This Old World Keeps Spinning Round

That line’s from the Neil Young song, Comes a Time, that I’m trying to learn on the ukulele. The chorus goes:

This old world keeps spinnin’ ’round.

It’s a wonder, tall trees ain’t layin’ down.

It’s Neil’s version of Turn, Turn, Turn, kind of. I can sing the chorus pretty well, but the first verse is hard to get a start on. That’s what I was asking my son for advice about last night on facetime—a great ending to a good day—on my birthday.

As a treat, Tracy made pizza in our tiny convection oven, with spicy Andouille sausage we’d gotten in Louisiana.

And what’s a birthday for us without a brewery? After pizza, we drove out of Tate’s Hell, along the Gulf Coast, to the tiny beach town of Eastpoint, where we parked ourselves out back at Eastpoint Beer Company.

I admit we were wary: Covid rates are high in this area, but that could be due in part to its prison (tragic for the inmates; not as much a hazard for us). Plus people do not wear masks here.

The brewery was airy though, like a proper beach bar, and we found a table away from the others and sat back and enjoyed the afternoon.

The beer was good: I had an ever-present New England IPA (okay, two of them), and Tracy had a good pale ale and an even better coffee stout. I ended with an okay cherry berliner weisse, and the bartender gave us a cup of the fruit from the bottom of their spent second berliner weisse. It pays to loiter until the band’s done!

Yep, the universe gave me a birthday present in the form of an unexpected live band. The guitarist is a local who plays a lot of John Prine and writes his own very good songs, while the mandolin player lives on a sailboat and has settled off this small town long enough to play gigs with his new buddy for a few months before he sails back up to Bellingham, Washington, where he works as a wood boat carpenter, on and off.

So yeah, I chatted the band up between sets, which felt a little like the good old days.

When someone asks you where you’re from and you explain that you live on the road, and—instead of responding with raised eyebrows or questions—they have an even better story about where they’re “from,” you can’t help but bug ‘em for more.

Lovely Gulf Coast

Maybe everyone in appealing small towns says the same thing, but here I believe it: the tiny beach towns here on the coast are undiscovered gems.

Okay, they’re rough around the edges (and more), but the beach is gorgeous, and the mando player says the music scene is friendly and fun.

Tracy and I reminisced about having lived in similar soon-to-be tourist towns: Butte for him and Missoula for me (both Montana). Ah, when we were there they were the coolest places because no one knew about them. Now they’re the kind of cool that’s trending.

What’s odd is that, in parting conversation with the guitarist, I mentioned something about Richmond, Virginia, and the music scene in the Fan district, and he said something glowing, like, “Well you should have told me you’re associated with the Fan—that changes everything!” Is the Fan trending?

I expect that with less international travel due to Covid 19 and more continental travel, and with teleworking allowing people to move to where they want to live instead of where they have to, these small places will grow even faster.

We ended the night in the tent with the propane firepit and Finn and me facetiming with my ukulele and his guitar.

This ol’ world keeps spinning round. It’s a wonder tall trees ain’t laying down.

You guys stay safe, and please vote in person if you haven’t been able to vote otherwise yet.

4 thoughts to “This Old World Keeps Spinning Round”

  1. A happy belated birthday to you! I love small towns and am soooooooooooooo happy to be living so near my all time favorite again. Also…don’t you love the “lonely landscapes” of the gulf coast? The relaxed part of Florida. Looking forward to your first gator pix!

    1. Thanks! I saw a gator last night off the dock in this campground but didn’t get a picture. I’m a tryin’.