I'd like to take a moment to discuss our methodology for these bar posts. We consider them primarily as bits of journalism rather than essays. We go into a place, write about what we observe, and record responses to questions we ask. You may have noticed that we ask two main questions: "What makes for a good bar?" and "What makes for a good church?"
We walked the main streets of Shepherdstown and found several options for our evening's bar. This wasn't too surprising, as it's a college town (Shepherd University), which usually means there will be a place to drink. But one place had an event going on (poetry slam?) that made conversation unlikely. Another place had one patron (who had perhaps been over served) emitting deafening decibels.
The man sitting next to Mindy asked to borrow the TV remote to made an (unsuccessful) search for the NHL playoffs. This led to Mindy chatting with Travis and the woman sitting next to him, Becky, and she was able to ask them what makes for a good bar. Becky said, "Understanding," apparently meaning that the staff understands the customers and each other.
Mindy then asked what makes for a good church. Becky said "Understanding" again, adding, "total open mindedness and no judgment, that's the biggest."
Travis said, "There shouldn't be any doubt, they should absolutely know what they believe and have no doubt. People go to church for an elevated feelings, but I've never experienced that."
Ken said their bar, like the church and really like the town of Shepherdstown, is a very accepting place. "No one cares if you're white, black, straight or gay. No one cares about your sexuality. Everyone gets along." Ken said Shepherdstown is one of the greatest small towns in America, "this is a town of destiny."