This is George. He was the Friday night bartender at the old man’s bar. I worked straight days, Monday through Friday but when they had a band on Friday nights, I’d come in and help him. He was 80 something as I recall so clear the over-50 rule.
He had a great disposition as you can see by the picture but it most remembered for his habit of standing next to me leaned on the back bar, 15 minutes before close. We’d both be surveying the crowd, ready to yell, LAST CALL and without fail he’d say, “Well, Elsa, it’s downhill now.”
I have said that to people ever since…
This is Rita,. I called her “Lovely Rita” after the meter maid and she was lovely, just look at her.
This is not to say she would not beat your ass as some college girl with Bo Derek hair found out one time when she cut Rita off in traffic on her way to the bar and then did the unthinkable – flipped her off!
Rita got out of her car, grabbed a handful of the girls braids, twisting them in her hand and pulling the girl’s head through the driver’s side window, holding her tight while she gave her a lecture about respecting her elders. I would call it an early episode of road rage except for Rita was never raging. Rita was always cool and had the best lines of all time.
See that beer in front of her? It was a “nervous and jerky beer”, which is what Rita always ordered when she came in. “Hey, Els! I’ve saved all my pennies, how about you pour me a nervous and jerky beer?”
She had another line I liked, when she was talking about someone like the aforementioned college broad. “I showed her how the monkey’s comb their hair, all right!”
I didn’t really understand, Rita although she seemed to understand me and she made me laugh my ass off. She claimed to have been screwing the body builder, Charles Atlas (or his equivalent, I don’t remember but I think it was Atlas) in a hotel room in Vegas. She said he was violent with her or thought he was going to be but she stood on the bed and beat him over the head with a suitcase.
One day she came in and gave me a gift. It was a mother or pearl table lighter. She said I should have the lighter because it was beautiful and so was I. I was pretty flabbergasted and still have the lighter of course…
To be continued