While stretching and listening to death metal in preparation for my morning run, there was a surprise knock on the cabin door. Good 'ol Mel. He had returned from Minnesota and wanted to invite me over that afternoon to watch the Minnesota Gophers play Ohio State in the NCAA Frozen Four. Several hours later, having arrived at his cabin carrying a ceremonial bottle of vodka as a gift and a case of Grain Belt for myself, we watched college hockey as he recounted some new tall tales of his life growing up in Minnesota, every now and then casually remarking about one of the old Gophers players featured on television that he had played with during his youth.
Later, in interest of experiencing downtown Spooner on a Friday night, I headed to Big Dick's Buckhorn Inn, a bar that I hadn't been to in nearly 8 years since falling asleep on the sidewalk in front of it after being forced to leave the bar across the street, which had a sweet ass metal band playing at the time. Big Dick's, formerly known as "The Buckhorn Inn", was one of the oldest bars in Spooner, housing historical artifacts from the town in addition to their enormous collection of spittoons, fish, deer, wild boar, buffalo, ram and elk trophies. Cool.
Aside from the bartender Zach, whose jaw was wired shut, I met a handful of friendly locals there including James, who was drinking "Lucy", a boot-sized glass of beer that was molded in the shape of a woman's torso, for which he paid only four dollars. He was excited when I asked if I could take a photo of him and Lucy, but demanded that we also take one together that would end up on Facebook. I also met two sisters; Rose who sported a camo jacket and worked at the dollar store, and Melissa who provided in-home care to the elderly and disabled in town. In addition to the time we spent together scoffing at the fancy city folk who had strolled in attempting to order bourgeious cocktails, the two of them occupied nearly an hour of my time trying to convince me to peruse a nearby cabin for sale, which sits on four acres of land, so that I could move to Spooner. "I do love Wisconsin", I replied.