bar

Sheriff McCoy

 

old sheriff

 

There can be only one man in this town. You need to leave immediately or else. Phoenix 1865, Population 800. This town is now becoming a city, booming with people wanting to live and prosper, a new beginning. Gambling halls have been popping up all over the main street and work is abundant. With gambling comes crime in the newly found city. There is now a group of people controlling every facet of this community. I sit here writing and now can hear gunshots going off in the alley a block away. These men will take everything, including your life if  business owners do not pay a substantial fee for protection of their establishments. The Sheriff in town, Richard McCoy is in the street confronting another man as I can see out through the windows from my room overlooking main street. The other man, a hoodlum of sort in this town, Don Cloak, proprietor of Gully’s the local pub in downtown on 1st street near McDowell and Camelback streets. This man the Sheriff is confronting has been a real problem around here. He thinks he is the governor of the community which he is not. The only man who controls everything around here is Sheriff McCoy. I can now here the men hollering at each other, they both have their pistols out. A shot rings out, both men have fallen to the ground. From the deck of Laurie’s clothing store I can see other men dress in black. I believe these men shot at the two men in the street. I watched the other men disappear around the corner of the building and one man remains, peering out, scanning the area when all of a sudden his eyes are watching me within the upstairs window. I pull myself away, hoping that he didn’t see me.

Some of the locals go out into the street to check on the condition of Sheriff McCoy and the other man. McCoy is still breathing, only a shot in the flank but he will survive. Don Cloak is lifeless. The town is in an uproar as to how the men were shot. Could the Sheriff of shot Don Cloak? It is late at night and there is a knock on my door. I am frightened as to whom may be checking my whereabouts. I am new to this community so I have no friends that would be checking me. Scared to say the least, I back away from the door, I’m shaking ,shivers up and down my spine. Who goes there? No answer. The door now starts to rattle, I’m scared, so scared. The door is smashed in, two men with guns are pointing them at me. I am now tied up to a chair in the middle of the room, men are interrogating me on what I witnessed. One man slapped me hard on the side of my head, I’m crying, real blood is oozing down my face. I didn’t see anything, I kept telling the men. Somehow this has to be a dream, this cannot be happening. A shot rang out , many shots. The two men drop to the ground, blood is pooling around their bodies. I am still shaking. A silhouette of a man is standing at the doorway, gun barrel is still smoking. I tried to scream but nothing comes out, I am too frightened. Are you ok? The man asked me. Who is this man standing at the doorway? Who are you?  I young lady am Sheriff McCoy. I was let loose of the bindings the two men had me in. I explained to the Sheriff what I had witnessed. Lady, justice will be served in this town, I will make sure of it.

The days went on and crime didn’t stop. The town now with a population of over 100 thousand residents had grown so much. I am now an old lady sitting in a long term care center for the elderly. I still reminisce about the first days of Phoenix and the day I almost died. People in my life have come and gone but memories are forever.

D.H.Bilodeau 2016

Graham Central Station-Phoenix AZ- 1980

 

station

 

I was living in Phoenix, Arizona in 1980 and going to a tech school for electronics and was 19 years old. My twin brother had called me. He asked me about moving down there from Lake Tahoe, Nevada. I enrolled into a tech school and it was the same school he was going to at the time. Being a wild a crazy kid and looking for adventure and girls, we found a bar to release some wildnest in us. We talked with some other students about the hotspot’s in the city. If your gay then go down 7th Ave, if not, there is a bar called Grand Central Station that is enormous. My brother and I decided that enormous would enhance our choices of maybe finding a girl for the night, maybe two if we were lucky. I will give you my vision the first night I went to this bar. Remind you that this bar was the second largest bar at the time in the States, second to Micky Gilly’s bar in Texas I believe. It was a mall at one time converted into a bar. We proceeded through the front doors and I was amazed. On both sides were store shops. One selling cowboy hats, another selling boots, a barber shop for men, beauty salon for the ladies. We walked further and to my right I saw a sign for the bathroom. I walked inside and what I saw there was astonishing. There was a girl shinning cowboy boots. She was an attractive looking business woman. I bet she did quite well doing this job. We walked further into the establishment and came upon the first section of this bar. This room is where live bands played country music. I was born in Maine and country music wasn’t into our vocabulary. If you walked past this room and go through another doorway it opened up into a great room. Wholly Smokes! This room was so large that it had twenty female bartenders. The bar was shaped like a horseshoe and went around a hardwood floor. There was people and woman from wall to wall.

This bar, Grand Central Station had become our bar of choice. I can tell you from experience that this was where most of the college kids were hanging during the time. I don’t know how I even survived school back then. Monday’s were for roller skating at the bar. It was really weird because people would skate in a circle and others would dance in the middle with no skates. We had so much fun at this bar and I met a lot of woman that I couldn’t tell you their name’s today. It was the times, fun in the sun. Tuesday’s were a good time too. If you had a college id card you would get in free. You could drink keg beer free from six to nine at night. The boys and I would also find the dentist chair in the corner where they mix drinks in your mouth with your head cocked back. Two dollars and fifty cent’s and I would do this twice. You know I really forget about school on those days.party

There was another bar that we would hit on Wednesday’s. Mr Lucky’s- This establishment was wild too. It had three floor’s and each floor had live bands. Country on one floor, the next was rock and roll, and the other at the time was punk rock. Phew, that place was Crazzzzzzzy!

Thursday’s were another adventure because we would go to the PHONE COMPANY. This establishment had telephone’s at each table with a numbered sign at each table. If you saw someone you were attractive too you would make a phone call. It was great that I got a call once from Madonna, not the singer but a Mexican beauty. You know the Latino woman were very attractive. This place was really a hoot and another journey into the week of fun.

Friday was a day of study, usually a friend would come over and we would sit by the swimming pool and study and drink Blatz beer all afternoon. Saturday was a day for recreation and a trip to the Salt River was what it was all about. You would rent an inner tube at a local gas station and then go to a rental place to get a ride to the top of the river. Millions of people would float down the Salt/Verde river and we would drink beer all the way down. Man, that was a great time. Fun in the Sun.horse bar

Sunday was usually a day of rest and healing the body. I really loved the time spent in Arizona and was saddened by the departure from that State. I really had become accustomed to the climate and people. I think some day I’m going to retire out there, Hopefully my wife will love to join me. I can see the two of us wearing cowboy boots and hats. We will have leather skin and a drink in our hands selling turquoise  jewelry in some flea market. Life has been a journey but a great journey with a lot of flips and flops but in the later years I’m hoping for a continuation of love of the land and country . Have a great day everyone. I’m going off dreaming somewhere.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014