Songwriter: Chris Cornell
Original Release: Down on the Upside
Definitive Version: None
The location of the apartment that Debbie and I moved into in Gahanna was ideal, as I’ve said. We were so close to the freeway that getting pretty much anywhere in town except Grove City, which is on the opposite side of Columbus, was a breeze. Because we had no reason to go to Grove City, this wasn’t a problem.
But it also was great from a walking standpoint. We had a strip shopping center maybe a football-field’s length from our front (back) door that had a Big Bear grocery store and a state licensing location. It was so obscure that after we moved, I still would drive there to renew my license because there never was a line.
The Big Bear was small, so we did most of our regular shopping elsewhere, but whatever it lacked in selection, it more than made up for in convenience. Cooking dinner and we’ve run out of oregano? I’ll (literally) run to the Big Bear and get some; be back in 10 minutes.
Beyond the shopping center was Stygler Road, which was our entrance to the U.S. 62 spur that turned into I-670 and my quick shuttle downtown. Beyond that were two bars, both of which were scary on the outside and only less so on the inside.
Actually, I have been in only The Dolphin, where a friend of Debbie’s had a boyfriend who would play during the open-attendance blues jam they held on Monday nights. It was led by Rick Boals, who’s had a long career of some repute. Boals used to warn people not to park in the lot at the neighboring Mug-N-Jug, a country bar (go figure). He’d say, it’s not that we want them to come over here to complain; we just don’t want them to come over here at all.
By the time Debbie and I moved to Gahanna, he had stopped doing the blues jam. But the next summer, after this album came out, a McDonald’s opened between the bars and Stygler. This was a big deal because the restaurant was a McDonald’s Classic.
Have you been to one of those? I don’t know if any remain open, but if they are, you have to check it out if you’ve never been. The concept, at least when it came to Gahanna in 1996, was simple—all takeout and only five items on the menu: burgers, a chicken sandwich, fries, pop, shakes. That’s it. Everything was made fresh.
If you ever have a freshly cooked McDonald’s hamburger, you understand why the company became omnipresent. They’re damn good—hot, juicy and delicious. It was so I stopped going to regular McDonald’s. Why bother with an inferior product?
So with all that nearby, was it any wonder that we renewed our lease for another year?