My first bar memory? A hunting lodge, in the Poconos. I was maybe nine years old, sitting at the bar, surrounded by the psycho stepfather and a few of his cronies. Everyone in the place was burning a cigarette, including the lady behind the bar. All these hunters are wearing hats, black and red…eh…hunter hats. Indoors! (some stuff, just won’t die) The lady behind the bar, she had something on her head, but it wasn’t a hat. She was really nice to me. “You want another soda, sweetie?” Yeah…nice lady. These hunters are all lined up, elbow to elbow on the bar, screaming and swearing at each other. I knew they weren’t mad because they were all laughing. Man, that place was loud. All of sudden, this nice lady turns to these hunters and shouts…
Frank?…Frank!!! This nice, tiny lady, with that world class Beehive, barks, “If I gotta hear you tell that bullshit story again, you’re buying another drink!” These grown men, blue collar to the core, fall silent.
“Okay “, Frank says, “we’ll take another round of ponies, and gimme another Old Fashioned! Hey kid…ya want an old fashioned?”I guess I knew, somehow, it was whiskey.