Wanda, Hamburgers, Drunks and Booze

The year was 1946 and I was 8 years old and my mom and dad both worked at the “VV Inn” bar and restaurant on old Route 42 near Cincinnati, Ohio. After school, there was nothing for me to do but to go hang out at the bar until my parents got off work.

During this period, I met little “Wanda” whose parents were regular customers at the bar. She and I would sit in a big booth in the dining area and drink soda pops together… usually supplied to us free by my dad.

When the shuffleboard in the center of the restaurant area was free of patrons, Wanda and I would play it.

The restaurant area had a public dartboard too and I got fairly good at throwing darts.

On occasion, I would be treated to a dinner at the restaurant … They had steam table meals … and I loved their roast beef and mashed potatoes with gravy and fresh dinner rolls.

My mom was a cook and my daddy was a janitor in that place and there were some wild nights, especially on the weekends when all the locals would come out to booze it up and exchange mindless endless conversations about life’s petty concerns.

They had this big old Wurlitzer jukebox where paying customers could listen to their favorite records while they either enjoyed their dinners or escorted themselves into the invisible nether world known only by the dedicated alcoholics.

One of the earliest memories I have of music from that old jukebox was a tune called “The Old Lamplighter.” Even when I was at the young age of 8 years old, that song had haunted melodies that transported me to comfortable places. I loved it because it always soothed me and calmed me and even today it still brings a tear to these old eyes.

I thought you might enjoy hearing it too. Just click on the following link.


I am posting this because I have been told that some readers like the tales of my youth and I really should be doing more of them I guess.

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