Last night was St. Patrick's Day and my friend Kim (see above) invited me out to celebrate her birthday so I decided to go. I dressed festively and although it was crowded and I had to stand most of the time, once I had a view beers (and a margarita), not to mention food, I felt Lucy goosey and ready to have a great time.
Blackout was the local band playing. They are talented and I have personally known the lead singer for a number of years but I also could not help myself from commenting to Erik that Lynchburg is far from a town on the cutting edge of music since audiences don't generally want to hear anything but covers. The band did play one original song and it was good. It's not their fault that Lynchburg is not open to new music. Even the local paper covered Rare Form in Nashville who performed covers for a native talent agent.
It's ok. You can sing along and head bang. And I shouldn't present myself as some in-the-know, Rolling Stone type of person. The disc in my car is Def Leppard.
Then something happened that has happened to me for well over a decade. I was approached by a gentleman in a kilt who was obviously tipsy and having a fabulous time. He told me he liked my hair (it was a green wig) and proceeded to talk up Erik and I about working at--well, I can't tell you it's top secret--and Irish heritage. Then he asked,"So where are you guys from?" Over the blaring music we answered in unison,"HERE." He pretended like he didn't hear us right. Then said,"Get out of here! You're not from Lynchburg!"
This is a question I've been asked by strangers all my life with the same response. The reason they ask may vary but after Jim went to fetch another Yuengling last night I turned to Erik and said,"Why do people say that to me? I don't look unusual or act unusual so what is it?"
Erik in his Swedish, Irish abhorring wisdom answered,"He didn't think we were from here because of how readily and enthusiastically we engaged him. And that's always the reason. People from Lynchburg don't want you in their group if you aren't from here and they have that subtle, stand-offish way of letting you know they aren't interested in talking to you."
I supposed I've never realized this about Lynchburg--the counties, sure, but not Lynchburg. County folk will refer to someone as "not from here" when they have lived there almost all their lives. My supervisor is a perfect example of this. He moved to Gretna when he was 5 years old and he is now in his thirties and when I brought him up to Erik's dad as being from Gretna he immediately said,"Oh he's not from Gretna." And I guess he's not but...you know.
It would be interesting to hear what outsiders think about this theory. Maybe I need to go hunt for a few more Jims.