Thursday, July 25, 2013
The work of Rembert Browne is one of the highlights of the ESPN-funded home of overly-long writing Grantland, and somehow he's managed to convince whoever's paying for things over there to fund a summer long roadtrip in search of America, which included a trip to Bisbee. The entire article is strange and amazing (just like Bisbee, I guess), but most of it centers around golf-course-manager/local-celebrity Pete Campbell:
Pete Campbell was not from Bisbee, but you wouldn't know it being in his presence. The way he described it, when he moved here over 15 years ago from Santa Fe (originally from New York), he had to earn his way into the fabric of the community, not because it was elitist in any way, but because everyone knew everyone. But now, after paying his dues, with a wife and three children, and serving as the general manager of the Turquoise Valley Golf Course in the neighboring town, he straddles this line of town historian, unofficial mayor, consummate free spirit, and life of the party.
But then again, maybe everyone straddles that line in Bisbee.
After finishing our pizza, he suggested we go back to the hotel, but then suddenly had an epiphany and asked if we wanted a quick tour of Bisbee.
We'd gotten this far on the suggestions of Pete Campbell — why not take it a little further? So we hopped into his pickup truck, and before I could close the back, he put the car in drive.
"Hey, can I put the back up?" I ask, suddenly fearing for my safety.
"You don't have to, man," Pete fired back.
"Yeah, but — can I?" I whimper. "Sure," he responds, and then as soon as we're "safely" situated in the bed, he shoots up a hill.
The steepest hill.
The look my friend and I gave one another, as Pete whipped around corners in the dark, bopping his head to zero music as if he were in a jam band, said, more or less, "Our moms told us not to trust crazy white people, what have we done, how do we get out, we're gonna die."
As we shot up a narrow street that his truck could barely fit through, Pete looked back and said, "OK, so this is a two-way street. I swear to God it's a two-way street."
We responded with nervous laughter from the trunk's bed. "Seems unsafe," I add.
"Yes, very unsafe," he replied back, as we came around a ridge above what looked like a 100-foot drop.
"My son takes piano lessons up this street," Pete added.
"Is he any good?" I asked, assuming he'd say something ridiculous in response.
"He's a fucking genius. He's my son."
Pete Campbell might want to start offering his own tours of Bisbee as a side gig. Could be lucrative.