04 February 2010

The traveling Scot and Alabama's Glasgow

I wait on a lot of out-of-towners at the Pork Place. I suppose that shouldn't be surprising; the restaurant is near the interstate and a cluster of motels. On any given night one can find a business traveler from Ohio sipping on a cocktail at the bar while he reviews a proposal for a meeting the next morning, or perhaps a frustrated truck driver knocking back cheap beers while he waits for the shop next door to finish the repairs on his rig. Late fall and early spring bring snowbirds from the upper midwest who stop in for a bite to eat along their migratory route, and the races at Talledega draw people in from all over the country.

Foreign visitors, while not unheard of, are much more rare. Occasionally the snowbirds will include a couple from Ontario in an RV, and I've served wheelchair rugby teams from Canada and Australia who were in town for an event at the Lakeshore Foundation. But until now, I'd never served a Scot. And certainly not one on a quest.

That changed this week with the arrival of one Michael Slavin.

For the past three nights, I've had the pleasant duty of waiting on Mr. Slavin and introducing him to some of the finer craft beers the Deep South has to offer, while enjoying his tales of his journey (he likes Good People's IPA and Sweetwater 420). He has been in the states since April of 2009, on a quite particular mission: He is here to visit each and every locale in the United States that bears the name of his hometown of Glasgow.

At each stop, he does some historical research and writes about his travels in his blog. He's been from New York to California and back during his time here. Birmingham is his eighteenth stop, for there is a small hamlet near Adamsville named Glasgow. From here, he has two more Glasgows to visit before he heads back across the pond in April.

Mr. Slavin has been a pleasant addition to the bar lineup at the Pork Palace. His brogue charms each and every patron at the bar he's spoken with, and with his longish hair and full beard, he looks more the part of an anthropology professor than a retired software programmer. He always has a story, and is more than willing to share it to whomever will listen.

It has been an interesting week with Mr. Slavin holding court at the Pork Palace. I need more regulars like him; it would make the bar a much more intriguing place to work. I wish him well on the rest of his journey, and the bar will be a bit lessened when he heads back home.

Michael, may you successfully complete your quest, and may there always be a willing ear and a strong pint waiting for you at the bar at the end of the day. Come back again, y'hear?

1 comment:

LVClint said...

Here! Here! Michael was a breath of fresh air in a world riddled by smog!