Ruston Louisiana is a small small town that is the home of Louisiana Tech University. The store fronts and central downtown area felt somewhat old western-y but the neighborhoods and houses had the charm and beautiful architectural style of New Orleans--lots of tall thin windows and crafted iron fences. The bar we played at was called Sundown Tavern. They treated us right with delicious dinner and a good spot to play, especially for a Monday. Definitely recommend their reuben. Thanks so much to Dave and Ella for setting this up! We played with Doris Delay and The Mango Plate.
Daisy spent the day hanging out at the Tavern and chatting with folks. I heard from him later that Ruston is super big on watching jeopardy. It's like the Super Bowl there. Daisy is also a jeopardy person (or at least knows so many random useless facts that he could probably win at that kind of thing) so he quickly made tons of friends. I was feeling like wandering and exploring the town. After an hour or so of walking around, I ended up at the library. I've been hanging out more and more at libraries on tour. I think I might eventually rank all of the libraries that I visit and do a "top 15 libraries in small town and downtown America" list. So far on this tour I've been to 3.
GREAT THINGS ABOUT LIBRARIES WHEN YOU ARE TRAVELING
1. You don't have to spend any money, and you can escape the elements. Whether it's too hot or too cold, you can count on a library to be a least a little bit more temperate than the melting 90+ degree world outside.
2. It's a cool way to get to know a place. Every library seems to reflect the needs and voids of a town. If you take some time to wander the stacks, you can see patterns in what books they prioritize, and what sections may be lacking. In Murray KY the library had a HUGE christianity section, like rows and rows of christian books- and probably 1/2 a row total on all the other world religions. In this case, knowing what is public and prioritized in the town makes places like Terrapin Station that feature all sorts of counter culture books even more special.
3. Comfy chairs. Best arm chairs live in libraries. Just make sure to check for bed bugs if you're in a city that has a history with those critters.
4. Free wifi
5. BOOKS! Realizing now that this should really be higher in the list- but I feel like that would have been too obvious. I like to pick random poets I haven't heard of, and other really bizarre non-fiction and flip to a page.
6. If you want to take a cat nap or meditate and not be bothered you won't receive any outward judgement in a library. It's too quiet for them to berate you or wake you up. On the other hand, if you started to doze off at coffee shops, folks might get worried or prod you. Pro tip, wear headphones and set a phone alarm. You won't piss anyone off when it goes off and you won't accidentally sleep through the show you're supposed to play.
7. Bathrooms. Sometimes really great private gender-neutral bathrooms depending on the city. We sleep a lot in the van on tour, and having a spot to brush your teeth, and clean up without getting weird eyes from strangers is a huge plus. If you do all this just leave the place prettier than it was when you got there. That's just good tour-bathroom-karma.
Basically libraries are the best. Support your local library. I support Cincinnati's library financially due to never returning my books on time. Do your part.