We drive up & down Military Avenue in search of The Little Brick Inn. Up, turn around & back again, along an old brick frontage. Here’s an old 1930s cinema, next to a couple of shops with newspaper plastered across their windows, brown & curled with the heat of the summer, several summers. More buildings empty, on the edge of dereliction, than open for business, or so it seems. We find the hotel, quickly occupy our room, everything arranged for immediate use, nothing superfluous.
We decide to visit the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Club, having been advised not to leave it too late. We ask for directions, find the club tucked away on the edge of town, innocuous.
People are curious, reticent, the atmosphere dark & loud, heavy with cigarette smoke. We wander round, explaining to people why we’re there. Eventually we get talking to Mary & her daughter Rebecca (Becca).
We later discover, from the Liquor Store owner, that Baxter Springs used to have several bars, but the local churches had objected to them & they had all closed down. The only place to drink was the Vets Club & a bar right outside of town, plus his Liquor store.