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Jer's Homeless Tour

The High Country Saloon

August 30th, 2004
Feeling at home in the mountains

It is a little more than fifteen miles from here to the High Country Saloon. I went, and I wrote. The value of my writing has yet to be determined. But today was reinforced the most important way to measure a bar.

It’s all about the regulars.

It was quiet when I first got there; no one was at the bar and the only occupied table held a group of yuppie bikers. The tables and chairs were dark-stained wood, the bar also. The floor was littered with peanut shells. There were about ten taps with a reasonably wide selection of beers. I settled into a chair and started to write. My beer arrived, the bikers left, and I ordered a green chile cheeseburger. It was deeeeelicious.

Before long the regulars began to arrive. Eventually there was quite a crowd at the table abandoned by the yuppie bikers. One chair remained empty, however, even as the table became very crowded. It was the King’s chair. No one knew when of even if the king was coming in, but his chair was waiting for him. It’s a good thing that I hadn’t selected that table for my writing; it would have thrown the whole bar out of alignment.

After I had finished writing, I went over and sat at the bar for one more beer. I was probably the only non-fixture among those lined up across from Gail, our bartender. The guy next to me got up and said, “Keep my tab open. I’ll be back later. You can have my fries.” There is a generally recognized definition of regular there—when Gail eats off your plate without asking first that means you’re a regular.

Your typical regular or fixture is a bar’s best marketing machine. The people I talked to really sold the bar; I’ll be going back.

If you hated this episode, you surely won’t like:

  1. Drink What Now?
  2. Oh, Yeah, that NaNoWriMo Thing
  3. Balaton

12 Responses to “The High Country Saloon”

  1. Vote -1 Vote +1
    Jesse
    says:

    Where is this saloon? Sounds really cool. I request pictures. por favor.

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1
    Jerry
    says:

    I think I’m going to declare today a “photo day”. Drive around a bit, get some pics, let the story percolate on the back shelf.

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1
    pL
    says:

    Puttin the writer’s getaway to good use, we see.

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1
    Jerry
    says:

    Ended up writin’ today rather than shootin’. After I stopped writin’ the solution for the end came home. Tomorry will be another writin’ day.

    The scary thing is, at the end of the day tomorrow I may have fixed the last big problem. That will make the smaller problems bigger, but the order of magnitude of problems will be stepped down a notch. At some point problem size will drop below the “done line”.

    How will I know when that happens?

  5. Vote -1 Vote +1
    Carol Anne
    says:

    As folks at Los Alamos used to say, “Close enough for government work.”

  6. Vote -1 Vote +1
    pL
    says:

    When you start putting grenadine in your rum, and the Boys ride bigwheels all over the place.

  7. Vote -1 Vote +1
    MSA
    says:

    I can’t really recognize any good reason to put anything into the rum, provided its good rum. Show me the big wheel.

    I feel a little love for any place tha has peanut shells on the floor.

  8. Vote -1 Vote +1
    Jerry
    says:

    Big Wheel! Big Wheel! Wahoooooooo!

    Ow.

  9. Vote -1 Vote +1
    Carol Anne
    says:

    Speaking of the boys, we gotta get a little eyepatch for Lefty to wear for National Talk Like a Pirate Day.

    As regards peanut shells, I got a big bag of peanuts today. I was in a hurry, but I did take time to see that they were from a company based in El Paso, so I figured they were from New Mexico or at worst West Texas. When I came to scrutinize the label, the fine print said these are Virginia peanuts! What the heck is an El Paso company doing processing Virginia peanuts? Oh, well, we can eat those and make room for the excellent New Mexico peanuts that will be coming up through Lee’s connections soon.

  10. Vote -1 Vote +1
    pL
    says:

    IF things go as planned, I’ll have the hotelsMobile with me. I can fit a whole lotta peanuts in that. What sort of rates people paying these days for peanuts?

  11. Vote -1 Vote +1
    Carol Anne
    says:

    Peanuts. Sometimes chicken-feed.

  12. Vote -1 Vote +1
    Carol Anne
    says:

    Got skunked on peanuts. Was at Costco, saw a 5-pound bag of peanuts, was in a hurry but did take the time to note that the packing company was in El Paso, so I figured these were New Mexico or West Texas peanuts.

    Nope. Turns out these are Virginia peanuts. These are the ones that are best used as a puree to make peanut butter; they just plain have no flavor and are therefore utterly unsuitable as snacking peanuts.

    Now that Lee’s in Clovis, I’ll plan on making a peanut run sometime soon and get some of the good nuts.

    Meanwhile, I wonder if I can make a peace offering to the squirrels with the bad nuts. Or would I run the risk of raising their wrath?

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