Thursday, July 27, 2017

It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta’ do it


Summer time in Yavapai County- for many, it’s sunshine, open roads, and big skies. For me that’s my office. At least that’s what I tell my wife.

“Where do you think you’re going?” she asked on a recent and beautiful Friday afternoon as I pulled my motorcycle out of the garage.

I carefully weighed my options. That garden fence I promised to put up to protect that garden I promised to plant still isn’t up or planted.

That leaky garage roof that will surely leak over those boxes I was supposed to throw out before the coming monsoons hasn’t fixed itself yet.

“Oh, didn’t I tell you? I have to work today.” I’m not sure she bought it, but off to work I go. You see, I’m a journalist, a teller of truth, and my truth this fine day is that it’s way too nice out to be fixing some leaky roof. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta’ do it.

So in search of truth, a good story, and while I’m at it some smoked meat, I pull into one of Chino Valley’s hidden treasures, Big Daddy E’s BBQ.

It’s standing room only inside so I move out to the patio for some sweet tea and live music in the sunshine. Friday afternoons at BDE’s you can stuff your face while  listening  to some of the best singer-songwriters around, and this day it was Leslie Earl Lyman and his hair singing songs about coffee, whiskey, and long roads. A small group sat listening, a little girl danced, and I finished my tea. Time to hit the road because remember, I’m still on the clock.

I head south on Highway 89, headed into Prescott, AZ. Tall grass and horses on the left, the Granite Mt. sunset on the right, and a cool breeze flowing through where my hair used to be. Visitors to Prescott’s Whiskey Row can’t help but stop in to The Palace Saloon.

Billed as the oldest frontier saloon in Arizona, The Palace is an even mix of locals and tourists, diners and bar hoppers, all sitting back eating and drinking in a living museum of the Wild West. From the dance hall girl clad bartenders to Uncle Bob and his six-shooter cohorts that line the bar, stepping through the Palace’s swinging saloon doors is like stepping through a time machine. Everywhere you look, there’s a display of guns, cards, or bottles, all reminding you this place doesn’t just look like an old west saloon, it IS an old west saloon.

On Fridays, you can hear a real life cowboy singing real life cowboy songs. Songs about sheriff’s, outlaws, mommas, & horses. This puts me in the mood to saddle up a steel horse, or in my case more like a Japanese bull – 2000 cc’s of leather, black paint, and chrome.

Next stop, El Gato Azul, a quirky little place with a great patio, this Friday it’s standing room only. El Gato features some great food, signature drinks, and highlights some of the greatest music in town. I got there as Doc Garvey’s Remedy was wrapping up a set of their signature blues, folk, and roots music. Listening from the sidewalk (yep, reservations are suggested), I talked with a few friendly faces either coming or going, some just wandering down the street.

El Gato is a very relaxed place with a unique and diverse menu. Looking for a new twist on an old standby? Duck Taquitos or Tequila Scallops. Looking for a wide selection of vegetarian dishes? Eggplant croutons and fried avocado.

I consider myself a diehard “vegetarian by osmosis”, that is, the cows I eat all ate vegetables. Still healthy, right?

And so ends another day at the office. On the cruise home I thought about how the journalist’s life ain’t for everyone. It takes a special someone to go to these lengths to avoid an honest day’s work, but someone’s gotta’ do it.  

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