the sound: Tommy James and the Shondells – Crystal Blue Persuasion, The Young Rascals – Groovin, Peter, Paul & Mary – Leaving on a Jet Plane, Jonathan Edwards – Sunshine, Dusty Springfield – How Can I Be Sure, Todd Rundgren – Hello It’s Me, Bee Gees – I Started A Joke
The following day I was moved back to the farmhouse and that afternoon Robert showed up with a brand new Harley. I’d been devastated to see the mess around the old gabled garage but Rosie had taken it in stride stating that 2 of her other brothers were carpenters and that they’d have that mess cleaned up and replaced again in no time.
I smiled at the word again, and took it in stride.
The next day or two were rather quiet for me, I slept and ate and watched movies on via a new thing called a beta player. This house sure came with a lot of perks.
The morning of the 3rd day Robert announced that visitors were coming. I had a brief moment of panic before he continued to say that these were friends of his from Europe and that he’d decided to show them a good time. He wondered if it was possible for me to assist his sister arranging the food as he’d decided on a pig roast.
In no time I found myself immersed in the kitchen, the very kitchen that previously had held the ‘capping’ party. I was surrounded by women and for the first time in a long time found myself relaxing into the work. We made lists of the food we’d make tomorrow and then more lists of the food we’d have to buy to make the food we were making tomorrow. We laughed and talked and acted like we didn’t have a care in the world…for all I knew we were planning for a regular old garden party.
All the while Rosie baked bread – both ovens going full steam.
Late that afternoon the guests arrived, 11 men 2 women, their names lost to me in the flurry of introductions. We sat around in the yard for a while and as dusk approached Robert suggested that we “all go to the Silver Dollar Saloon for a couple of cold one’s while he and Snot butchered the pig and prepared it for the pit that it would reside in until cooking fully for the next day.”
A great gang of us left on bikes, and arrived at the Silver Dollar. I was surprised to see just how aptly named it was. The old bar had swinging shutter doors and the bar itself was one long piece of wood worn shiny by years and years of hand rubbing.
There were things hanging overhead, I later learned were the brassieres of lady’s that had stopped by for drinks over the years. Every where I looked there were signed dollar bills tacked to the walls and ceiling, signed by visitors to the bar since it’s inception.
The bar itself contained a myriad of jars of oddities. There were gallon jars of pickled eggs, and pickled sausage, there were bowls of peanuts and chips, licorice and peppermints and there were even a couple of gallon jars of pickled pig’s feet, and pickled pig’s tails.
While I found them fascinating to look at – there wasn’t much chance I was ever going to try one…even when dared.
We settled in as a large group to have some fun and we laughed and drank and shot pool and just had a grand old time. I really felt like I was starting to know these people and I found myself relaxing and loosening up. It was probably the familiar feel of being in a bar that was comforting to me…reminiscent of home even.
As the sun went down I remember thinking that Robert and Snot should be along soon.
No sooner did the thought cross my mind than the swinging saloon doors burst open and Robert and Snot appeared. By some freak of nature there seemed to be almost no noise in the bar so the collective sucking in of air as everyone spotted them caused those not looking to look up.