Since I'm heading back home to Kingston this weekend to spend the Easter holiday with my family, I thought it would be fun to write something to give my readers an idea of where I come from. Some of you have been, those of you who haven't, you won't find a place like it.
So if you are heading south on I-35 this is how it's gonna happen...
As soon as you get in your vehicle to make this trip, you are going to need to get rid of any pop music crap on your radio. This is not the type of music you need to be listening to while in the car on your way back to my hometown.
You have three choices:
1) Country, and when I say country I'm not talking about that Florida Georgia line bullshit either, I'm talking more of Garth Brooks, maybe red dirt if that's more your level.
2) Classic Rock, you know more of a 70's mix, most times you can't go wrong with it.
3) Easy listening - old school OAR, Oasis, DMB, etc.
Got your music picked??
Next thing you need to do is stop by a gas station, grab a red bull, you're gonna need it, you will not be sleeping much on your trip back to my hometown.
Now that you are on the road and heading south I'll warn you that the drive is going to get boring once you hit the Wayne exit. This is when you need to open the red bull.
Once you have hit the Ardmore exit, you need to start getting excited because your weekend is about to begin. The drive from Ardmore to Madill is going to be the longest part of your trip, at least it will seem that way because the closer you get, the more you are ready to be there.
You'll know you are getting close because the speed limit seems to creep up on ya when you get to Oakland. You'll pass by Oakland grocery, it has every type of fried food you can imagine in a hotbox.
Next you'll hit Madill, home of the stinky wildcats ;). Just kidding, I ran as a wildcat once, but I graduated a redskin because I got bored with their "wildness" ...
After 7 minutes of driving into Madill, you will start to smell a scent that smells like dirt and metal, that would be Oklahoma Steel & Wire. My momma worked there doing payroll for years. When I smell that smell, I think of her.
On your right hand side as your leaving Madill, you'll see the new Wal Mart they put in a few years ago. This IS a big deal.
Next up, I'm going to take you to a place you will want to go every time you come to my hometown. A little place that is family owned, they're only open Thursday-Saturday and has handsdown the BEST catfish and hushpuppies you've ever consumed, this place is called Catfish Platter. I was taught keyboard by one of the owner's daughters and played softball & basketball with the other.
Once we are all full of catfish, we are gonna head over to our destination for the night.
We will go through Kingston to see all the sights... We'll pass Simple Simon's pizza, this was my third job, the owner is as sweet as can be and she is the kind of person who has a smile that is contagious. There's gonna be another place on your right hand side that has some damn good barbecue, and on your left hand side, this a place that every girl in Kingston has probably worked besides me, that's the Burger Shoppe. Now, if we need anything there are only two choices as where to get them from, we've got Super C, the local overpriced grocery store. (but hey they can be, they're the only one in town). There's also a family dollar, and it's just about like any other family dollar. If we don't need anything, then we are just gonna make a right at the light... oh yeah, it's the ONLY light in town, so you can't miss it. You are going to need to slow down because you are going to go over some janky train tracks. When are they ever really going to fix those?!?
Follow the road until you see a sign that says Soldier Creek with a little soldier on it. He'll be pointing you in the direction we are heading. You'll make a left and then on your left hand side, we are going to roll the windows down and we are going to be able to hear music. Most likely it's gonna be music my best friend Adam has picked out. We'll park and head inside a place called the Beer Garden, we are about to two step, diamond shuffle, drink overpriced drinks and shoot the shit with some of the most down to earth people you'll ever meet.
When last call is called don't expect to go home, this isn't going to happen. We are going to walk to a place that you can hear lake water hit the creek, somewhere we can build a fire, sit on tailgates, look up and see stars clearly and then in a few hours watch the sun rise.
We'll wake up & go get breakfast somewhere, maybe take a cruise on a boat, maybe enjoy a nice scenic run where when someone passes you in a car not only will they wave but they may even stop and talk to you for a minute, we might get on a golf cart cruise around while the gravel crackles underneath the tires as we sip on cold beer, we may decide to go fish, may decide to play washers or bags and listen to music, whatever we do, there's a good chance we will lose all sense of time and laugh harder than we have in a while. This is the good life, this is the place that will literally try to suck you in and you're not gonna put up much of a fight because it's fun. Chances are, when it's time to go home, it's gonna be the place that makes it hard to look forward to going back to your job on Monday... Nothing can prepare you for your trip home, it's never a fun trip back home. You probably won't even leave until the evening. But I will say this, when you do get in your car and you're on your way home, you will be lost in thoughts about your fun weekend, maybe even a few small chuckles of things that happened and you'll be trying to figure out when we can go back.