Three Saturdays before Halloween, two of the Sinners for Saints Ball’s organizers, Robbie and Aaron, came in the Blind Bear to see about hanging a poster advertising the party in the window. “We hope to draw 400 to 500 people,” they told me, although they said capacity was in the 600 to 700 range.
“You’re wrong,” I told them. “You’re going to hit capacity.”
I was right.
I like being right. I especially like being right when it means that enough money was raised that, after paying expenses, a five-figure donation can be made to the Church Health Center. If interested, please click the link and read about the CHC’s philosophy and the many wonderful services it provides in the Memphis community. I tried to type up a paragraph summary of all that the CHC does, but I would have to devote an entire blog post (and a long one at that) to its mission and services.
I had not been to Stop 345 in eleven years and was not quite sure what to expect. To my right as I walked in was an enormous buffet of food provided by the event’s sponsors. There were two bars, the permanent U-shaped one and a makeshift bar with beer and punch. In the main room was the stage and another large bar, with Jello shots galore. There was an outdoor area leading to Tad’s indoor trailer park and the Amurica photo booth out back. The indoor trailer park was the space for those who just wanted to sit down and chill. If you have never seen it (and I hadn’t before last night), you need to. It’s one of those unique Memphis treasures tucked away in a corner.
Elliott from London – good meeting you last night, and I hope I spelled your name correctly. You know, when this blog wins awards it’s nice and all, but these days I really write this thing because people come up and tell me that it helped them find where they fit in Downtown. Glad to hear it helped you, and no I don’t even plan to stop doing it.
They gave me a media pass so I was able to watch Lord T and Eloise from the VIP area, and the show was excellent as I expected. The main room was packed to hear their performance. DJ Lil’ Eggroll did an outstanding job before and after.
I do want to say that the costume contest was not quite what I expected. I did not know I would be the only judge. I did not know that contestants were not going to get up on stage, and that I was supposed to be walking around throughout the evening, scoping out winners. I was also surprised that, given that they had around 20 gift cards donated, they only awarded first prize to each of three categories: Best Man, Best Woman, and Best Couple. I did the best I could with guidance from the Saints for Sinners organizers, but I think I could have done better if I had known what was going to happen.
I hope if they get as many gift card donations next year, they expand the categories in some way. My buddy Zack was dressed up as half man, half woman, even going so far as to shave off half his beard. His plan was to enter all three categories: man, woman, and couple (with himself). He wouldn’t have won any of those three categories but I would have given him Most Creative if that had existed.
Overall, though, the party just couldn’t have been much better. I really see this as an event that is going to grow more and more each year the way Stumbling Santa has done.
My judging duties complete, I left Stop 345 a few minutes before 2 and walked down Madison and then Main to the Blind Bear. We’re on Standard Time now, which means that at 2:00, the clocks fell back to 1:00. I always assumed that meant the bars got to stay open an hour extra, because 3:00 is the mandated closing time for non-Beale Street bars by Tennessee law. However, that was not the case. At 1:30 (the second 1:30) Colin did last call. He explained that the number of hours the bar stays open has to be consistent with all the other weeks of the year, and that the cops will show up and shut you down if you try to stay open the extra hour. I don’t blame him for obeying the rules but (and this is directed at the Alcoholic Beverage Commission not the Blind Bear) it’s really kind of ridiculous that the bars can’t stay open until 3:00.
There are plenty of photos of Sinners for Saints floating around Facebook but I didn’t take any. The reason why is, I don’t keep a case on my iPhone. The only time I ever have had a case was my iPhone 4S, when the back was glass. I hate cases in general. On Halloween, when I am in costume, getting a phone in and out of my pocket is a bit of a risk. So, sorry, no pics on the blog, but there are plenty out there, seek and ye shall find.
One other thing I learned last night: Drinking a liter Mountain Dew at 8 PM is not a good way to wake back up from a nap. Oh, it was effective for keeping me awake, I’ll give it that much, but when I got home at 3, I couldn’t sleep! I have had maybe two hours of restless sleep in the past 24.
Back to Stumbling Santa which I mentioned earlier in this post… most of you know this is a huge pub crawl to raise money and toys for Porter-Leath. It is the first Saturday in December, and last year over 1200 Santas stumbled from bar to bar Downtown, creating quite the spectacle. The event has grown so huge that they need a tent, heater, and other accessories to make sure all the Santas have a good time. You can donate here and help make Stumbling Santa even bigger and better. Those who donate $100 or more will be invited to a special November 12 party at the Flying Saucer, where Saint Nick will bring in beers to sample from all over the world.
Little Rock readers: Memphis’ original beer Goldcrest 51 will be coming your way soon.
I considered the idea of wearing my PBR MAN costume to Sunday brunch today, but my costume got partially damaged last night and I’m not in the mood to repair it. So, T-shirt and shorts it is. I’ll be at D-RANKS with B-RAD at 11 AM at Blind Bear, and then figure out the rest of the day from there.