If you watched the video link in my last post, Ray Wylie Hubbard mentioned two bars in RR. In the comments, Buck asked which bar I hung out in. Well, the bars in RR played an important role in my growing up years in RR. I thought I would re-post a story about dancing at the bar in RR to refresh your memories and help explain how it all got started:
Dancing Memories – from Jan 2006
Dancing Memories – from Jan 2006
It was pretty normal for parents to take their kids into the bars in RR for dancing and fun. The age limit was actually 21, but if you were with parents, no one cared. It was just pretty family friendly. On one occasion Dad took me and about four of my friends to the Bull (back then it was called Kate and Gary’s). We were all about 15 years old and there was no one to dance with near our age. Dad then went out on the street and started getting young men to come in and dance with us. He stopped several jeep drivers whom he knew since they worked in RR. He flagged down another jeep with three young men – one of whom he knew and the other two were from Philmont Scout Ranch. In all, he brought in about ten plus young men and told them all that if anyone asked, there name was "Barker". Technically, anyone under 21 had to be with a parent – not just any adult -so Dad was to be their "dad" too. The bar was full of young people under 21dancing and having a great time. At one point, I turned to the guy sitting next to me and asked him his name. In all innocence he looked at me and said, "Brian Barker", and in all innocence I replied, "Hey, that is my name too." Brian was studying to be a preacher at Hardin Simmons and confessed that he had "never been in a place like this!" That night actually started a tradition of going dancing with Dad. Dad often said that he raised his own dance partner. My friends were all impressed with my dad who would take us all "out on the town." If Dad could not take us dancing, other parents would take us. The Gills, the Allens, the Sampsons or some reliable adults would all take turns taking us kids to the bar and being everyone’s "parents" in order to get us in. It was really fun when all the parents showed up and their kids making it a big party.
Some people might frown on "taking your children dancing at a bar," but like I said, there was something different about life in RR. We were family, and it was a family town. Eventually, though, someone ruined a good thing. Someone was not reliable or someone did not take care of the young people or minors took advantage and were at the bar without "a parent." I don’t really know if it was something specific, but the Liquor Control Board, which polices the rules and regulations in NM, cracked down on letting minors in the bar. After that, you had to be with your real parents – not just any parents. It became more difficult for us to go dancing, and it became a challenge for us kids to get into the bars (with or without parents). Liquor licenses and laws were pretty crazy in NM. There could only be so many liquor licenses in a certain mileage. I don’t know the specific laws, but the LCB probably had more power than any other state agency. RR did have two bars in town in the early years. There was also a bar up Bitter Creek Canyon at the Lazy H. For a few years there was a bar called the Mining Co, which might be what RWH called the "hippie/musician" bar. It is now a package liquor store only. There are now several liquor licenses in RR, but the original two bars are still the only ones that have dancing.
One of the original bars was called Tony’s. It had been a gambling establishment as well as dance hall and bar in the 40’s and 50’s. Tony Sr. and his wife Tillie were quite the characters in their day. My dad has a story about Tony Sr. asking Dad and his friends to be in on a gambling scam – that would have been about 1953. Tony Sr. died leaving the bar to Tony Jr. Tony Jr. ran it for years and sold it to the Dickerson’s who renamed it the D-Bar-D. In about 1975, a group of three young men from Albuquerque bought the Silver Spruce Lodge and D-Bar-D. They revamped both places and renamed them The Lodge and The Mother Lode. Two of the young men were married with families – one was single. I dated the single young man making it much easier to get into the bar when I was underage.
In 1977 Toby and I were married and had our reception at the Mother Lode. Here is a picture of Mom and Dad. Here is one of the Bill and Annette with Martha at the reception. One of Mom and Dad walking up to the reception – we walked from the wedding at the Community House to the Mother Lode – you can see Toby and I in the back ground petting the Gill’s dog, Pokey.
The other bar was called Mac’s. As I remember Mac, he was a big rough guy, and he had a killer German Shepherd named Fosdeck (sp?). That dog was his bouncer and security guard. Unfortunately, the dog bit several innocent people maiming them for life, because he went for their faces. Mac sold the bar and it was called the "Doggone Saloon" for a while. Kate and Gary bought the bar about the same time the other bar was being revamped, and of course called their bar "Kate and Gary’s." I have great memories about both places and more stories to tell.