downtown St. Louis and very, very loud.  The train tracks which run right next to our site aren’t so bad.  They would be, but after the motorcycle races begin at seven, the racing engines drown out the train whistles.  As I write his, it’s 11:30, well past my bedtime and the bikes are still going strong.  We better win on Sunday, because only a win will trump the engines roaring in my ears for what I’m sure will be three consecutive nights.

Day 4

Day 4 is Saturday. Fans, like players, need some rest the day before a game. Unfortunately, Roxfire was awakened by the 5:31 out of Bugtussle with a robustly extended train whistle. Que sera’. Time to meet the day.

IMG_0171LD and I didn’t plan much for Saturday. She wanted to see the Arch. We drove by. She says I saw it, let’s go get some barbecue. I say okay. We went to Pappy’s. We stood in line for at least 45 minutes. You might think that is a bad thing. Little Darlin’ wasn’t crazy about it. We met some very nice Steelers fans from Memphis who were in for the game. We finally got to the end of the line and got served promptly. The wait was well worth it. I got the best rack of ribs ever to come off a pig. I am rarely serious, but barbecue is a serious matter. If you got to be in St. Louis, eat Pappy’s ribs, no sauce. No lie.

After Pappy’s, it went downhill. We went to a brewery which looked good on the net. Probably is good at other times, but these were not those times. They were doing Oktoberfest in September, drinking craft beer from huge mugs and/or plastic cups, some wearing lederhosen. Seeing no one as funny as Chevy Chase in the lederhosen and wishing not to consume good ale from a plastic vessel, we left.

After a trip to Trader Joe’s, during which LD bought at least three of anything made with pumpkin, we returned to the Roaring Asphalt Campground just in time to hear the warm-up for the motorcycle races. Que sera’ sera’.

Just before bed, I said to LD that everywhere we go we chase barbecue, go to microbreweries, watch football and go to Trader Joe’s. Maybe we need some other interests. She says why? It was a question I could not answer, so I put on the headphones, and went to bed to rest up for game day.

Question—was the brewery the Schlafly Tap Room? Because if so microbrew lovers around the globe, or at least the city limits, owe a huge debt of gratitude to the David who took on the Goliath of, well, you know, the beer Goliath in St. Louis, and made the world safe for craft beers. Check out the story.

And LD sounds like a sensible woman. I have barbeque leads for you in Pittsburgh…

To be continued, with game experience impressions, I hope. The photo is the aptly named “Behemoth”.



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