When the meat was ready, he removed a big knife from his pocket and flicked it open. I checked the blade for traces of blood and fur. There were none.
Gentleman that he is, he provided a second, smaller knife for me.
They were the only utensils we had.
And it was, hands down, the best steak I've ever tasted.
I spent the next day at book signings and readings and strolling around town, checking out Lewisburg's wide variety of shops. The more I talked to shopkeepers and residents, the more enchanted I became with the place. The streets were filled with people. A clarinet player sat on a stoop, playing his horn. There were colorfully knitted trunk coverings on the trees and artwork everywhere I looked and people willing to stand in long lines to meet their favorite authors.
The town is flat-out charming.
Saturday night was supposed to end at the Del Sol Cantina with a concert by Pops Walker and Kipyn Martin, except when the two were done playing, we weren't done listening, so we moved their concert to the front porch of Don Steck and Tracy Rush's home.
For an evening I never wanted to end.
With my feet propped on a big, grinning dog, I was treated to some of the finest music I've ever experienced. These other folks are wildly talented, but Kipyn is something else. The most pure voice I've ever heard.
Maynard, although still a bit bristly from having his Crum Trilogy called the "50 Shades of Appalachian Grey," was waxing a bit poetic on how enjoyable he was finding it to be surrounded by musicians, so I asked if he might be considering writing lyrics for a change.
"Nah," he said, "I ain't gonna be one a' them pome-writin' girly-boys, like Chuck Kinder."
I think he was kidding, but he said if I ended up writing about the evening, he wanted that Kinder bit in, word for word.
I slept away much of the final day in a hammock, being intermittently awakened, and then lulled, by the sound of passing trains. The insects were plentiful but courteous enough to leave me alone while I slept.
I can't imagine how the weekend could've been any better. Good words, good music, good beverages with good friends, and the idiotic fun of spending a little time with an outlaw writer who was staying in a van down by the river.
Karin Fuller can be reached via email at karinful...@gmail.com. Those wanting to hear Kipyn Martin's amazing voice should look her up on YouTube. I recommend her rendition of "Dream a Little Dream."