Monday, June 09, 2008

The Bars in RR

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

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.

19 comments:

John said...

Didn't know some of the history of the Lode and Kate & Gary's before you explained it Lou. I have so many memories of your Dad wearing that top hat in the MotherLode. Makes me so homesick for RR...

Inquiries said...

Well growing up in AF does not sound as fun as growing up in RR!

Great stories Lou.

Buck said...

Ah. I remember the 2006 post, but I didn't make the connection. Thanks for fleshing that out, Lou.

And Gosh! Weren't you just the loveliest bride!

Bag Blog said...

Thanks, Buck. Isn't it funny how Toby and I have the same hair-do?

Mezzo SF said...

*LOVE* that your dad took ya'll out dancing! That is awesome.

Becky said...

This reminds me of some of the comments I got when I first got back from Italy. "You went to a bar?????" Well, yes. Bars over there aren't like bars here in the U.S. Sure, they served alcohol, but they also served cappucchino, espresso, pastries, and sandwiches.

My neighbors when I was little used to have a German Shepherd named Randiss. Where they got that name, I don't know. I loved that dog, until he bit someone and my mother forbade me to go over there any more. Never mind that the guy was trespassing. Never mind that he kicked the dog. My mother believed that once a dog figured out he could bite someone, they bite everyone from then on. Never mind that the dog never bit another person for the rest of his life....

Towanda said...

Lou:

I am loving your posts about Red River! Keep the stories coming!

We used to know a couple in RR; his name was John Tillery; I don't recall his wife's name. We stopped there to visit them sometime in the 1990s. They owned a lodge there.

RR is a gorgeous place; now that it isn't too far away maybe we can get up there soon. Do you still get out there, Lou?

Course of Perfection said...

Your matching hair-dos can't compete with your Dad's top hat. That's awesome.

Jo Castillo said...

Your stories of NM make me homesick. :( We always went to dances at the bars in Magdalena as well. Little ones slept on the floor on quilts. Girls danced with girls until we were teens and asked to dance by boys. My dad loved to polka. Magdalena had three bars at one time. Two had real dance floors/halls. Great fun, live bands, too. We never drank in the bars, just had fun. Imagine having fun with parents around. Ha.

Thanks for the memories.

Bag Blog said...

Towanda, Last I heard,John Tillery still lived in RR and ran the Deer Lodge. Rue, his wife, died a few years ago. He was mayor for a while and she was the 1st grade/kindergarten teacher.

Jo, Three bars in Magdelena sounds a lot like RR. My dad loved to polka too!

Becky, this dog was trained to kill and could not always tell the difference between friend and foe. My Uncle Jack (not really my uncle) slapped Mac on the back as he was leaving the bar. He got 17 stitches in his face - one giant bite. Then there was the girl who went to wake Mac up from a nap...

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

"Top coat, top hat, an i ain't worried cuz my wallets fat" excerpted from Sharp Dressed Man- ZZTop.

I also think my brother, who graduated in '77 had that exact same suit that Toby has on.

i was wondering...you all wanna take my kids to the bar? Wall Street has a good dance floor...and i sure can't teach'em to dance.

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

i've thought for some time that we should have a dance class...you know for those of us who can't and would like to. Maybe this fall we should all get together and go somewhere and you can have another art class.

GUYK said...

Dancing in bars..LOL..I learned to dance in a bar called "The Hole In The Wall" in County Line Oklahoma..sometimes there was more fighting than dancing and I learned to climb under a table in a hurry to didge flying beer bottles.

County Line was a rough and tough and tumble place back in the 1950s during the oil boom. Oklahoma was a dry state but there were more bootleggers than policeman..and sometimes they were one and the same..but all and all it was a fun time for a young man who was too dumb to be scared

Bag Blog said...

guyk, my first trip to County Line was for a funeral in the Knutson clan. I couldn't believe it was a real town - almost like Loco.

Piper, when we start building onto the house, we will have a deck dance.

Towanda said...

Oh my, Lou. Thanks for the information about the Tillerys. We were looking forward to going up to Red River to see them this summer. I am so sorry to hear about Rue's death. (John was a coworker of my husband's in a former life before he and Rue moved to RR to run the Deer Lodge.)

Course of Perfection said...

I was raised in Countyline.

I couldn't believe it was a real town And they had 2 stores & 2 bars at least from 1973 to 1986. These weren't family-friendly bars though. Yours was definitely a different environment.

Buck said...

Dang. All this talk about bars makes me "homesick" for England! The bars in RR sound exactly like your typical small town (village) English pub... family-friendly and more a social gathering place rather than the "meat market" image a lot of us have about bars today.

You were a lucky girl (and young woman), Lou. And yeah, it IS "interesting" about you and Toby's "do's." ;-)

GUYK said...

Yep but County Line was bigger than the community I was raised in..Fox..we only had one store but we did have three churches..no bars and only one bootlegger who did a lot of business with the local Baptists on Saturday mornings. I know because I used to help him out with deliveries.

Course of Perfection said...

Guyk: You were raised too close not to know some of my family. On my Mom's side, there are the Tivis' & the Nortons. You also most likely know the Sullivans & my Uncle Nub.

(Sorry, Lou, not meaning to hijack your post.)