by Gene Benedict


September 13, 2017

This is Bubba’s kind of place. It’s two steps up to the front door. It’s a long ramp up to the back door. Some who don’t know come in the front door. Locals come in the back door.


The place opens most days at noon. A few locals will show for a light lunch and maybe hang out for a while. On any given day you might see Painter Larry, Dusty, Chuck, Jim, me and others. Then it thins out for a while.

If you like the History Channel or the Discovery Channel or Speed Week you might enjoy that time between noon and four with Patrick on the other side or sometimes me on this side.


This is Bubba’s kind of place. You can come in the front door and turn right and buy a bottle. Or you can walk a few steps further, grab a stool and drink one, or a beer, or whatever. It’s the kind of place you can go on a Sunday afternoon to shoot a game of pool, have a brew and watch NASCAR.


On a Sunday afternoon whether you shoot pool or have a brew, or whatever, you WILL watch NASCAR. For a while you may even hear the race as it shows on TV until those who live elsewhere choose to put dollars in the jukebox. Then you don’t hear anymore. But you will, on a Sunday, watch NASCAR. Bubba’s kind of place.


The floors are narrow slat hardwood; the finish long since walked off, put down in an irregular fashion so it looks like someone zippered it up the middle. The ceilings, too, are short slat hardwood, not that uncommon in Cedar Key. Bud, Bush and NASCAR are wherever you look in the front room in the backroom or out back where some of the best deer and hog meat you ever tasted is feasted up once in a while on weekends.


Yep, this is Bubba’s kind of place, the L&M Bar. At noon, you can come in for a light lunch or you can bring a carry out box over from Cook’s Café just across the street. The locals will be either replaying last week’s race or last night’s ballgame or just being there.


Bubba’s kind of place. And most afternoons around four, when the locals were through with work and showed up for a brew or two or so, Bubba would come in the back way. Bubba had done his duty at the NAPA Store.


He came in most days about then, and Denise, who had taken a liking to Bubba, would bring him a brew. Bubba was an unassuming kind of guy. He drew no attention to himself other than his appearance.


Bubba was short of stature and built like a bulldog. He and Denise became quite a pair. Those there knew him, liked him, respected him.

And once each month Tom would come in and pay Bubba’s tab. Bubba was a regular at the L&M and it’s been said that Tom couldn’t drink there, so the tab was Bubba’s and he often set up the bar. The tab often varied – Tom never argued.


Bubba was the watchdog at the NAPA Store and a regular at the L&M.


With that piece of intellectual insight, it’s time to search out Trouble in Cedar Key.


 Copyright © by Gene Benedict 13 September 2017