Sunday, August 28, 2011

an accidental answer

First, thank God everyone has weathered Irene okay. Most of my east coast pals are waterlogged, but everyone came out in one piece. I was so glad to get an email from Marni especially because North Carolina took the hit first and fiercest.

So, for years I've driven past this very curious building. It's obviously well-kept, has a sign on the front of the building and flags that flutter above the roofline. The flags are always new, never look tattered, but the building has no "open" sign, nor have I ever seen anyone enter or exit the building. I've never seen cars parked near it. I've looked in the phone book and never found a listing. It looks like maybe a bar or restaurant, but the lack of any advertising or phone listing had me guessing it was a private club. Or used to be open but is now vacant? I've never ever heard anyone speak of this place, either.

My curiosity has run deep for years, even to the point of writing the local business columnist to try to learn what this place might be. I have never tried to enter the building, it's not a welcoming facade--the picture really does it justice. There is nothing on the exterior to indicate if this place is even open for business.


Fast forward to this weekend: I'm a busy worker bee trying to bring my manuscript up to snuff. In addition to making characters send text messages instead of emails, I have to check the locations I reference--the bulk of the story takes place in Madison and I want everything up to the minute. The lesbian-owned club I mention in one chapter has gone out of business, so I Google "lesbian clubs madison" to find a new spot to mention. The first link listed is a directory of LGBT clubs in Wisconsin--and there--right there at the beginning of the list of Wisconsin cities in alphabetical order--I spy a listing for "Rascals." In fact, I could even link directly to a website to learn about their weekly specials and even see a picture from the inside of the bar. What a satisfying discovery!

Still ... with my 20/20 hindsight, you'd think the rainbow flags would've clued me in, right?

15 comments:

  1. The flags caught my eye immediately, but I live in the SF Bay Area. I came here from the redneck riviera in south florida and have Never Looked Back. I love the colors and styles and foods and clothes and all this amazing diversity outside my door.

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  2. I didn't even think about that the flags might be rainbow flags. I would have had to go inside a long time ago. Isn't it funny when you're curious about something, it somehow comes back to you. This is a cool story.

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  3. *heehee!! Of course the flags!! You are too sweet...they're not just for San Francisco anymore! Didn't driving by those rainbows make you feel...happy! in a certain way..?! oh..*hahaha!! such a cute story

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  4. I saw the flags and immediately wondered... But I know that feeling, and I'm glad you finally know! :)

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  5. Oh Green Girl! I'm from the sticks, surrounded by corn fields and even I knew what that building was when I first saw the pic in my browser...although it might have helped that my favorite knitting/loom shop totes flags and is run by the sweetest guys and the best B&B near Galena is rainbow crested ;) Thank you for the chuckle!

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  6. This makes me think of my new favorite column in our small town paper. I can't remember the title but people email the author their questions about what is going on in the community and she gets the answer. Every question is something that I thought about before. Ex. What is that new building being constructed on the corner of blank and blank. Are there any plans to fix the drainage ditch at blank that overflows every hard rain and is hard to drive thru. One question was...I know we voted to fund blank project wih our tax dollars what is the status of the project...and more and more. You should write a column for your area so you have a reason to find this stuff out. :)

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  7. I knew as soon as I saw the flags, but then again I have more gay friends than non-gay friends.

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  8. Rascals is between my favorite credit union ATM and the gas station that has the best coffee. I pass it almost daily!

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  9. Yeah, the rainbow flags. I saw them, too, but "unviting storefront" usually means strip club to me. I can't believe you never stopped in, just out of total curiosity.

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  10. That was my first thought when I saw the photo. :-)

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  11. That is what I immediately thought.

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  12. I knew it was something LBGT related; updating your manuscript like that is as a fantastic idea--I love when I read books that have very current cultural references.

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  13. I would have had no idea. Seriously.

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  14. Must be the Madison in me, but I knew from the get that was a gay bar. Rainbow flags? "Rascals"? What else could it be?!

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  15. I didn't get the flags. What's cool is that since it's so close you can go check it out and discover great nuances for your setting!

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Spill it, reader.