Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Role Model

The last year that I was in college, I got a job tending bar in one of the local poolhall/bars; a place called Cadillac's.  Now, Cadillac's was not a "Family Fun Zone" type of poolhall.   It was, basically, a biker bar with 6 regulation-sized pool tables in it.

Most of the regulars were the hard-drinking sorts that you would expect to find in such a joint.  There were the old coots who showed up at 8:00 A.M. and bought their quarts of Pabst to nurse all day as they played chess, and there were the bikers and the college kids.  The occasional pool shark would float through and fleece a few of the locals, before moving on, too.

But, there was one guy, who showed up at least 3 times a week, at about 7:00 P.M., who stood out from the crowd.  He brought his dog with him, for one thing.  The dog, named Alex, was a celebrity in the bar.  He was a nice old Border Collie who knew how to play the crowd.  He would come in, walk around the room, shaking hands with anyone who offered to, and then he would curl up by the door and keep his eye on the crowd.

But what stood out to me, more than Alex, was that his owner rode to the bar on a different sort of bike than the greasers on their Harleys.  He had an old Raleigh Sports 3-speed, which he pulled inside and parked near the door, where Alex stood guard until time to go home.

In all the time I spent at Cadillac's, I never saw anyone else ride a bicycle in.  A few guys rode their Harley's through, on occasion, and nobody blinked an eye. 

But everyone noticed the guy on the push-bike.

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As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.