Saturday, November 13, 2004



We headed towards Gatlinburg Wednesday afternoon. It is about 45 minutes from Knoxville. It was a joy to travel on a  bright sunny day heading  towards the Smoky Mountains. We had been in Gatlinburg in 2001 and had a wonderful time. One of the places we visited was a bar that was tucked  behind the main drag of stores. We were intrigued by the bartender, a randy looking dude, a dead ringer for George Carlin. His charm was  based in his crustiness and surly manner. There was the air about him.  He treated us with playful disdain. We drank a beer, Zorro discovering the value of a bach beer...ShinerBach to be exact.

We left the bar and wandered around Gatlinburg. Have I mentioned that it is the biggest tourist trap in the South? Unbelievable, but fun. I love the salt water taffy and the Mountain Winery. Zorro loves the outlet shopping and the Smoky Mountain Brewery!

Not finding another bar (since anyone who reads this journal knows that Zorro and I always do the pub tour!) we headed back into the small hidden bar. Walking through the door into the dark comfort of the pub the bartender greeted us with a "Oh no!!  Not you two again!" We loved it! We knew we were accepted!

So this trip to Gatlinburg we searched for the hidden away pub, not remembering the name but looking forward to being insulted by George Carlin. I saw  a beer sign glowing sending the alluring temptation to come inside. Thinking we had found it, I poked my head in.

"Come on in!" A gentleman coaxed me.

"I'm looking for a bar."

"This is a bar."

I looked around the restaurant, which was empty save for the couple in a booth against the wall, and a young long haired kid reading a magazine behind them, the small grouping of tables in the middle of the room, every inch of the walls covered by artwork and I replied.

"This place had a bartender."

"I have a bartender." He said waving his hand towards the gentleman reading the magazine who then looked up, becoming interested in the conversation.

"This place was called Smilies or something like that."

"My bartender can smile." At this point the "bartender" stood up and began to smile. I was one upped on that retort and the bartender was very cute. Zorro began to push me inside the dark and comfortable hole in the wall.

The couple in the booth began to add to theconversation. "You are talking about Cactus Petes, he closed several years ago." Oh heck!

Duffy was entertaining enough and talked nonstop the entire time we were in there. When I go to a bar, I want a bar to lean up against, I want liquor bottles to reflected my mood, I want to feel like I have entered the hallowed halls of booze. Duffy's was not this. It is something else entirely. After I finished pouting about the demise of Cactus Petes, I enjoyed myself.

But, I would rather be insulted. Such is life, nothing ever waits for you, does it?


yakima127 said...

Not in my life, either!  JAE

mlraminiak said...

Mary, I think you've found your niche.  I think you need to be "bar reviewer" for the local paper.  I'm not much into "bars."  I'm more into trendy "lounges..."  Like the ones with big upholstered couches and chairs, that look like someone's cozy den.  I know...sacrilege!  Lisa  :-]

greyhoundloner03 said...

"the hallowed halls of booze" you crack me up, chica.

k2plus2 said...

How great!  I too love the dives.  Lots of stories about them:)!!  Thanks for your inspiring words.  You can do whatever you set out to do, and you are so right, how many women, no matter the age, silly, can do what ou do!  I will send you positive vibes and drink a cold beer for you tonight after our hometown team wins the playoffs!  WOOHOO.  Cya, Kris

readmereadyou said...

Well it may have not been your "Cheers" but it seemed like nice people were there. Hope that's some consolation. And, you did have fun.  : )

sonensmilinmon said...

LOL, sounds rather entertaining!


ondinemonet said...

Hi :)

I liked this entry very much. I am always sorry to see my favorite haunts leave, so I can relate. Take care.

Always, Carly :)

mcjerseygiri said...

You sound like my kind of person. When I was younger (and married to a very proper ex) I used to frequent proper places. Now I have a wonderful (FUN) husband and we love to do things like this. Thinking of Dylan..."I was so much older then...I'm younger than that now." I turned 50 in July but am having the best time of my life. I like your style.

belfastcowboy75 said...

Oh no! Not another bar entry. What, you drank Ireland and Kentucky dry and now you're starting on Tennesee?

How's that?

gramroni said...

You two sound the "favs" I tended in my "younger" days. Always peachy to see and sad to watch you leave. Testing me every Friday happy hour to see if I could make you stay. What a treat to pub tour WITH you!

mrccgoody said...

I always love going to Gatlinburg...we don't ever get to go to bars, because we always have the child and get sucked in by the tourist traps...:)...still fun, though!

krobbie67 said...

Aw...I like those surly, cantankerous types too. Salt water taffy??? Umm...don't you have to be near salt water for that stuff? :-) ---Robbie

jryle79 said...

What a great entry!  The way you write makes me feel like I should pull up a seat and order another beer.  Glad you had a fun trip!

- John

suzypwr said...

I liked Gatlinburg, too, just not the person I went there with, lol. I am glad to hear you had a good time! xoox