Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Today my 5th anniversary at Tin Lizzy; Stop in!
Had I known I was destined for local infamy, I would have certainly kept the registered legal notice.
Because it was historic. I mean, lots of garden variety bums get thrown out of Latrobe bars, but I’ve never heard of any who’ve been evicted from one.
It takes real staying power to require an attorney to file papers demanding your removal.
Well, either staying power or a really big ass.
But that’s what happened to me 5-years-ago this week. And — get this — it wasn’t just any bar. It was The Pond! At the time, Latrobe’s best bar!
I was telling this story the other day with all the dramatic flourishes to Buck Pawlosky, owner of the Tin Lizzy and since this very day in 2015, my landlord.
I wish I could say, he kept interjecting, “Then what happened? Then what happened? Don’t leave anything out! Details! I want details!”
But he said none of that. He stood there with the look of a man who is impatient for someone to buy him a martini. It’s his native dispoosition.
When I finished, he said, “Has it really been 5 years? Seems more like 2.”
I don’t know whether that conveys he’s enjoyed my company or if he was thinking, well, it’s about time to start drawing up eviction papers of my own.
But it really has been 5 years.
A change in Pond ownership meant they were clearing the building and that meant after 8 years there, I had to go.
It hit me hard. Not only was I losing my regular bar and all my A-Team drinkin’ buddies, I was losing my office — my identity.
I was adrift. I was bereft. And, yes, I was thirsty.
I stopped in to The Tin Lizzy and told Micah the bartender of my woe. In an instant, he transformed from bartender to problem solver/realtor. He said the whole 3rd floor was vacant. He gave me a tour.
It was disheveled and in need of repair. Parts of it looked like it could use a good scrubbing.
We were practically twins!
I hung posters, pictures, keepsakes and cranked up the stereo. I was right at home — that is if home has beneath it three distinct bars, one fantastic kitchen, and numberless interesting and friendly folk.
I contend my office, free of any stuffy pretense, looks like every office would if powerful executives didn’t feel compelled to impress visitors with how their offices looked.
For instance: One year Val asked what I wanted for my birthday. I told her I wanted a Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio Poster.
Her: “What are you in the 8th grade?”
Me: “Nope, but my office is.”
I’m reluctant to gush about just how much I enjoy being here because I know Buck will threaten to raise my rent.
In the past three years, I’ve written three popular books with The Tin Lizzy playing an increasingly large role in the stories, so much that numerous readers from all over stop in to see the place and meet me up here in the office. It’s very flattering.
Invariably, each is very respectful, sheepish almost, like they were encroaching on a VIP operating room where solitude was required.
They peek around the corner and say, “Ooh, we’re sorry to disturb you!”
“Disturb me?” I say. “Hell, I’ve been disturbed since 1992!”
(That, by the way, is the year I quit working for other people. Twenty-eight years. Now, THAT’S disturbing.)
But I feel very privileged to enjoy some notoriety in such a charming, quirky place.
So today calls for a big party. Unfortunately, big parties are to be discouraged these dreadful days.
But if you’re comfortable wearing a mask, all are welcome today — heck, any day — to stop by for a chat, a building looksee and maybe a socially distant beer up here on the 3rd floor, The Land The Mops Forgot.
We can giggle, joke, belch and behave all juvenile like we're still in the 8th grade.
Just like my office.