Sunday, February 11, 2007

Where's December's Happy Crew, With German Bikes and Sidecars Too?

Here is a picture that is not at the Mill, but at the Picador, instead.

I went to The Mill tonight to help my friend C. celebrate her 40th birthday. The restaurant/bar was full of people I've known and worked with from the mid-eighties. Some of those folks, including the old owner, had been there back in the sixties and seventies. They are a deliciously odd crew who all still smoke and drink whiskey and work jobs, whether they be lawyers or social workers, or juvenile probational officers, where they can help people and/or be creative. They are awesome.

I was lucky to have started working at the Mill the day after I turned nineteen. Not just because I got a free meal and unlimited free beer any shift I worked, but because I felt very, very angry and alienated and the crowd there was a perfect combination for me. Even in the eighties, there were still a lot of employees and patrons who were all bluegrass, hippies who taught me how to mellow the fuck out. There were also many young, angry, kids just like me who helped me to channel my anger into taking drugs and going to shows. (an essential part of burning-out so you can start fresh again) It's the first, and maybe the last time I have met so many weird people all at once.

Now, even after all these many years, I still have to pay my daughters distraction money, so they can go off and play pinball while I have extremely intimate (read crude) conversations with my old cohorts. I'm so glad that I didn't work at an office when I was that age, or I never would have found so many freaks with which to create such a happily dysfunctional family.


Margaret said...

don't we love our friends that we have to pay kids to stay away from!

Les Quinn said...

I heard a HiPPY say mellow the fuck out man
It must be something they say
Seems funny to me that light years apart hippy's would say the same thing.
Must be a genetic imprint.
Lucky for me I listened too

booda baby said...

seriously, Blogger's just pissing me off today. And yesterday.

Fun, thinking you might have been our waitress!

It's a great point you make about the people we're surrounded by at a tender age. Iowa's got a lot of great adults, though, don't you think, who don't flinch at being there for kids.

I got titans-of-industry offspring, Olympian athletes and dazzling sorority girls. That left me with the choice of being alienated or being alienated but pretending not to be. There was probably another choice, but I was too stoned to remember.

Best thing that ever happened was a foot injury that ruined my little running gig and got me out of that club of invented privilege.

Booda Baby who can't make this bullshit blogger work.

Churlita said...


I do love those friends more than anything.

Les Quinn,

Telling someone to "mellow the fuck out", doesn't seem very mellow does it?

Booda Baby,

I remember being too stoned to know if I was feeling alienated or not. I think I prefer not to self-medicate and face my problems head-on now. I suppose that's another great thing about being old. last night some of my women friends and I were sitting around talking about all the wonderful things about being old. It was great.

egan said...

I totally remember begging for quarters from my parents when they took us to the bowling alley with them.

fringes said...

I loved this story. Your blog is one of my favorite stops for good stories. Going to get a hershey bar from the vending machine now. Carry on...

Churlita said...


I remember that about being a kid too. I always thought it was so cool to play pinball at whatever restaurant/bar we were at.


Thanks. I tried to comment on your blog today, but Blogger wouldn't let me. I'll try later when I get home from work. Mmmmm, vendo land.

Remiman said...

Goodtimes with good friends from the good ol' days when we were carefree. Ypu....great memories.

Churlita said...


They are great memories. It's also nice to get together after not seeing each for a while, and pick up where we left off.