Dec 2, 2016

Spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs: Ah, the good old days

Jessica on the job at Jimmy's Four Aces
Doc's report:

The memory of happiness brings its own kind of redoubled and nostalgic happiness.

Forty-six years ago, I used to go to the Four Aces, at Farragut and 15th, after my third-shift work at Bay City Chevrolet ended, on Friday morning, when the UAW’s weekend began. 

A burger with fried onions, Stroh’s, and a game of schmier at 7 a.m. About 40 of us. All honest, tired, hard-working, dirty Polish men.

Can you imagine? Drunk, dirty, and laughing at 7 a.m. on a frigid Michigan February morning? It was a blast. I was as happy as I’ve ever been.

They’d cash your paycheck, and they had a uniformed guard. Wives came in to drag their husbands home.

Me, I was off to school. I was working my way through college, SVC (now SVSU). Baldo and Harry, this blog's founders, were renting a ground-floor apartment in a pale brick
Behind the bar
mansion at Farragut and Ninth. Misbehavin’ for the takin’ over there, too.

And so it was that a recent visit to the Four Aces, where Harry and I were accompanied by the G-man, put me in mind of a high school class reunion, with its mix of loss, remembrance, and celebration. You know: that one girl from the South End.

Who am I – Proust? Anyway ... 

Harry, the G-man, and I recited our litany of the ailments of the aged: a trip to the periodontist (“It’s more an imitation than an impression”); surgeon (“I’ve got two; take it out. I’ll use the other one.”); and dermatologist (Simpsons motel: “The Red Rash Inn.”)

We had some fiercely contested pool and shuffleboard games, especially since the shuffleboard coin slot was broken and we played for free, keeping score with pen and paper. I think Harry
Sign on the wall
must be practicing on the side. No one is that lucky naturally -- I mean, without OSU refs.

There was the usual post-election pontificating: “When you’ve fk’ed up and need to start over, have a gin and tonic.” “Everything gets better after a good BM” (Bloody Mary). “My mouth always gets me in trouble” (“That’s what she said.”).

According to our delightful bartender Jessica, the kids are drinking Southern Comfort and Mountain Dew. Any suggestions for a name? “I’ll have a Trump with a Pence chaser”?

The Four Aces is itself in a way that only places unaware of themselves can be. Authentically.

See the hairy guy's report on Jimmy's Four Aces: A none-dare-call-it-trendy bar with pool, shuffleboard and Blatz but nada on draft

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