Saturday, October 6, 2007
About 40 years ago, I saw a guy punch another in the jaw in a discussion about the true discoverer of America. It was in Fred's joint in Juarez, the smaller bar in front, not the Rainbow. As I recall, the puncher was espousing the Vikings. The punchee was half Italian and half Swedish, so could have gone either way on the argument, but was holding out for the conventional claim for Columbus. So the other guy slugged him. Things like that would happen from time to time in Fred's joint. The bartender in the Rainbow was a short, chunky green-eyed guy named Julio. When trouble broke out, Julio could vault the bar, which was about chest high on him, with a heavy pair of ice tongs in his non-vaulting hand. Besides using them as a tool of negotiation, he used the tongs to move the big blocks of ice down the skids behind the bar. It tended to restore peace quickly. Julio got papers and moved to San Antonio, where I heard he had become a house painter. I hope he's had a good life ... he was a nice guy and nimble for a fat boy.