A Song That Sparks a Memory.

I am driving in the car and when a certain song comes on I am always taking back in time. I am sure I am not the only one that does this. There are three particular songs that brings me back to a time when my mother owned a bar. They are Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You”. Following by Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark”. And finally “Footloose” theme song. Among others.

Everytime I hear “Dancing in the Dark” I think about playing arcade games. My mother had 2 plus a pinball machine. There was usually Donkey Kong and Pac Man. My favorite was Pac Man but I played both. Always for “free”. I either got quarters from the cash register or they opened the coin compartment. I always had to stand on a stool to reach the buttons.

I took so many quarters that my mother always joked and said that I was going to run the bar dry. đŸ™‚

We lived above the bar. It was a small apartment. I remember the kitchen being yellow. I recall, my sister and I were out with my grandfather and we came home to my mother sitting at the kitchen table, smoking a cigarette. Sitting in the dark. Then we heard the flapping of wings sound. There was a bat. She had the window open so it could fly out and it eventually did. I was impressed that she just sat there, patiently.

Another time, my sister was “playing pool”. And Frank joked around with her. They placed bets on who would win. It was a $1 bet. My sister lost and ended up paying. She handed him a $1 food stamp. đŸ™‚

I would always go into the bar and sit at the counter (when I wasn’t playing video game) and do my homework. One day I went there though because mom was behind the bar. I have a thick, green, pus filled thumb. She suggested that I soak it in warm salt water. And I did. I sat there and whenever someone sat next to me, I was excited to show them my ill thumb. It probably occurred because I always bit my fingernails (still do).

We ended up losing the bar. My mother always gave away the beer to “friend’s”. The last day there was scary though. We were quietly in the bar, packing things up. She must have known they were coming eventually. All of a sudden we hear knocking. My mother tells me “be very quiet and go to the cellar.” And we did just that. I remember crouching. I remember her looking out the windows. Eventually whoever was knocking left. When we left the premise, I saw a large sign on the door. At this time, I didn’t know what it was. Looking back, of course I knew what it was.

Overall, it was a good experience. Granted probably not a place you’d want a child but in the mid 1980s; it wasn’t uncommon.


At the beginning of the year, I’m volunteering on a medical mission trip. Click this link >HERE< if you wish to donate any money. It’s completely volunteer and will cost me at least $3600 (not including the money that I will not be earning for those two months). Any amount is appreciated.


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