Black Water Blues Bar and Grill: The Saga of Mad Joe & Pretty Penny There’s a nice little hide-a-way bar in Baldwin County, Alabama. It’s set back there on the Rhodes Island Swamp. It’s kinda hard to find. You can get to it if you take the main road. But you got to be real careful when you turn off. Sometimes the bridge wash out. Then you got to take the footpath. Watch out for the gators, though. They got cotton mouths, too. You can take the stream, if you know the way. Or you can come bayside. Just tie your boat up at the pier and walk on in. Come on down! The beer is cold! We got some shinny! And barbeque and fresh fish and seafood! Mad Joe gon’ be sangin’ the blues! An’ we gots some real pretty gals… An’ gamblin’ in the back room! Brang plenty of money an’ leave all that foolishness where you came from. We gon’ have a real good time! See ya’ll directly at the Black Water Blues Bar and Grill! JOSEPH EUSTACE THEODORE: Some folks called him Mad Joe. But, not out loud. You see, the Mad part was just kind of understood. Rather than a reference to his condition of mind, mad referred to his state of mind. Joe was a quietly angry man. Joe wasn’t much in stature. He was the runt little brother of three big, mean, older brothers. But what he lacked in stature, he made up for in imagination. His brothers say he was the most imaginative killer in three counties. They didn’t mess with Lil Joe anymore. Joe was five feet eleven inches of onyx Adonis; semi-sweet, hard, dark and velvet smooth. PENNY RHODES had been a beautiful dish water blonde debutant in her youth. The years had only served to ripen her vine; she was still a looker. Her medium wealthy family had old plantation roots. One of her great-great-granddaddies was a celebrated soldier back in the war. That was pretty much all that was left of the good family name. The death of her daddy, and step mama’s apparent suicide left Penny with a three cars: a classic Corvette, a used Deuce and a Quarter and a brand new Eldorado, Cadillac, a few meager land holdings, a rundown honky-tonk bar in the swamp, and a pile of debt.