It was an early July afternoon, and the sun was a haze - a mask of sorts that served only to try and hide the true location of the bright orb overhead. Of course, only one person on that long dust bowl of a street was remotely interested in the awkward look of the sun. In fact, Sal was the only one on the street at all.

A controversy at a piano bar had brought this desolate scene to fruition. The story goes that a woman named Phill (yes, woman and Phill), asked the piano man to play Highway to Hell by AC/DC... at a church social that just happen to be in the Sassafras Piano Bar. The pianist turned his head at the speed of a not-so-fast sloth - a seemingly forever task - with his mouth agape.

The bar stood still. You could hear the oxidation of the bitten apple that a little boy was holding in his hand.

"What did she just ask?" came a shrill voice from across the room.

The crowd within turned to the voice to see Tina Leslie, the one time "carnival entrepreneur political religious zealot" (long story short, she claims to have spoken to a juvenile Jesus at a hospital after she sprained her toe in a twirl accident) with her eyes glowing with rage.

The outcome of the ill spoke, and ill taken, request led to a national feud fueled by the love and hate of music of all sorts. New "churches" sprung up devoted to music. As the history of history shows, it's been the churches that have been at the center of all major world conflicts. This was no exception.

In the end, the people were divided, and life as many knew, became nothing more than dry crumbs rotting on the floor. The city of Nashville, TN remains a ghost town forgotten. Well, forgotten by everyone except a young man named Sal Valentino.

[poet-badge]