Max Supper Club Reborn



I know…I know…I said to many of you that this blog would not be about Taylor Hicks. So, for anyone who was a regular on Gray Charles, you might think you see where this post is going. For those who weren’t regulars…let me give you a little background.

One of my favorite posters at GC, Double D, had a brilliant idea…to encourage Taylor…who before American Idol made his living playing in bars and honky tonks…to revisit some of those dives and others around the country for a Taylor Hicks Dive Tour once this summer’s Idol tour had ended. So many folks loved the idea that the rally cry, “Viva le Dive Tour!” was adopted (at least by me) and fellow poster FLJerseyBoy created an awesome Frappr map for folks to post potential dives for the tour.

Partially tongue-in-cheek…partially serious…I suggested to FLJerseyBoy that my backyard be considered for the tour (I mean, hey, anything to get Taylor to visit me at home…right?). Yeah, I know, it’s a silly thought…but as I pointed out to FLJerseyBoy…my backyard is truly a dive…overgrown grass…a broken down gas grill that’s home to wasps and roaches…and a non-working backdoor light that leaves the burden of mood lighting to the gazillion fireflies that call my yard home. Plus, seating is available, as I have a beat-up Adirandak bench that serves as a bark-o-lounger for my sweet puppy, Sadie, to sun on (pictured below).


During the discussion of dives on Gray Charles…I told the story of my visit to one of the seediest dives in all of Mississippi when I was in college…Max Supper Club. I won’t bore you with all the gruesome details but if you want to read about my adventure…you can click here…at least for as long as Gray leaves the comments up on his site. A short version of the story is…dark county road outside Starkville, MS,…a tattered old darkened building…an 6-foot tall fenced in pen filled with empty beer cans…a 2×4 barring the door…whites only…dirt floors…open bathrooms…oversized underwear decor…chicken wire…foul-mouthed singer…drunk friends…Bubbas…screaming for my life.

Thankfully, Max Supper Club burned down a few years after I left Mississippi State.

Anyway…to bring this rambling full circle…today was a new day for me…a day without Gray Charles. When I got home from work this evening, I thought I would enjoy being away from the computer and take advantage of being a homeowner by taking a stroll in my backyard.

Aack. I should have stayed in.

The first thing I hear anytime I step out of my backdoor (or any door of my house) is the droning bass line of my neighbor, Willie’s, makeshift recording studio. Willie is an ass-piring gansta rapper who converted a dilapidated old storage shed in his backyard into a studio for Black Leprechaun Recordings. I’ve complained about the noise and he swears to me that he has done some state-of-the-art sound proofing…I guess that explains the mattresses I saw him haul in there one day. Whatever.

Ugh, I won’t let this get to me…I thought to myself as I ventured into the great outdoors today and heard the boom, boom, boom of bass coming from the yard next door. I won’t let Willie keep me from enjoying the beauty of my land. So, I rolled my eyes and marched on, deeper into the jungle that is my backyard.

I soon forgot the bass, as my feet sunk into the thick lawn. Not only did the grass reach up to my shins…I discovered some other botanical treasures growing just on the other side of my backdoor. The last time my backyard was mowed…cringe…a month ago…the guy who cut it came across a 4-foot tall, leafy stalk growing in the back left quadrant of the yard and left it because he said he wasn’t sure if it was a weed or something I was actually trying to grow. I quickly assured him that I had planted it and thanked him for his consideration…hoping my flushed cheeks and stammer wouldn’t give away the truth…it was a weed. A weed that was now 10 feet tall…I kid you not.

Further inspection of this fine specimen of a backyard revealed some sort of vine, growing up a pine tree. Convinced it was poison ivy, I decided to quickly move from that part of the yard.

In the back right quadrant of my yard, my fence overlaps about 4 feet with the fence of the neighbor who lives catty-corner behind me. There at the fence, as always, was Max (pictured at the top of this post)…a huge Rotweiller mix that breaks my heart every time I see him. Flies dance around his head and his sweet eyes are already filmy with the beginnings of cataracts. In the four years I’ve lived here, I’ve never…not even one time…seen anyone outside with Max. He always comes to the fence for me to scratch his ears. As a matter of fact, he spends more time at that little 4-foot corner of the yard, looking at Sadie and me than he does playing in his own yard. He’s the sweetest dog in the world and I wish I could bring him over the fence to stay with us…but I’ve been told by a friend who lives across the street from Max’s owner that I should let it be. Max’s master, apparently, is a crazy recluse and could cause me problems or get violent if I approached him. It makes me so sad.

As I stood at the fence and scratched Max’s ears today…all the while fending off a very jealous Sadie…I couldn’t help but think of the life this poor dog leads. Here I’ve been hold up in my office for four months, blogging on Gray Charles and making new friends…while this sweet puppy stands at my fence, watching the weeds grow and listening day in and day out to the vocal stylings of Black Leprechaun Recordings’ star act.

Then I started to think about my backyard being on that dive tour. I hope it happens. I think it would be great for Max to have his own club…a reborn…better version of the infamous Max Supper Club. Great music…cold beer…people having fun..and a never-ending line of hands taking turns at scratching Max’s ears.

It could be a hit…I mean, it couldn’t be any worse than the original. Right?

And maybe…just maybe..Willie would crack a window of the shed…er, studio…and be Taylor’s opening act…or, better yet, he and Taylor could cover “Gin and Juice.” Stranger things have happened.

I don’t know…it’s just a thought.


13 Responses to “Max Supper Club Reborn”

  1. manders Says:

    Ahhh, Shelley. I want to hug and play with Max too.

    I agree with your dive tour idea totally. I think your backyard would be perfecto.

  2. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Oh! Poor sweet Max! I would drive from TX to MS to steal him from his backyard if it weren’t illegal. My biggest pet peeve is irresponsible pet owners. Grrrr…

  3. Ash. Says:

    I love this story and I am looking forward to reading more of your blog. 🙂

  4. Quossum Says:

    Your backyard does sound like a dive! Uh, wait…is that an insult or not in this context? LOL

    Oh, and the poor abandoned dog! I hate it when folks leave the dog to live all alone in the back yard!

    When Taylor comes over to drink gin and juice there, let me know. =)


  5. shrewspeaks Says:

    Viva Le Max’s! I think it works gal!

  6. azure Says:

    Oh, Shelley, God love you for scratching behind Max’s ears. I absolutely abhor people who have pets and don’t take care of them. (What about an anonymous call to the SPCA?)

    Between you and Ash, I think we’re going to survive the trauma of GC taking his well-earned break. Thank you.

  7. Shelley Says:

    Az…I thought about that…but then I thought might mean he would be put in a cage and, since he’s older, he may not be adopted.

    Jackson has a dog control problem and I would be ill if I thought he could be euthanized! (I guess that leads to the question…is it better to live and suffer or be put down.) I’m of the mind that in this situation…with Sadie to “visit” with and the neighboring kids (who always give Sadie attention through the fence)…he would be better off living. He is well fed, so I know the guy at least gives him food.

    I just hate that this guy has such a great dog and doesn’t seem to spend much time with him.

  8. double d Says:

    I think a backyard PARTAY is one of the things Taylor should consider. If he’s going to be “real” and different, it’s things like this that will do it.

    In the South, in particular, backyard parties are the lifeblood of Summer. As a kid, my Dad would go fishing with his friends on Fridays. When they returned in the late afternoon, all the wives and kids would meet them at someone’s house. They’d clean the fish and then fry them up with fresh cut french fries.

    While they cooked, us kids (of various ages) would go to the park down the street and play “Capture the Flag” until way past dark. Even after dark, it was 95 degrees and 98% humidity, but we didn’t know that it could be cooler somewhere else.

    We’d be called to c’mon to “dinner” and after we all ate, the musical instruments would make an appearance. The ‘grups would all sing great tunes like “Prisoner of Love” and “Hit the Road Jack” where they would harmonize and belt them like they meant it, while us kids sat — watching and clapping along.

    For me, THAT was soul music. Watching these people “feel” the music, enjoying life. As I grew older, I joined in and it’s still my MOST favorite thing to do. I would literally give my eye teeth to have that kind of ‘garden party’ with Taylor in attendance.

    Let’s see Jackson is only 3 hours from Mobile….

  9. suzi-q Says:

    I have another dive spot,rather jump spot for “TH,the man”. Biloxi at “Bent Pines”. Katrina took a bite out of the top of the old pine BUT it still stands however crooked (like a huge N:)and if “Bent Pines” isn’t a hopping kind of place then we could all troop down to “Daffy’s on the River” where just last week I saw six police cars checking on something important (that’s the Biloxi River should there be any doubt)Biloxi could use a refresher course on blues, and all that jazz!

  10. spaceytracy Says:

    Shelley, I just want to say I’ve always enjoyed your posts on GC. You were one of my favorite posters, always witty, smart and usually expressing thought similar to my own, only with much more humor and intelligence. I already put your blog in my favorites…

  11. Anonymous Says:

    What a wonderfully sad story. I feel sorry for old Max. I cannot stand to see a dog being neglected. It is one of the saddest things in the world as they thrive on attention.

    Anyway, first time reader and poster but loved your blog so thought I would say hi and hope max gets his concert.

    I know understand Viva Le Dive Tour. I too think that would be an awesome road for Taylor to go. Bring him back to his roots so to speak.

    Thanks for the story and I will continue reading your stories I have missed. Thanks

  12. Shelley Says:

    Thanks, Anonymous. Hope you come back to post again. 😉

  13. NOLAgirl Says:

    Awww, poor Max. (btw, sorry it took me so long to get my butt over here, Shelley!) Don’t you hate that?

    Oh, and Vive la Dive Tour!!!! 😀

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