My high school girlfriend of three years lived in China Grove. That was 1980, seven years I believe after the song debuted. And not that you care or need to know, but I lost my virginity there, so that song has special meaning to me. Don't know where your info came from in what the Chronicle wrote, but I always heard the story was that the Doobie Brothers were driving into San Antonio on Highway 87, and their bus broke down. They were able to roll into Hero's Ice & Feed (the only thing in China Grove back then) where they called for a tow, and while waiting wrote the song.