I spent this past weekend with college friends in North Carolina. I used this as a perfect excuse to stop for barbecue along the way. I chose a slight detour to an Albermarle, NC institution called Whispering Pines just a few miles from my intended route.
Like all BBQ joints, it’s not much to look at. I sat inside at the counter, and it wasn’t but a few minutes till this gentleman and I struck up a conversation. Turns out he’s a farmer with 400 acres of land. I noticed he is missing a finger on his left hand which I am guessing this came from some sort of bailing accident years ago. He told me he’d bailed 4 acres of hay that day. Is that a lot? A little? I told him I was a city girl who didn’t know much about farming. I allowed that I was from Atlanta, but I live in New York City.
That’s when some of the other restaurant patrons jumped in. We all got to talking so that I had trouble taking my leave after I had consumed my pulled pork, hush puppies, and Cheerwine. From traffic to crime to the Statue of Liberty, we covered a lot of ground. Of course the farmer did ask me, “What possessed you to leave North Carolina,” (because I had gone to Duke), “and move up there? What’s so great about New York City?”
Well, if you have to ask, then my answer probably isn’t going to ever satisfy you.
Of course, as great as New York is, I must admit you don’t ever encounter nine-fingered hay farmers in the big city. Nor can you find Cheerwine. Or such friendly company. I give Whispering Pines high marks in all departments.
But like the farmer said to me about New York, I’ll say about Albermarle. A nice place to visit, but I’m can’t imagine living there.