ON LOCATION: WHISKEY DICKS
On Highway 8, on the way through the great Northwoods (where I sometimes spend Thanksgiving), there are a number of small, fascinating watering holes. They are usually run down. Some seem to be only trailers. Most of them serve only canned beer. At one, this weekend’s headliner is a man named Johnny Trash.
My favorite of these bars is one I have never set foot inside, but have only driven past – Whiskey Dicks. Whiskey Dicks (please note the lack of apostrophe in the official signage; apparently there is no one man named Whiskey Dick – or at least, if there is, he is not the owner) is situated just a mile or two outside of Bruce, Wisconsin, and though there are rarely more than a few pickups in the parking lot when I happen to drive past, I can’t help but want to stop.
Also: Whiskey Dicks’ mascot is a cowboy holding a gun with a drooping barrel. That is all.
ON LOCATION: RETAIL
On several trips north this fall, I noticed that, at rough estimate, 40% of men of deerhunting age, while in public at least, wear baseball caps of either blaze orange or traditional camouflage. I decided to purchase one of these caps at the PAMIDA in Ladysmith. It was dirt cheap ($10;I went with traditional camo), and the customer service was excellent.
ON LOCATION: GENERAL CULTURE
You may or may not be familiar with the recent Sundance Channel documentary Nimrod Nation, (it debuts on November 26) which chronicles a year in the lives of the varsity basketball team of the Upper Peninsula’s Watersmeet Nimrods, while also examining offbeat aspects of U.P. culture and delving into rural community dynamics in general. (AP review here). The film sprang from – of all places – an ESPN spot that ran several years ago. A trailer:
The Nimrods, though, are not the only colorfully named U.P. (or near-U.P.) mascots.
Other local team nicknames of note include:
*The Hurley Midgets
*The Ashland Ore Dockers
*The Bessemer Speed Boys
*The Ironwood Red Devils (named supposedly for the look of the iron miners as they emerged covered in filth from the red soil)
Also (and most finally): AVOID BLACK MEAD.