Oregon Tavern Age: Election Day

I was somewhere in endangered OTA country. I say endangered because the joint was being surrounded by gentrification, practically under siege by craft beer, pot, condos, tech people. Still, it was holding out to the last OTA man, woman and dog. They’d go down drinking.

Classic rock played. Two OTA men behind me played video poker. A date?

The female OTA bartender discussed how wild she became on tequila and magic mushrooms.

It was election day in the Republic, and more than half the eligible voters weren’t voting, and in that way they were voting.

On television, an African tribesman beheaded a water buffalo.

An OTA man walked in and announced, “I’ve almost died three times and I got no more dying in me no more.”

I drank a dark beer and wrote a letter.

A vintage St Pauli’s Girl neon featuring a blonde buxom babe holding three overflowing mugs of frothy beer glowed over the bar.

A Hamm’s bear winked at me.

“I caught a 65-pound King salmon when I was in seventh grade and the thing damn near pulled me into the river,” said an OTA man sitting at the bar.

“I was drunk,” he added.

A ponytailed OTA man seated next to the salmon man then launched into a story about the time he was almost pulled into the river when he battled a sturgeon. He and his dad fought the mighty beast for four hours and finally had to strangle it with their hands and beat it with a club to kill it. They drifted miles and miles past their point of no return.

“We never stopped drinking the whole time,” he said.

“That was the last time I ever went sturgeon fishing,” he added.