Saturday, April 5, 2008

Characters of Natchez, MS: John David Montgomery

The first thing John David Montgomery ever gave me was a pair of red chopsticks. To be fair, they were the only things he ever gave me. To be even fairer, he tried to give me a Bud Light when I saw him last week, but I politely passed. I still had a ways to go on the bottle in my hand.

Back to the sticks. Some call John David “J.D.” Some call him the mayor of Under the Hill, a commercial section of town that backs up beneath the town’s bluff. If Under the Hill had toes, they would always be sticking in the Mississippi River. Some call him the head bartender at the Under the Hill Saloon, a place about which I’ve previously posted and gushed. A handful of people have determined that John David looks like Mr. Miyagi (not Pat Morita—rest his soul—but Pat’s character from the beloved Karate Kid Trilogy), and those few began calling him such.

Thus the sticks. Yes, yes. Back to the sticks. Remember the scene when Mr. Miyagi, in teaching Daniel focus and patience, catches the fly with chopsticks?

John David has a party trick where he “catches” a cigarette, a Marlboro Red in fact, with chopsticks and smokes it.

With focus and patience.

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