Come for the Grub... Stay for the Pub!
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Here's the shout-out we got from the Australian group that visited us on Tuesday, August 5th, on their way to the West Liberty raceway! What a GREAT group of people they were:
But that isn’t what I want to tell you about. It’s West Liberty. The turnoff came for WL soon enough and we headed the six miles for this tiny town. What we hadn’t realised is that in this distance we crossed through a time warp and headed back in 1955. The race track is at the Fairgrounds (how strange) so it wasn’t hard to find it. It was around 4.00pm so way too early to go in but as race fans we had to have a look at it first. Overnight rain had done some major damage to the racing surface and the pits but crews of good ‘ol boys in their bib and brace jeans and a red neck bandana were out there working with earth moving equipment trying to move the saturated clay.
We left them to it and drove back into “town” slowly cruising down various streets in an attempt to find somewhere to stop for a meal. Folks sat out on seats in the sun with not an apparent care in the world, except to find out who these interlopers were in Chevy vans. At one stage Terry reckons he saw the Mayor settin’ out there. He was a guy who had a long piece of straw protruding from his mouth, the farmers’ jeans on, an Al Borland flannel shirt (he’s from Tool Time) and a look on his face which suggested that on race nights he should have fitted a toll gate on the road into town. No one saw Doc Brown and Marty McFly, but they would’ve been there.
Anxious to make a decision about a meal, I stopped at JB‘s Grub & Pub, jumped out and went inside. One customer was in there along with October, the barmaid who was on duty. I asked October if she could handle 20 Aussies for a meal and drinks for two hours or so. “Sure honey, bring ‘em all in”. Secretly I think she was doubtful that there were 19 others outside, but once everybody piled into JB’s the fun started. October immediately rang for staff reinforcements and five other staff and the owners (that’s J&B) turned up to meet these people from another land.
Adele didn’t want to go in. She wasn’t sure of what she would find, but once she was coaxed inside she became the life of the party. To the point where she moved aside the ladies behind the bar to casually walk around (without asking) videoing everybody who were seated up on stools Cheers style at the bar. Word got around on the country grapevine that JB’s had some foreigners in there and before we knew it the crowd had multiplied to triple our numbers. Country folk put on their Sunday best to come to town to see what all the fuss was about. Drinks were bought, some great home cooked meals were eaten, tales were told and addresses exchanged as though we had known each other for years.
It was a phenomenal afternoon and is a typical example of what happens on our tours that are least expected. It was a jewel in the crown highlight that’s for sure. Reluctantly we eventually had to leave for the races, just half a mile away. This track exemplified the laid back country style as well. The three large trees growing on the infield on turns 1 & 2 personified that I guess. Because they were there before the track, then they should stay there.