Oregon Tavern Age: Heritage Pub

It was noon on a gray and rainy Friday.

But I didn’t allow my mood to match the weather. I was feeling great after dropping off copies of The Old Crow Book Club at the Clackamas Book Exchange, a block off SE 82nd Ave, and its river of concrete, commercialization and homelessness.

Linda the proprietor of the shop was excited to help me sell the book for a few bucks each. She would retain all profits to assist in keeping this very, very second-hand used bookstore alive.

I told Linda that the Clackamas Book Exchange will be the only bookstore to carry the book (unless another one reaches out to me, which they won’t). Linda loved the distinction and she praised the striking cover of the book, which resembles a bottle of Old Crow, the rotgut whiskey.

“I always drank Lord Calvert myself,” said Linda.

“Why?” I said.

“So I could say the ‘Lord was always with me.’”

We laughed pretty hard at that.

The Heritage Club has gone through many iterations but, according to the bartender, the same family has owned the property since 1922! Jesus, Silent Cal Coolidge was President!

The joint’s décor reflected three or four different decorating schemes, including a former strip joint and biker bar. I liked the lack of cohesion. Who wants order with interior design in OTA country?

But was the Heritage Club authentic OTA country? Not really. I’ve just got to let go it’s going to last the course of my lifetime.

Absolutely nothing interesting was going on with the patrons, except that one OTA couple was on their second or third double screwdriver.

The Heritage Club was all fried food, gambling, phones, tablets. No storytelling at all. I longed to hear an osprey story or a sodden tale of way too much Jägermeister and shitting one’s self in a bathtub.

The only thing memorable of the surroundings was a poster of an attractive woman with a plea that she contact her aunt.

I sat at a back table and watched Tiger Woods limp around Augusta National. I wrote some notes for a future piece of writing. I daydreamed of being in the Sea Star in Gold Beach. I hoped The Old Crow Book Club would find a special way out into the world. I believed it contained unique magic. But one really never knows where a book goes.