Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Paddy Wagon.......

HI Folks
I thought you'd like a break from woodworking talk and be interested in another aspect of my trip to Kentucky.
After the days show was complete there was a reception held every evening in the Boone Tavern. An hour or so of smoozing and rubbing shoulders with the stars, and it was time to return to the hotel and grab a few hours respite, ready for the next day. At least, if you were smart that's what you'd do......;)

We'd been notified that Berea was a "Dry County", something unheard of in the UK. I talked to quite a few different sources to find out what that meant exactly - and I didn't really get to the bottom of it. But basically, no bars, pubs or off-licenses. Thankfully, we were staying in a hotel a few miles north of Berea in a town called Richmond. This,we discovered, was just over the border in the next county. And that one was wet :)

Earlier in the year, Bryan Boggs came over to West Dean in the UK to teach. In the evenings we all went out to local pubs to show him how we do beer in the UK. And in Berea, Bryan was kind enough to reciprocate - he insisted he took us (Mike Hancock, Michel Auriou and myself) out for "Fish and Chips" and a "Pint". What could we say?

So we end up in an Irish bar called the "Paddy Wagon", and yes, we did have fish and chips (of a sort) and a pint. They had a good selection of beers from all around the world so we were very comfortable. Later that evening other exhibitors arrived and our table got rather big - Adam Cherubini and his assistant David, Tom Lie-Nielsen and crew, John Economaki and his assistant Mike, John Hoffman of Lost Arts Press, and finally, the Pop Wood crew.
So, yes, I was a pig in "mud" (or insert own phrase here!). And there was band playing (with a bagpipe player!!!??) to fill out the evening. I was exhausted from jet lag but it was a surreal evening for me :)

Now most people would leave it there, but oh no. We returned the following evening for a little more - and to try out the pool tables. By the time we got to the bar (we'd stopped for some food en-route) most of the folks we were going to meet there had gone. But it didn't stop us - and we had Konrad Sauer along for a little extra support. This evening didn't end until 1:30am......and we had to be "open for business" at the event at 7am. Not too clever - but a lot of fun ;) and there was another band on that evening that truly kicked butt - kinda like Govt Mule if you like that kind stuff!
Needless to say, the final evening we managed to make out way back there for one more. Yet another band was on (five guys playing bluegrass) and we took advantage of their wide range of beverages and deep fried chillies. And we played pool yet again...apologies Bryan for thrashing you on your home turf ;)

So -if you are in Richmond, KY, you owe yourself to pop into the finest bar in town. We'll be back ;)


Anonymous said...

Good to meet you at WIA, Phil. I miss a decent fish and chips, too.

Yes, a dry county. I lived in Jessamine County, northwest of Richmond, for six years, also a dry county. The temperance movement doesn't seem to have abated much in Kentucky, and it seems Kentuckians have long memories.

Mack (The Wood Shepherd)

Anonymous said...

So you can say truthfully that you were on the wagon (Paddy's) every evening!!!

Philly said...

Good to meet you too, Mack!
jmk - got it in one ;)

Ethan said...


I mean this with the utmost respect and honesty and sincerity and kindness when I say...

...You suck.

I'm totally jealous. I can't even imagine being around all those people (yeah, including you) - the knowledge and skill and positive karma at the Paddy Wagon must have just been phenomenal.

I'll have to really try hard to see about getting to next year's conference.

Glad you made the trip back home safely.


Philly said...

You're right - but it was so cool I'm not even slightly bashful about it ;)
I believe they're planning three more events in different locations around the States so hopefully there will be one closer to you - and I'm hoping I'll be there too!
Best regards