Saturday, October 6, 2007

Columbus Day

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.


ol' bayrat said...

Back in the 60’s POC’s Hurricane Junction had a bar hopping bar keep, his weapon of choice was a piece of black plastic pipe (the flexible kind) about 18” long. I witnessed a fight there one night between two shrimpers. One guy had the other down an out and was astraddle him finishing him off. The bar keep vaulted over the bar with his trusty hose and with a hearty thunk, thunk, thunk took the fight outta the guy. Grabbing the trouble maker by the rear of his shirt collar and belt the bar keep hustled him toward the front door, but the guy grabbed onto the cigarette machine and pulled it over. The bar keep threw the guy into a booth seat by door and commenced to thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk away at the guy again. The guy was pretty tame when the bar keep drug him outta the booth to the door, threw him down the long stairway to the shell parking lot below and locked the door behind him. The bar keep had barely made it back to the bar when the drunk began kicking and beating on the door. Spinning on his heels the bar keep headed back; slowly slappin’ the palm of his left hand with the pipe, I guess some fella’s just don’t understand . . . ya’thunk?

The Loon said...

I expect a barkeep would be in trouble these days for enforcing order like that. Those were more interesting times.