Geography Reference
In-Depth Information
it's not a sign of things to come … but those dudes are being given the green light to
be here and could one day take the place over.” Another club regular called it, “Weird,
man, a playin' up, it's kind of puzzling.”
This evening, forexample, Jackie continuously tends toawhite middle-aged man sit-
trope: “semiotically traveling friendliness.” This kind of friendliness, to Gertz et al. is a
hermeneutic instrument to communicate alliances, allegiances, and shared values for all
waves of friendliness sweep across this man and Jackie as she makes frequent stops at
his location to ensure that all is well. His drink this evening (martinis) is constantly re-
freshed and accompanied by friendly banter. When he is joined by a friend later on, he
receives the same treatment. Jackie lets these people andeveryone inthe club knowthat
Beebe's welcomes “outsiders.” If there is a hint of discomfort that they [“outsiders”]
feel, she tells me, “I am going to try and chase it away and make these people feel at
home … hey, I'm the owner, it's my place, and everyone should know that all that can
pay their tab are welcome.” There is no “peculiarizing” of them, she does not cast them
as objects of Otherness. Rather, there is a message being sent: anyone who can pay and
respect club practices is welcome.
Jackie sees this population as a potential gateway to something promising: possibil-
ities to upgrade the purchasing power of her customer base at Beebe's. This possibil-
ity, she tells me, would be welcome provided the club does not lose its blues ways and
aesthetic. “These other folk, you know the North Siders, the tourists, if they come, I
am okay with that, as long as they pay and respect the place…. In fact, I don't give a
damn where they're from, they're welcome as long as they can add to the place.” Jack-
ie acknowledges a tension between keeping the club as is and throwing open the gates
for tourists to come en masse and transform the club. She is quick to note that Beebe's
wouldneverbeaplace ofunfettered “NorthSidetakeover” andbecome “onemoresup-
posed blues club.” In discussion, her commitment to retaining Beebe's current character
is strong: “Nothing is going to change in a major way what we have here. I won't let it
want to come to Beebe's … but god willing we keep it as is … no ands, ifs, or buts.“
Jackie admits to creating confusion in the club in embracing both the club's current
that everyone's just got to figure out.” She also acknowledges that some club regu-
lars—herself described “bread-and butter of club operations”—are concerned about the
club's future. Yet, she proceeds on encouraging both, living and working through a re-
cognized paradox that for the moment creates confusion about the club's future. Jackie
is unwilling to give up on either front; retaining the club's current content and moving
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