Saturday, January 13, 2018

We Walk into a Bar and Meet a Jerky Salesman

we walk into Miss Kitty's Lounge, Clovis, California
Miss Kitty’s Lounge, Clovis, California
We were puzzled by the man who came into the bar with a cooler in hand. Did he bring his own six pack? There was plenty of beer already at Miss Kitty’s Lounge; someone had written a little ode to hops on the chalkboard behind the bar: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, when life is a b**ch, beer is a must.” (The *s allow the more optimistic among our readers to think of life as a beach.)

Anyway, there was obviously no need for anyone to BYOB.

We observed a number of people enjoying the drinks at Miss Kitty’s that evening. A couple of guys were playing pool as they drank their beers. “Rack ‘em up” one gentleman said to the other.

“You rack ‘em up, Beach!” (I think that’s what he called him, I could be wrong. I’m having problems inserting the correct vowels today.) Couples were enjoying conversation at the tables. Five women at the bar were very much enjoying each other’s company and conversation amongst themselves and with others at the bar, as well as working on their dance moves (to such tunes as Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music” and Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls”.)

From outside, the place looks quite dark, but the interior was well- lit. The wall has pictures of various starlets (Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor) and pinups (Bettie Page was the only one I recognized). The bar was mostly full, but there was an elegant purple couch along one wall and comfy chairs with little tables around the edges of the room.

We ordered our drinks at the bar. I made the boring choice of Angry Orchard, and Mindy went with Twisted Tea, which we’d never come across before. A guy at the bar asked about the tea and so we asked him our two questions. (Actually, there are three questions. We always talk about “What makes for a good bar?” and “What makes for a good church?” but we first asked, “What name would you like us to use in our post. You can lie about it.”)

He asked to borrow my notebook and pen. Here is what he wrote:

Slavic Volochy” (I’m guessing that is not his real name.)

“Bar: Never ask for money up front.”

“Church: Stop using tax relief, you’re hurting the public. End Period”

After we thanked Slavic Volochy, Mindy and I took our drinks to a table on the other side of the room. When we were on our trip (visiting a bar and a church in every state), we spent a lot of time together, so we looked forward to spending time with people at the bar.Lately, we’ve been busy with conflicting work (and sleep) schedules, so during our bar time we enjoyed talking with each other. Frankly, right now, we enjoy talking with each other in a bar more than talking to strangers (which takes more energy).

As Mindy and I were talking, a man approached and the mystery of the cooler was solved. He said his name was Cliff, and he asked if we’d like to sample his homemade beef jerky. Mindy asked to try the teriyaki flavor. Cliff recently earned a license to sell the jerky he makes; he goes to various places, including bars, to sell it. He also mentioned going to other businesses, like realtors, where he has relationships.

We asked him our two questions, and for his bar answer, Cliff said, “I don’t like going into a dive.” And he doesn’t life “egotistical bartenders who have to show their authority” -- particularly those that deny beef jerky sales. We thought that maybe the best place to sell the jerky would be dives, since they are less likely to have food for sale, but that’s not how he seems to see it.

As for what makes for a good church, Cliff wants a church that preaches Biblical truth. He has a problem with some religions, it seems particularly Catholicism. “Mary doesn’t do anything for me. She was a good woman, and she’s in heaven, but she can’t help us. Priests can’t absolve us from sin.” He said he wants a church that preaches “the truth, even when it’s convicting and not what I want to hear.”

Bringing the two topics together he said, “The bars drove me back to going to church.” He talked about going to a karaoke bar and being disturbed by an attractive woman singing vile lyrics and being cheered on by men in the bar. “Sodom, meet Gomorrah” he said.

We did buy a bag of jerky.

Mindy realized she’d forgotten to include a tip when she paid for the drinks, so we went back to the bar to pay and chat for a bit with Petra the bartender. (Petra added a little heart when she signed her name on the whiteboard announcing who was tending bar that evening.)

I asked her about Miss Kitty’s. She said she’s been there two years, and what she likes about the place is her customers. She said they make each other welcome, they make newcomers welcome. “People can be themselves here.”

We were at Miss Kitty's Lounge, Clovis, California, at the right time
Like Cliff the nice jerky salesman and Slavic Volochy, we were happy to be ourselves there, because we like us. And beef jerky.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

We Walk into Art

Tioga-Sequoia Beer Garden, Fresno, California
Last Thursday night, Tioga-Sequoia was participating in Fresno's monthly ArtHop (Tioga-Sequoia called their portion of the event "Arts and Hops"). Along with the craft beers at the bar and pizza available from a food truck, photographs from a local artist were available for sale.

In the spirit of the art hop, we decided to give you photographs from the event -- absolutely free! Enjoy.



This was not the art we were looking for

Proof we're over 21





We found the art!






Dean was happy about the Warriors win. And we appreciated the DJ, too




Hello, Connect 4. You must be a Fresno bar thing.

Beer and Root Beer


We hadn't known there was a brewery district. Now we do