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Road Trips
Tune's War Wagon


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From our "on the road" co-respondent, Tunes

Tune's CarAs all faithful readers of this column are already aware, a September visit to Chez Mike’s in Richmond, Va. is an annual prerequisite to the holiday season. This year’s trip again demonstrated the unique blend of exotic yet home style atmosphere that has made Chez Mike so alluring to the cognoscenti.

Upon arrival in the early afternoon we were welcomed by a street parade of residents, motorcyclists, pets, and an occasional classic car enjoying the beautiful weather. We observed the passing parade of humanity on Mike’s veranda, taking care to stay well hydrated at all times. Later in the afternoon we essayed our usual gastronomical pilgrimage to Dot’s Back Inn to sample their casual, but satisfying, mixture of bread, red meat, and torrid congealed grease.

After our gourmet repast, we returned to Chez Mike’s, and on a whim born of bonhomie we decided to join the sporting crowd at the nearby international race track to experience first hand a NASCAR (I believe I have the acronym right) race. While transported to the race track by a professional caravan operator, we had the opportunity to travel with our fellow racing aficionados, a genial but distinctly opinionated group. Upon arrival at the race track we had the opportunity to receive free samples from various fan and nonpartisan organizations (see Clean Coal for Energy).

(We need not report the events of the actual race, since that has already been the subject of numerous news accounts and blogs.)

After the race we returned to Chez Mike’s, and after the inevitable nightcap, re-discovered the charm of our bedchamber. We were reminded of Chez Mike’s simple but eloquent vision statement: Consistency. Wallowing in the sumptuous accommodations, we extended our normal repast several hours. Fully refreshed and well groomed, it was time to bid adieu to Chez Mike’s and its excellent staff.

But Chez Mike’s had one last surprise to deliver to us. We had only gone one block when we discovered our automobile had a blinking warning light indicating an under-inflated tire. We immediately returned to Chez Mike’s and were overwhelmed with the service made available to us instantly. As rapidly as the pit crews we had witnessed the previous evening the garage staff of Chez Mike’s measured the air pressure in our tires, and inflated the tire which was in want of more air. They claimed that by inflating one tire (I think they said to 60 psi) the handling of the car would be radically improved. The staff then waved us goodbye again, although the exhaust noise from our vehicle made it impossible for us to hear what the staff was saying. We tried lip reading from our side mirrors, however the initial take off was a little bumpy after installing the air in one tire.

The return trip was uneventful, except for the bumpy ride (Our letter to the Governor of Virginia about the conditions of its most travelled roads will be the subject of a later column), and our wistful reminisces of yet another beautiful stay at Chez Mike’s.

Ashland October 2015

Duck North Carolina May 2013

At the Ballpark June 2010

Mike Rountrey, Bill Rawls, Al and Beth Willyard traveled to Ashland
for Al & Beth's son's graduation.
Pictured Mike on the left and Beth in blue.

Tunes the legendary Dr. Feelgood shepherds two of his clients,
Ted's wife and Laura Raftery through the maze to get on and off
the boat. The man is a Prince!

Mike & Tunes
Mike, Tunes and Ted traveled to the historic Byrd Theatre in Richmond . . .

Horror Hosts
to see Horror Hosts from the Dr. Mad Blood, Dr. Scarcoughaguy & the Keeper shows . . .

The Bowman Body!
to the ultimate Richmond Horror Host, the Bowman Body!

Dana, Byrd, Brian – Half Dome in Background

Byrd & Dana – Yosemite’s Verna Falls 1991


27 June 2009 ~ Photos by Bill Rawls

Our Boys

Crew with Emilou

Tunes & Ted meet Bruce . . .