Its a small world (To be continued… still)

More to come.  Right now I’ve got a N&R column to finish and windows to fix.   I’ll link back here as I add to this post and continue my regular blogging so you don’t have to keep wearing out your ”refresh” button.

Double Hung’s latest project is fixing the windows in the soon-to-be world headquarters of The Rhino Times.  Yesterday, I had a meeting with the brothers Hammer to go over some details.  When they came in, John asked, “So, how’d you like Twiggy’s?”  “It’s a pretty seedy place“, I answered, giving the kindest descriptor I could think of for Greensboro’s only downtown strip club, “…but their beer is cold.  How’d you know I went there?”, I asked John.  “Jerry Bledsoe (blog, someday) told me.”, was his answer.

I visited Twiggy’s following last week’s rally on the courthouse steps with Ben Holder.  After we had heard all of the speakers, Ben and I got to talking and he said, “Let’s go get a beer.”  “Good idea“, I said, “Where you wanna go?”  “I don’t know what you might think about it, but I always go to Twiggy’s“, answered The Troublemaker.  “Fine by me.”  I said, and off we went.

Part the second….

My first visit to Twiggy’s revealed that the place isn’t exactly a hoppin’ hot spot at 7:00p on a Friday.  After I paid my five bucks to get in, Ben and I bellied up to the sparcely stocked bar and ordered a cold Bud from the non-coversational bartender.  There were maybe seven or eight guys in the place mostly hanging around the pool table, and two dancers; one was dancing on the stage – fully clothed - the other sat next to us at the bar waiting her turn wearing more fabric than most swimmers at your local pool.  A very sweet lady, Ben said she drives all the way down from Danville to work every day.

Anyway, Ben and I had fine time and accomplished what we came for – drank a cold beer and discussed the state of the blogosphere, the N&R, Nelson Johnson and our families.  I didn’t think any more about it until John Hammer brought it up, and it got me to thinking, “… why does Jerry Bledsoe find it worth noting that I was at Twiggy’s with Ben?” (Editing note: In a background email from someone who should know, apparently Twiggy’s is not always the innocuous place that I experienced last Friday.  I saw what I saw, but apparently I didn’t see it all.)

For those of you who don’t know, Bledsoe is a New York Times best-selling author who lives down near Asheboro.  According to Jerry and Hammer, his latest writing effort concerns recent happenings in Greensboro and either excerpts or the whole enchilada are to appear in future issues of the Rhino.  Although I’m unclear as to his point of view and subject matter, I do know from conversations I have had with him that he is keeping up with the chatter on local blogs. And he is paying close attention.

A few months ago, I stated in a comment (which I can’t yet locate) that I didn’t believe that former police chief David Wray was a racists.  In short order, Jerry sent me a gentle reminder that I had, in fact, suggested otherwise in previous post directed at Wray’s attorney, Locke Clifford.  The statement Jerry recalled for me was this  “…perhaps Wray is not a “card-carrying racistâ€? …, but I’d sure say he doesn’t like black people very much.”  I thanked him for keeping me straight, then went back in and corrected myself like a good blogger should.

In addition, I know that Jerry is in close contact with Ben – The Troublemaker – Holder.  That is understandable because if I were writing about local goings-on, I’d be talking to Ben, too. 

To be continued… I kind of enjoy the suspense that serial writing brings on.  Truth is, I don’t know where this story is heading, but I’ll let you know when I get there.

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30 Comments

  1. Posted July 15, 2006 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Tell me something, Hogg. I’ve wondered this for a long time. Why do they call those places “Gentleman’s clubs,” when clearly no “gentleman” gawks at women? It seems to me that it would be particularly distasteful to a man who is raising a daughter.

  2. Posted July 15, 2006 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    What night during the week do they have guy strippers? Screw the beer; hope the Diet Coke is cold!

  3. Posted July 15, 2006 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    What? Hogg and Troublemaker go to watch guy strippers?

  4. Posted July 15, 2006 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    JW,

    I don’t think Twiggy’s would fall under the “Gentleman’s Club” moniker… Twiggy’s is a strip joint. And neither Ben nor I “gawked”. We had a beer while mostly-dressed women were dancing on a stage. It was nothing much more than you might see on eMTy V late on a Saturday night. But in defense of proper strip joints everywhere… the hour was quite early.

  5. GH
    Posted July 16, 2006 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    In defense of Twiggy’s, it might not have the “glitz” & “glamour” of “Chrisitie’s Cabaret” (Even I must admit it’s not the most “up-to-date” club), but they don’t have stuck-up strippers there that won’t talk to you if you don’t “look” like you have money, either. And you won’t get financially “raped” @ the door and the bar. I go for the cold beer (cheap), pool tables, great conversation w/ the “old timers” there, and also the lovely ladies. It should also be mentioned that Twiggy’s is one of the few strip clubs in the city that Blacks can go to w/o being made to feel harassed and/or unwelcolmed. If it wasn’t for the city’s efforts to close adult businesses in the city most people wouldn’t even know that it was there.

    When you say “seedy,” it kinda brings the tone that you might get molested, shot and/or killed there. Not so. Unlike most clubs (dance and/or adult), you don’t have people getting into fights/trouble there. I have NEVER felt threatened or anything of the like there (Though it has been awhile since I’ve been there, I doubt it has changed that much.). In fact, if you check how many times the police have had to come there over there 21-year lifespan of the club I’m sure that the record will agree w/ me. Hell, how many clubs have even been OPEN for 21 years? Before the so-called “revitilization” of Downtown Greensboro, Twiggy’s was the ONLY REASON for a looooong time to go downtown. I don’t count The Rhino Club, which has trouble paying it’s employees and ripping them off. I wonder what Hammer has to say about that?

  6. Posted July 16, 2006 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Perhaps “seedy” was a bit harsh, GH. I was referring more to the run-down look of the interior and exterior. Most everyone I ran into was friendly and welcoming (the bartender was the exception, didn’t say a word of welcome or anything else – I had to ask him how much I owed for the beer as he stood there with his hand out after placing my Bud on the bar – I guess I was just supposed to innately know the cost).

    The guy collecting money at the door is reason enough to like the place. FYI, he writes an opiniated weblog that is listed on GSO101, but I’ll not “out” him here

    But you are correct – Twiggys has been there for a long time and they have plied their trade quietly and lawfully. They are an original part of downtown’s eclectic fabric… and hey, Rhumba Latina is right next door if you want to do some dancin’ of your own.

  7. Posted July 16, 2006 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    “And neither Ben nor I “gawkedâ€?.”

    Yes, but you paid for your beer, which in turn, supports the business.

  8. GH
    Posted July 16, 2006 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for clearing that up, David. I do agree since Twiggy’s stopped hiring female bartenders that the guys who do it aren’t as friendly. I’ve talked to the girls and manager of the place and the lady that owns it just does not want to upgrade the place. Do you believe that the chairs that are in their now were bought by the DANCERS & STAFF? They got tired of looking at the old raggedy chairs and the owner’s refusal to buy new ones and bought new ones themselves which included the table covers and big-screen TV (for the Boxing on PPV) as well. You can’t say that the girls and staff don’t care about the place.

    To JW, I guess that you would prefer that Ben and David went to an underground whorehouse which “pimps out” and sell women cheap like items @ Wal-Mart and uses under-age children as prostitues than visiting a lawfully-owned business. If you don’t like strip clubs, fine, but don’t ruin everyone else’s fun. There’s nothing wrong with responsible adult entertainemt. If you REALLY want to get offended, how about concentrating on how people are dying for cheap oil which is one of the most profitable as well as bloody businesses on the planet. Or maybe how are healthcare system is only for those who are “packing a fat wallet” and how the pharmaceutical companies act worst than crack dealers when it comes to their product. Or maybe how the opium trade in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia has actually INCREASED since its bombing and the overthrow of The Taliban. Just a few thoughts…

  9. Cara Michele
    Posted July 16, 2006 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    “Strip club” or “underground whorehouse” were not the only options that were available to Ben and Hogg in their quest for a cold beverage. And I agree with jw. It was a sad choice, especially for two fathers who are raising daughters. (And raising sons, who will be watching and learning from their dads about how to relate to women.) Ben and Hogg are grown men and can do what they want to, as they obviously did. But there’s nothing responsible, adult or entertaining about sexual exploitation and oppression. End of sermon. Peace out.

  10. GH
    Posted July 16, 2006 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Cara,

    As I’m sure Ben Holder can attest to (He’s the main reason the Asian massage parlors in town are closed.) adult entertainment & sexual exploitation/oppression are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. Young ladies who strip don’t HAVE TO do it. Women in illegal whorehouses and/or being used by a pimp do it or GET BEATEN UP, OR WORSE! Many do it to fund their college education and many support their families, just like regular people. Just talking to the ladies myself (And yes, I do JUST TALK to many of them when I visit a strip club.), I listen to their stories. Just like in real life, you have good situations and bad. Just because a lady strips for a living doesn’t mean she’s a whore and/or being exploited/oppressed and the guys who watch are molesters and/or sexual predators.

    SLAVERY was exploitation/oppression.

    Speaking from a “guy’s perspective” most sons, unfortunately, learn their sexual behavior from their PEERS. I’m sure that Ben & David aren’t raising their children in a negative manner just because they went to a strip club for a brew. They could have went to any number of over-priced & over-rated bars on Elm St., many of which are losing money because they’re catering to the “upscale” crowd, which really means that certain sections of the population aren’t “appreciated.”

    If you REALLY want to tackle women & exploitation, you may want to check out LA & Hollywood and to an extent, the downward spiral of today’s porn film industry.

    My 2 cents…

  11. Cara Michele
    Posted July 16, 2006 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    “…adult entertainment & sexual exploitation/oppression are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.”

    GH, we disagree.

    For the record, I know that Ben’s a great daddy. And he has awesome kids. (I don’t know David that well, but from what I hear, ditto.) But that doesn’t change my mind.

  12. Posted July 17, 2006 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    A comment I wrote last night never appeared, but in that I state my agreement with CM.

    I, too, have talked to women in that industry and overwhelmingly they feel trapped. Often for various reasons, but they are trapped nonetheless.

    As long as there continues to be a market, there will continue to be this trade which I find degrading to women and am surprised, given his values, that David would participate.

    Remember, the woman up there on that stage is somebody’s daughter. If you buy into that culture, what are you teaching YOUR daughter?

  13. Posted July 17, 2006 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Come on, JW… I don’t “buy into that culture”. I’ll admit I have been to a “Gentleman’s Club” or two back in my college days.. but “buy in”?, hardly.

    What I am teaching my daughter is to live and let live, don’t react to things in a knee jerk fashion. – and never, ever, make a mountain out of molehill.

  14. PP & QQ
    Posted July 17, 2006 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Was Jinni OK with your decision? I would be really hurt if my husband went out for a beer and stopped at a titty bar (even more so if I had gone through what Jinni has). To me it would feel disrespectful.

  15. Posted July 17, 2006 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    all of this started when John Hammer wanted to hold my hand.

  16. Posted July 17, 2006 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Not sure what Jinni thinks PP&QQ,

    I never even thought enough about it to mention it to her, but will. (She’s not a real regular reader here.) Maybe that will give you a hint as to how much of a “decision” or value judgement I was making. I just wanted a cold beer and some conversation and to tell you about a strange occurance.

    I can see where this is heading, though. I have offended people by writing about something that happened in my life, and until I denounce my “decision” and pronounce my reformation, I will be villified.

    Carry on.

    Jinni? Are you there?

  17. Jinni
    Posted July 17, 2006 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Yes I’m here. You went for a beer at a place that had dancers and you came home to me. I guess next time you will learn to go elsewhere and pay three times the cost. We do need to go to Rumba Latino though, you could use dance lessons.

  18. Posted July 17, 2006 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I have always laughed at the gentleman club moniker. They are no more gentleman’s clubs than women who swear are ladies by commonly accepted definition.

    Has Gate been to a “Gentleman’s Club?” Yes. Not going to pretend we have not. But we have never drank beer at one – it is overpriced and we are kind of cheap.

  19. max
    Posted July 17, 2006 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Ben Holder, David Hoggard, Jerry Bledsoe, John Hammer….that would make any high class club seem seedy. Now I see where you get all that exclusive content you all post. Twiggy’s the new Blogstrippershere!!!

  20. tillman
    Posted July 17, 2006 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    That’s the thing about Ben and Jerry’s. Many wacky flavors, none worth the
    price.

    Hoggard, haven’t you heard that crazy people make you crazy? Why would you
    want to be seen with a cowardly low-life like Ben Holder? They’re still
    looking for the woman and dog he bit in Battleground Park yesterday. And you see how word gets around among paranoid schizophrenics.

  21. GH
    Posted July 17, 2006 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    WOW! I didn’t this would get all of this ink!

    What’s Hammer’s problem anyway? Twiggy’s has been there LONGER than his so-called “newspaper!”

    JW,

    As I stated in a eariler post, you have good and bad in any situation. I don’t see from my talks w/ some dancers how ANY stripper feels “trapped” unless she made some negative choices in life. We all do that from time to time. In Greensboro, strippers are independent contractors and come in to work by choice. If one saves her money (“Saving money” is a problem that Americans IN GENERAL have.) and/or budgets it properly, she can pay her way to school, save for a business, or whatever she wants. Sure, you have some bad stories out there. Hell, how many time have we heard about the postal worker going “postal?”

    And that’s a government job!

    As for my children, I have 2 sons and 3 daughters that I’m teaching to be productive citizens of the world. Most girls strip so they can pay for school, their families, etc… and because they’re broke like many people out there. So instead of going on welfare, they make their money in strip clubs. I’m busting my behind now to save enough so my children when they get of age (They’re still kids) that “the old man” can hepl them out as much as possible until they find their own way in the world.

    Also keep in mind that every man fighting in any unjust wars of aggression is someone’s son and that shouldn’t be forgotten, either. (Even though this administration either has forgotten it or simply doesn’t care.)

    Cara,

    I’m not trying to change your mind. I thought I would point out some other stuff that people should be REALLY concerned about, IMHO. On this subject at least, I respectfully “agree to disagree” with you.

    David,

    Sorry for bringing this drama to your doorstep. I just wanted to point out that just because it’s not the most “up-to-date” club, noone’s in any danger there. At least I wasn’t. Maybe I’ll see you over @ Rumba Latina sometime. Though it’s not jumping like it used to (Most of the old crowd goes to Artistika now.), they still do alright after 11:30 PM.

  22. jeff
    Posted July 17, 2006 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Cara what are you admitting here? “For the record, I know that Ben’s a great daddy.” Is he a good tipper too?

  23. GH
    Posted July 18, 2006 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    David,

    As I was toild by the son of a now-retired cop, the “goings-on” (Meaning the racial situation) @ The GPD was a reality long before Wray became the top dog. Now to defend Wray or anything, but the culture of racism there permeated the higher ranks. And I also agree w/ your statement “…perhaps Wray is not a “card-carrying racistâ€? …, but I’d sure say he doesn’t like black people very much.â€? People were waiting for a White cop to take the top spot, but didn’t expect the city (namely Mitch Johnson) to go after him w/ such ZEAL. Another thing, why can’t we see, as taxpayers, the report the city did on the GPD? We paid for it to the tune of over $70,000.00 Why do we keep paying for things we can’t use? First the so-called “public” park downtown (To the tune of $400,000.00 per year!) and now this? Why hasn’t The N&R reported more on this?

  24. Posted July 18, 2006 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    GH, I’m not aware that John Hammer has a problem with Twiggy’s – he just asked me how I liked it.

  25. Posted July 18, 2006 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    “Cara what are you admitting here? “For the record, I know that Ben’s a great daddy.â€? Is he a good tipper too?”

    GH, I’m not sure that I understand your question. I know Ben and his kids in real life. They’re precious and he’s great with them. I don’t know what that has to do with tipping, though.

    “I thought I would point out some other stuff that people should be REALLY concerned about…”

    There are a lot of things that all of us should be concerned about. Paying attention to one doesn’t mean ignoring another.

    I know what God’s word says about the sacredness and the purpose of sexuality. Anything that distorts, defiles and exploits that is from our flesh and/or the enemy of our souls and is not for our good or for God’s glory. To suggest otherwise, and to justify it with terms like “independence” and “choice” is sad and wrong.

    I’ve seen enough people, male and female, damaged by sexual exploitation. It breaks my heart and makes me tired. So yes, we disagree.

  26. Posted July 18, 2006 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    So sorry, that comment was for Jeff. My apologies, GH.

  27. Posted July 18, 2006 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Well, the first part was for Jeff. The second part was for GH. I’m confused. Hope y’all aren’t. Have a good day, all… :)

  28. Posted July 18, 2006 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Wow, who wants to meet me at Twiggy’s? I could fly my plane up there.

  29. Posted July 20, 2006 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Billy, for the poor choice in shameless self-promotion.

  30. Posted August 12, 2007 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Sorry :(