Oregon Tavern Age: Elk Spaghetti

At long last, I sat at my cherished window table of the Sea Star in Gold Beach. What a table! I’d written four or five books here, including a kink Western. I’d met a beautiful woman of the woods and ocean and art here who had become one of my astute readers and taught me a few things about my writing. See what happens when you give creativity away? You never know where it lands.

I’d observed or overheard some of the greatest Oregon Tavern Age stories in the Sea Star.

We had a storytelling heyday in this joint. It was gone, though, long gone. Donald Trump and the pandemic killed it.

I drank the excellent local porter and wrote in my journal about the tribute/eulogy to a deceased RV park owner I’d delivered in a fire hall an hour earlier. It was easily one of the more poignant events of my life and it left me profoundly moved.

The light and clouds swirled outside the window. I man playing a guitar with a dog on a leash walked down the sidewalk across Highway 101. I’d never seen a man playing a guitar and walking a dog at the same time.

I checked the offerings in the library. Not much turnover in three years. Of course, who really wanted to read Jerry Kosinski’s Cockpit anymore, if they ever did?

A Latino couple burst through the front door. The female bartender screamed a greeting at the woman. They hugged each other and yelled greetings.

I gleaned part of the conversation; the Latino woman had just been released from jail or prison on some drug charge. The two woman hadn’t seen each other in a long time. The newly freed was off meth or fentanyl for the moment and wanted to celebrate her release by hitting the sauce in the Sea Star. It was probably a violation of her probation, but fuck it!

The bartender said she was going to make her a special and tall sweet cocktail. It would probably contain four or five shots of booze.

She made the drink and presented it. Joy abounded. The couple retired to play video slots.

A young man came up to the bartender. He wanted to know if there was still any of his elk spaghetti in the fridge.

Elk spaghetti?

The bartender said No, she’d eaten it and had cleaned up the container.

I tried putting it all together. Why was the elk spaghetti in the Sea Star’s refrigerator?

Then I stopped trying to put it together. A sliver of classic OTA storytelling had escaped from the coffin.

I reveled in it.