Saturday, February 25, 2006

You Gotta Ring Them Bells

After we moved to Point Arena in 1949, we would occasionally drive to Booneville, and Pop would get thirsty about the time we got to Pardini’s Restaurant and Bar in Philo. Back in those days, children could accompany their parents in the bar area, and my brother Ron and I always enjoyed the time we spent in bars with our folks. We would get a soda pop, sometimes grenadine with 7-Up and a cherry. We both got really good at bumper pool, and shuffle board, and liars' dice. Speaking for myself, I also easily memorized the lyrics to every popular and Country and Western song of the late Forties and early Fifties, and the lyrics haunt my mind to this very day. It’s scary to have The Squaws along the Yukon, Down in the Caribbean, Slow Poke, This Old House, The Pawnshop on the Corner in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and The Blacksmith Blues running through your head at odd hours day and night.

One time, sitting near the bar at Pardini’s sipping my soda, I overheard the proprietor telling Pop about when he was a young man and had just gotten married. At that time, he and his family all lived in rooms above the bar and restaurant, and after the wedding and a lot of partying, drinking, and dancing, the newlyweds finally excused themselves and went upstairs to their bedroom. Their bedroom was directly over the bar, and a hole had been drilled above the bar and through the floor under the bed. A string had been threaded through the hole and one end tied to the bed. The other end was tied to a bell that dangled above the bar. Every time the bell started ringing briskly, the drinks were on the house. The father of the groom had been heard to lament that the lusty young couple nearly put him in the poor house that night.

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