Her voice was strong and dirty and reminded me of Pat Benetar. From her first word, a smile was lit on my face that couldn't be removed. Each note from the guitar carried through the old bench seats lining the walls until it tickled my butt. The band JF Lovely was truly enjoying themselves, and so were we.
The guitar was a stratocaster, like Jimmi Hendrix liked to play, and the drool from Martin, a man who appreciates such things was noticeable. 'Fuck it' the guitarist said with a smile to another near by. 'If I'm going to die, it will be with one of those next to me' The man clearly loved to play, and he was awesome. The Pat Benetar voice came from a lady not much older than me, who was pregnant the last time we were there. She's a bartender at the pub, who apparently knows everyone. Her personality fit perfectly with her Friday night fun.
The two front doors were open, carrying in the breeze, and sharing the music with the patio and town outside. Under the music, clinking plates and glasses and pockets of conversation could be heard. The waitresses were magically moving through the crowd to and from the kitchen seamlessly. From our table, conversation came easy over an empty plate once holding nachos heavy with toppings and two cold beer. We chatted and watched as people gathered. You never knew who you'd see walking in off the street. A couple well over 60, a mother celebrating her birthday with an infant and toddler in tow and everyone in between. The place was packed with the mish mash of people that makes up a small town. All were welcome to this watering hole, and most accepted the invitation.
We stayed for the first set, then had to return to our kids. But our evening couldn't have been better, our night out to celebrate our seventh anniversary. Sitting most content at the Spitfire we knew we had found our home.
We live in a small town. Friends tell us they do all the time. In the Maritimes, every place is a small town, even the cities, when compared. But in a town with a population of 3500 people and one town pub, the true definition becomes so clear. The whole evening could have been plucked from a movie or novel. Everyone is familiar, not necessarily because we've met, but by the kinship shared by living here. The crowd was not a group of strangers but a gathering of friends and neighbours. It warmed my soul to be part of such a thing.