The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tales of Salisbury madness

I lived in Salisbury, Maryland from age 20 to 26 (1990 to 1996). It seemed like a step up from Georgetown, and for the most part it was. Most of my friends had gone off to college and a lot of them had ended up in Salisbury, so I moved there with my best friend when he transfered from the University of Delaware.

Your early to mid twenties tends to be the time when you make some of your most memorable mistakes. Mine was Cisco fortified wine, but that story is for another time. My mom and I were talking about that time in my life and she said, “I thought you had a drinking problem.” I said, “Nope, I was just in my early twenties.”

I made some of my best friends there, and I have some fond memories of the ‘bury, but it’s exactly the kind of town that Bruce Springsteen sang about eather leaving or being hopelessly trapt in. It was lame,but it was dangerously easy to get comfortable there. People stayed there after dropping out or finishing college at SSU. The only link some of them had was a bar, mine was Don’s Belladonna.

It took a trip to RICHMOND for me to realize how uncool Salisbury was. Georgetown, Delaware(where I grew up) was boring, but Salisbury had drugs and plenty of alcohol and enough people I liked hanging out with to keep me there.

It is a college town, but it’s the most conservative one I’ve been to. Beer flowed like wine throughout the ‘Bury, but the local government operated with all the blustery cluelessness of Colonel Klink. A store across the street from the campus hemmoraged cases of National Bohemian every weekend but the town council wouldn’t allow a brewpub next door because they didn’t want to increase the alcohol consumption of the college students. A underage kid died of alcohol poisoning the summer before I moved there and thus few people could have parties that weren’t visited by the police. Then the parties moved out of town to places like Fruitland and the bars were packed with underaged kids with fake IDs, where you pay 3 bucks for a single beer instead of all you could get as long as the keg lasted.

When I wanted to leave, I had to leave. I packed my shitty Mustang with essentials and I took off in the dead of night for Rockville in thick fog and the power being out along a lot of the way, like the town was trying to keep me there.

More than one person I’ve known has had things happen to them that kept them there when they would try to leave. One friend met a girl and got engaged to a townie after he had already decided to leave and spent a good chunk of their relationship trying to get him to move back after he moved to Silver Spring.

I’ve been thinking a lot about those days and jarred loose some memories that I wanted to share. There’s a lot of drinking that I took part in and a lot of fighting that I didn’t. I’m a lover not a fighter. Stay tuned.

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