Welcome to Gaw’s, the Best Bar in Overton County

Livingston, TN – I arrived in Livingston in the early evening. Being a puny town in north-central Tennessee, there isn’t much too it. Fast food joints. A gun shop. Cash store. Its salvation is Gaw’s, a divey little joint and pool hall. Driving, interviewing and writing doesn’t leave much time for drinking, but Gaw’s had $1 drafts, so what the hell, I thought. I needed to consolidate some notes, an activity that a cold one always makes a little pleasurable.

I had one. And then another. Before I knew it, I was chatting with Kat, an older lady who tends bar at Gaw’s part-time. I told her about the article I’m writing about the meth scourge and she told me that she had a meth problem when she lived in California, ground zero of the epidemic. After moving to Livingston, she used to jokingly tell people she was in the witness protection program until rumors circulated that she was a narc. She bought me a shot of cinnamon whiskey and it was on.

Then, out of nowhere, people started singing. Turns out, Tuesday is karoake night at Gaw’s and a handful of locals had turned out to mingle, drink and sing. So I pulled out my camera and joined them.

“What brings you to Livingston?” I was asked, which was kind of a tricky question. I explained  that I’m here to meet with a trio of sasquatch researchers, one whom is flying in from Moscow to deliver an important Internet radio broadcast on the subject.

“Here in Livingston?”

“That’s right.”

Everyone erupted in laughter.

From that point, I was introduced to everyone as “the guy from Philadelphia who dun come to take pictures of the Overton County Bigfoot.”

Apparently, none of the locals were aware sasquatches inhabited in the area, except for a guy they called Lil’ Red.

“You wanna take a picture of the sasquatch?” he asked. “She’s at my house. I’m tellin’ ya, she makes the whole mountain rumble.”

The locals, all great and friendly people, sang and danced well into the evening. It was a small crowd. Gator, one of the bartenders, told me Saturday night is more live. “You want some good pictures,” he said, “come then.”

The cinnamon whiskey shots kept coming, as did the beers, and before I knew it, I was pretty wasted. Despite an invite to crash on a couch, I curled up inside Purple Thunder, parked just outside, and slept it off. The Feral Scribe doesn’t drive drunk. I woke this morning a tad queasy, but I still had nearly all of my cash, which surprised me.

Very friendly locals indeed.

If you’re ever in Livingston, visit Gaw’s, the best bar in Overton County.


  1. madpickle says:

    wow, now that looks like a place i wanna go!!!! WHEEEEEEEE!

  2. T says:

    I really enjoyed this story.  I live in Livingston and have never been to Gaws, and I am glad the folks treated you right!

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