Ever heard of it? Neither had we. Luckily, that didn't stop us from deciding to gas up and find some lunch in this amazing no-horse town. We'll get to how amazing it was in a moment, but first, I'm not gonna lie - our initial reactions sounded a little like this:
Smith: "Ok, we're gonna die here."
Heather: "It looks like there was just a shoot-out on this street."
Mike: "I think I just saw a ghost move past that window."
Cleare: "I'm not hungry anymore. Can we go?"
But we mustered our courage and headed to the gas station first. After finally figuring out how to use gas pumps that outdated us by about 40 years, we asked for lunch recommendations from the suspiciously friendly and helpful clerk. She suggested a sandwich shop called Burgies, located just around the corner. Then she offered to mail Heather's postcards. Then she cleaned out the entire Lead Sled and restrung all our guitars. Ok, maybe not those last things but she was REALLY nice. So we started to think...maybe this town wasn't so bad after all. The jury was still out as we walked into Burgies.
First, we noticed the Halloween decorations. Then, the Rocky Mountain Oysters on the menu. And the third thing...the THIRD THING we noticed...was the fact that there was a BOWLING ALLEY INSIDE THE SANDWICH SHOP.
In the spirit of Joe Biden, let me say that again: there was a bowling alley inside the sandwich shop.
The lights weren't on, you could barely see the pins lined up with precision and care, but it was there by golly - an honest to goodness 8 lane bowling alley tucked discreetly in the back of this little sandwich shop in Chappell, Nebraska.
Naturally, we ordered a game and 4 pairs of shoes with our lunch.
It was a turbulent competition of skill and digestion, with extra slippery floors thrown in to keep things really interesting, but in the end there could only be one winner.
As we cooled down from the game, the shop's proprietor, Wendy, told us all about the history of the place, which she and her husband bought and renovated in 2005. She said the town of Chappell hadn't changed much since her childhood years; the streets were generally very safe and parents had no reason to worry if their kids were out all morning riding their bikes around town. Everybody just looked out for eachother.
Tomorrow, we meet up again with our friends the Old '97s for a few dates in the mid-est west-est parts of this country - we plan to wear as much blue as possible...
Sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes the bar eats you,
The Lead Sled