Harvey Billiard and Bowl
If you guys are gonna read “The Mandolin Case,” I want you to be on the inside of local culture. Now that y’all are my friends, you need to know where to find people in town you can count on in case you were to get in a jam.
So, here’s how to get to Harvey Billiard and Bowl, or the B and B as we call it. From downtown Croatan, the County seat for Harvey County, go east on Main St. When you get to Bibey Drive (named for my grandfather) hang a right. That will take you by the old Hospital. It has been renovated as office space for most of the Docs is town.
Follow that to the outskirts of town. You’ll pass a huge old pin oak that lightening splintered last year. Just past it is Lee Highway. Take a left there, and the B and B is a mile on the right.
You can’t miss it. There is a gravel parking lot and a front end loader sits there most days. There will be a few used cars for sale, and there is a trailer park out back, where Lou manages thirty units. We play music there one Saturday night a month. A sign out front says “Triditional Bluegrass Music.” Lou realized it was misspelled, but he’d already paid for it. He said he’d change it next time.
Lou Bedford is the owner. He has the best cheeseburgers in town. A Mina bird named Minne is at the cash register. Minnie can mimic anything so don’t say anything you don’t want folks to know. That bird can do the best ambulance siren imitation you’ve ever heard. The paramedics taught it to her. By the way, if you want to know where to eat in the South always look for law enforcement or EMS vehicles- they know the local landscape better than anyone.
In the back Lou has a pool hall and a couple of duck pin bowling lanes. There is a regular card game there every Friday night. Indie played every week, but after Blinky died, he didn’t go for a month. After that he played, but not as regular.
It’s a dry county, but folks know they can get a Pabst Blue Ribbon at the B and B. All you have to do is put in a few extra coins in the Coke machine, and press the Tab button. It’ll spit out a PBR- just don’t tell anyone.
The B and B is a regular hangout for bluegrass boys, golf hustlers, card sharks, and assorted ne’re do wells. Most society folks wouldn’t be seen there. You could count on a fair deal at the B and B.
From time to time I go to the B and B to conduct important business. Just don’t tell my mama- it would worry her.