Duff McKagan’s column runs every Thursday on Reverb. Follow him on Twitter

Duff McKagan’s column runs every Thursday on Reverb. Follow him on Twitter @Duff64.I woke up on the bus last Friday morning after a great night of well-deserved sleep. The previous night in Wantaugh, Long Island marked the end of an eight-in-a-row run that took Loaded from Detroit and weaved us through to the Northeast. Often, it’s the THINGS and PEOPLE I see on the road that make for much more interesting stories than the common backstage view.As I stumbled out of the bus, I found myself in the parking lot of a quaint bayside hotel called the Freeport Inn and Boatel. Sound familiar? This is the one-and-the-same place where Joey Buttafuoco and his “Long Island Lolita” Amy Fisher had their much-publicized daytime trysts back in the early ’90s. But it wasn’t this experience alone that made that day interesting for me.Coming around the back end of the bus was a man who, obvious to me, had something to do with the hotel. He introduced himself as the general manager and commenced to show me to the cafe to get some coffee. Joseph Creamer, 29, spoke with rapid-fire excitement about what he was going to do with this hotel and the things he hoped to do for the community to help bring it back around from this latest recession. He also told me of his new position as vice president of the Freeport Chamber of Commerce, and the problems he was having with the old-guard mayor and his ilk.Right on the bay in Freeport, there sits an ugly and dilapidated two-story building used only once a month by the Fire Department for exercises. Around this building, and in fact in the whole waterfront area, the shoreline seems dominated by industrial storage units and an old electrical plant. Basically, nothing like the waterfront settings we enjoy around Seattle in places like Lake Washington, West Seattle, Magnolia, etc. I’m sure most city planners would salivate at the chance to redo Freeport’s waterfront into an attraction rather than an eyesore. Joseph Creamer has just this sort of thing in mind, as he is presently applying for alcohol permits for the Freeport Inn and Boatel. He sees a hip, trendy, and ultimately upscale restaurant row in his town’s future, creating a revenue stream for the city through higher property taxes and alcohol licenses and creating service and marina jobs. He wants to turn the Fire Department building into a big catering hall, and in turn rent a space in neighboring Hempstead for the F.F.D. Both towns would win.Freeport, and Long Island as a whole, has seen some of the worst unemployment rate increases in the country. Forward thinking and job creation are the exact thing this area needs, with people like Joe Creamer to lead us up and out of this recession. Young people who see a light at the end of the tunnel instead of cronies to appease.I’ve spoken here before of the book The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes. This book not only tells a thorough economic tale of the Depression, but also highlights the missteps and triumphs that got us out of that financial woe. The amazing thing to me about this book is the uncanny parallels that we now encounter. There’s a great quote from 1929, just prior to the first stock-market crash, by Nelson Rockefeller: “I knew that the market was over-inflated and run by amateurs when the man shining my shoes one day gave me a stock recommendation. I went back to the office and sold every holding that I owned.” Didn’t we all in fact get a little too cocky with our perceived stock-market prowess and using our houses as personal ATMs? Guys like Jim Cramer and his Mad Money are indeed much of the problem and very little of the solution.As we wrap up this U.S. tour, I have been honored and enriched to play little places like Allentown, Pa. and Huntington, W.Va.. In towns like these, they have long gotten used to the short end of the stick, so pulling themselves out of muddy and dark places like these economic times is almost commonplace. These will be the towns that have the fastest recovery, in my opinion, because they did not get so caught up in economic hoopla in the first place. They have long since learned the lesson of humility, and have a resultant forthrightness and strength.