Does anyone remember the sleazy rumdum bars on the 200 block of Congress?
Oh, the sleazy rumdum bars! They would open at 7am, which was perfect for a young ne’er-do-well heading home after a long night of misadventure. They were unheated in the winter and barely air-conditioned in the summer. They were full of story-telling people down on their luck with no place else to drink.
A few things that happened there:
- We got kicked out of the Dew Drop Inn after we loaded up the jukebox with all the quarters we had and played nothing but “Kung-Fu Fighting.”
- We got kicked out of the Dew Drop Inn a couple of months later when we loaded up the jukebox with all the quarters we had and played nothing but “Roxanne.”
- The Veteran’s Day Parade in 1979, just after the Iranian Hostage Crisis began, and the barmaid from the Stop Inn (we just called it BEER because of the sign on the front) was crying, “I just want to go off with the cowboys! I just want to go off with the cowboys!” (The guys on horseback weren’t cowboys but mounted soldiers from Fort Hood).
- That barmaid from the Stop Inn/BEER—she was from England. How did she get to the US? And how did she get to BEER?
- Playing pool at the Tradewinds and I was aiming at the 8-ball, and a fight broke out between two women. A serious boom bang brawl, and the women were grappling and cursing and gouging and rolled across the pool table, and I paused my shot until they rolled off the table to the floor and out of the way—and then I made my shot, unperturbed.
- An old guy at the Tradewinds (old-seeming then but probably younger than I am now) who knew where the gold was. The gold—in the Sierras east of sacramento somewhere. He knew where is was, and thought we should pool our resources and go pan it out of the streams. Putting together the plan took a long time and a lot of beer. “We’ll need a dog,” the guy said. (We ended up not pooling our resources, not getting a dog, not going to the Sierras, and the gold is still there).
- My birthday, 1980, when my roommate woke me up to go to the bars with the immortal line, "Lowell, you have to transcend the bullshit!"
As always, I relate these stories for your edification, not your emulation….
(Photo from the Austin History Center).