Monday, February 18, 2008
Your Chapel: Pirates Cove Yacht Club, Josephine, Ala.
My introduction to a place called Pirate’s Cove was to hear Kacey Jones sing her song, Never Wear Panties To A Party. Being fresh out of a divorce, this was exactly what I needed. It was the dead of winter. I was at a place that drew its name literally from the cove on which it sat, surrounded by water, the wind whipping from Wolf Bay just off the Gulf of Mexico, blowing through cracks that any of the dogs walking around the joint could have passed through. It was also so far out in the boonies that I suppose even pirates didn’t dare venture there.
The little bitty space (Guinan’s fans understand that term, right?) had two wooden picnic tables brought in for the uppity customers such as myself that thought you should sit to listen to a performer. In fact, it was my first night at Pirates Cove that I was introduced to The Sweet Potato Queens and their theme song written by Kacey Jones. There was one outdoor heater that had been brought into the middle of the room where people huddled. It was when I felt the radiation of the heat that helped me understand why people stood rather than sit at the fine dining tables.
My next encounter at the Cove was to hear a somewhat local (via Brewton, Al and New Orleans, La) and extremely talented musician, Grayson Capps. Grayson has trekked from Europe to Hollywood thanks to his penman father, Everett, by writing the music for the film “A Love Song for Bobby Long” starring John Travolta. By this time, Pirates Cove had started recovery from Hurricane Ivan and extended its entertainment stage to the outdoor porch….. i.e., more picnic tables and a bigger dance floor.
Pirates Cove is one of many places at the Gulf that you can arrive by land or sea. During special events like the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival, there is even water taxi service….. a ten minute ride from Orange Beach, Alabama.
The locals, well… they come by bicycle, by golf cart, by Harley’s or even walk. But, they get there. Sometimes quiet, sometimes rambunctious. As far as I know, Pirates Cove is not in danger of closing and if Mother Nature will leave it alone, it’s on the opposite end of the growth scale from Guinan’s. Josephine is a tiny community at the end of seemingly nowhere. You don’t pass through Josephine, you go there. If it doesn’t meet your liking, you turn around and leave or learn to walk on water. Even though I lived at the beach, to make this journey across the bay was an approximate forty five minute drive by car. However, after learning that the best cheeseburgers this side of Margaritaville are served at Pirate’s Cove, it’s worth the ride. On Sunday afternoons when your body says its shut-down time, listening to the local Riff Raff exchange tunes and relax is the perfect ending to another memorable PC weekend.
I don’t live at the beach any longer and my weekends are filled with more important people, like grandchildren. But, the good memories I have of times of Pirates Cove hover close to my heart and large in my memory. For all things, there is a season.
So, if you find yourself at the Gulf Shores area of Alabama, shuffle down County Road 95 in Josephine, Alabama till it dead ends and you’ll find Pirates Cove. Meander through the sand for that long awaited cold one or perhaps a concert of some of the best songwriters in the south. IT’S A DESTINATION LIKE NO OTHER.