Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beer Joint



Welcome to Beer Joint and Pool Hall week here at OPOD. We kick things off with this picture of a cowboy in a beer joint in Alpine, Texas. The picture was taken in 1939. While I love the little town of Alpine in far West Texas, I don't think I like this guy very much. He just looks like a guy that maybe does not respect women. Don't know why I say that, but he just looks like a wife beater and a cheater to me.

16 comments:

  1. I agree, but what can you expect from a beer joint and a pool hall? My parents told me to stay away from such places because of the riff-raff that frequents them.

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  2. Maybe it's the sign over his head ?

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  3. Well, I think you are being a little hard on the guy.
    To start with he is not wearing a wedding ring. I know that doesn't mean anything because a lot of cheater don't wear their rings. But that doesn't say much either, I didn't wear my ring when I worked either. To much danger of snagging it and ripping off a finger like some of my co-worker did.
    Another thing is most cheaters don't go around with dirty shirts on and even dirtier finger nails, and boy are his finger nails dirty.
    He really doesn't look like a cowboy to me. Maybe a oil field worker, but not a cowboy.
    But yes, he should have found a different place to stand other than in front of that sign.
    And last of all he looks like an very nice, kind uncle of mine.

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  4. Oh I don't know, he looks like a hard working man, dirty fingernails, tough hands... I think he's a good guy!

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  5. I just want him to ask me to dance!!

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  6. Yeah, I don't like that sneer on his face.

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  7. Like DADD, I also wonder if he's a cowboy. His clothing doesn't really look like that of a cowboy of this period. He's wearing something akin to chinos, and his shirt looks a little unusual for a cowhand. Having said that (and having done some cowboying myself) you can find cowhands dressed in any fashion.

    FWIW, a wedding ring would tend not to be worn by a working cowboy, although there are exceptions, due to the fear of getting a ring caught in machinery or even while roping.

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  8. Wow. Hope you're not on my jury.
    I wonder if this dude looks similar to some dispicable character you know.

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  9. I ‘grew up’ in a poolhall, meaning, that’s where you learned about life and people. Privately we called it ‘the university of life’. From rich bankers to gamblers and travellers and assorted scoundrels you learned lessons and you had to learn quickly. Every shot on a pool table is like the shots in life….no two are really the same. You learned to think, to plan ahead, to never assume. You learned to read people, you learned to take the good with the bad days and you learned to survive in an atmosphere that was anything but warm and gentle. But that’s not to say people didn’t care. No, they all watched your back. When you walked down that flight of stairs into the poolroom, you walked into a world of it’s own.

    I first walked in the poolroom at 14 ½ after school and by 15 ½ I was accepted. One day while waiting for a game I sat on a bench and was polishing my boots. A pool shark came over and christened me ‘cowboy’. To this day I have no idea why, but being given a ‘handle’ was as good as being knighted.

    The hall closed at midnight (technically), but from 12 to 7 the big money hit the tables. By 16 I was making more money in a night than my father in a week. I never got in trouble for coming home late, but it was made evident, especially by my Irish grandmother that I was not suppose to do anything stupid……and I never did. So I suppose they trusted me. I paid ‘room and board’ at home to help with the household income. I bought my father a new car (not new as in ‘new’, but new to him and better than the one he had).

    Years later I left the city and did my travelling here and there, but the lessons I learned in that poolhall have always been part of my life. I built up my own business far away from the ‘university’ until one day someone told me that the hall was finally closing down after 65 years in business and everything was being auctioned off. So I travelled there and bought old cues, the time clock and chalk boards and rakes and a set of snooker balls. Then I bought the bench I had sat on 42 years before, polishing my boots when a guy called ‘whip’ officially made me part of the university.

    The guy in the photo, he just looks like a hard working young man….dirt in his nails, stains on his shirt, a hat that needs a cleaning, a belt that has had adjustments but isn’t fancy and a bit of a rogue smile on his face. I wonder where he is now, if he’s around at all. Who knows, maybe he signed up as a fighter pilot and never came home.

    Rack’em up!

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    Replies
    1. He looks to be about 18 in 1939. That would put the odds against him still being around, as he would be over 90. Although ornery cowboys do tend to live a little longer, I believe.

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    2. Great story... I love that you have the bench. :)

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  10. I would think this fellow in in his late 20s to middle 30s and you do not get beat up muscular hands like that working in a office. I have seen too many men in the oil fields driving winch trucks and on rigs working 8 to 20 hours a day. Have any of you been able to stand your pants in a corner because they were so stiff with salt. It was men like this who made America.

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  11. Now, now, don't judge a book by it's cover!!

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  12. I agree with Carol. It saddens me to think that a Christian can look at someone and decide that a person is a wife beater by their looks. I worked with music students in the 90's who some people would judge by their looks too (tattoos and crazy clothes & hair), and they were the kindest, most honest and helpful people you can imagine. Kind of a sad day for me at OPD.

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  13. I get the second dance. That sneer
    looks like a shy smile to me.

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