Saginawesome In Saginaw, Part II

Panama Jackson/VSB
Panama Jackson/VSB

(When we left our super hero, he had returned to his hotel room to go to sleep at 4am!)

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd…I was up at 8am. Because I hate myself and because I can't sleep in late to save my life unless I'm blackout drunk. But it was a good thing that I was awake because I was one of a few folks (all involved in the wedding) who had to go and actually SET UP the wedding venue. Now, this isn't information I knew before I got there. Or even at 10pm the night before. No, this is information that I found out as I was taking a shot off of a ski at around 130am!

D'oh well.

Now, while I may not have enjoyed having to set up the wedding ceremony and then the chairs, etc. for the reception (it was an outdoor wedding), I found a certain joy to being outside and chillin' in the cool Michigan breeze at 930am. Plus, the venue - the house of a family member of one of the bride - was gorge. You don't realize how big somebody's backyard is until you set up 150 chairs in half moon configuration AND have a huge tent that fits nearly 200 people with chairs, tables, and buffet tables. The dance floor was right outside of the tent. Point is, this yard was bigahelshawty. After the set up I went back to the hotel to wait for the homey, The Great, to show up. Now this is one of my drankin' partnas/real life debate partners. We shared a room and as soon as he walked in (around noon) the drinking started. We nearly killed a whole bottle of Bulleit BEFORE the rehearsal at 4pm with another compadre, JBreezy. And we're drinking amidst on-going discussions about police brutality, Ta-Nehisi Coates book, James Baldwin, etc. You know, the important shit.


Let's scoot on up on a few hours to the important stuff. Now, my crew of friends, we're the type that like to party. A lot. Especially out of town. After the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner was a party set up by the bride and groom.

At a funeral home.

I'm gonna let you sit with that for a minute.

(*cues up* Dr. Dre's Compton and waits for somebody to call it a classic)

You done marinating on that one?

Lemme 'splain.

The bride grew up in this funeral home. Her family owned a mortuary in Saginaw for many, many years and now still runs and operates the location though they apparently sold it some time ago. Now, for her family, and my boy who is marrying into the family, that's just another day in Saginaw. For the rest of us, there was a bit of "bro…there are caskets around. And we're partying."

So yes, from about 9pm-1230am, we had a party complete with dancing, drankin', FIREWORKS, and shenanigans at a funeral home. In Saginaw, Michigan. With caskets around. Since I know you want to know, there were no actual dead bodies in the spot seeing as there were no active funerals to prepare bodies for…

…to my knowledge. One of my peoples remarked that she's basically gonna lose every game of "I Never" from here on out, because if anybody throws out "I never partied at a funeral home…" well…you get the point. But if you think partying at a funeral home is crazy…fam….b….my nigga….


Let me tell you about the Elks.

Saginaw - bless its heart - has a lot of Black folks. But one thing they don't have is a lot of Black clubs. In fact, when we asked about going to the club, nearly every Black person from there said one place and one place only - the Elks. And for those of you who have lived in cities with an Elks Lodge…that's exactly where we went. To a motherfucking hall with with a DJ and the oldest women legally allowed to serve liquor as bartenders. Like, your grandmother was serving drinks, my nigga. My boy…got in wearing flip flops.


Let THAT marinate. I got to the door and was like, "yo, we're a wedding party from out of town…there's a lot of us….we might not all meet the dress code…"

Dude basically said, "say no more (yells to somebody else) WE GOT OUT OF TOWNERS!" which in retrospect sounds like a robbery chant.


Let's describe who was partying in this locale: niggas. Really old niggas. That sums it up.

That was rude. And racist. Let me try again. You know how folks see folks they ain't seen before? Yeah that was us. We were all dressed…reasonable. Folks in the Elks? We're talking about chicks in all white that they should have left at Dollar General. Old timers dressed for the player's ball…that wasn't happening. Middle aged dudes who looked like they legit might rob at least one of us when we walked out. I'm talking about FUBU, du-rags, K-Swiss, plaid with oversized shorts, white tees with way oversized pants. You know what it really looked like? A bunch of teenagers going out on a date.


You know how the dudes never dress right? They dress like they straight off the block in their best, straight off the block apparel, which is really just a step up from wife-beater and shorts. And the girls tend to over dress for Olive Garden? I've seen this tons of times…especially at Olive Garden. To be fair, I remember when I thought Olive Garden was fine dining.


Despite this, we turned the fuck up. The DJ played a lot of southern music (at the request of our party) and then played some local Saginaw shit that turnt the club out at one point. It was lit like a motherfucker. Except for us being told not to drink on the dance floor. You heard that right. Saginaw needs to get its rules together. Apparently this is common knowledge because our crew was legit the only folks drinking on the dance floor. But the drinks…AGAIN…my G…6 bucks for a Henny and Coke. #wheredeydodatat #saginaw

You know how when you're in LA and you're from a real city (shots fired) and the club closes at 2pm so the lights come on at 145 and they start herding niggas out? Saginaw is just like this…except the lights came up at 140am. Needless to say, we weren't ready to stop partying. So somebody suggested what sometimes amount to final words: "there's an after hours spot we know about!"


Listen to me. Seriously.

We went to the after hours spot (after having lost at least 10 people from the crew - we shall call them the smart ones), called Old Timers Club II. Which means there was an Old Timers Club I. Picture your living room. Then picture a bar, some tables and chairs, a DJ, and one of those spinning lights you can buy at Spencer's. Now, I'm not shitting on this spot. It's owned by the uncle of the bride - her family is apparently deep in the SagNasty - but my eyes are STILL burning from the cigarette smoke. Now picture everybody who was in the Elks, and add 20 years to them. To each person. That "Old Timers" shit? Real deal, Holyfield. I think I managed to make it for about 30 minutes as my eyes were bleeding. Also, one dude walked in who looked like he was likely to take all of our money. AND some woman in there kind of flipped out about people touching her…except nobody was touching her…then she went to hug somebody. I think there were maybe 40 people inside and it felt like the most packed night The Park has ever had. 40 felt like the night Drake had his party at Sax in DC.


With that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed myself at both places. I wanted to experience Saginaw…I experienced Saginaw. I partied with the locals for real and that's all I ever really want to do when I'm out of town. My boy, The Great, was asleep in the car, which in more retrospect was probably as bad an idea as one can have in a city you ain't from.


After a night of real shenanigans, we all ventured back into the Saginaw night to prepare for the big day! I hit that pillow at about 330am. You know how we do it.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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"And the girls tend to over dress for Olive Garden? I’ve seen this tons of times…especially at Olive Garden"
Let me tell you how many times i have silently judged women ive seen coming in on dates that overdress for this place lol