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Statute problems


Tony dropped by the other day.
He’s about as nice of a guy as you’d ever want to meet, and funny to boot. During this last visit for example, he told an amusing story about a dog his brother adopted who came with an odd warning: the canine didn’t like Mexican men playing the guitar.
Tony moved to Solon in the mid to late 1980s and started hanging out at Mr. Bill’s, now the Solon Station. Actually, half the town, the male half, was hanging out as Tony arrived with Letha, his girlfriend at the time and eventual spouse. Letha took a job bartending at Mr. Bill’s. She was an industrious barkeep with smoking hot looks and a friendly smile. The sleepy tavern woke up and turned into a happening place, at least if you liked sitting elbow to elbow with every other guy in town.
I was in my mid-30s, divorced for several years and living in the old dance hall in a building a block away from the bar. I had two roommates, Jeff and Dave, and we joked that we comprised the DMRS, the Downtown Men’s Recreation Society.
I’m not saying it was wild times, but I will say I had to stop drinking tequila because I kept losing my prescription eyeglasses whenever a certain Mr. Jose Cuervo made his way up the stairs into the apartment. Dave had to stop throwing darts because he kept missing the board by a factor of 90 degrees, a trajectory that sent the missile out the front window and onto Main Street below. And Jeff had to stop shooting bottle rockets out the window, but I can’t flesh out that story, the statute of limitations may not have run out yet.
Somewhere along the way, we started having a monthly poker game along with the Guru of Golf Marv, Watermelon Dan, Dapper DR and a few others with simple names like Doug, Bob and Tony.
We played “dealer calls it,” meaning whoever had the deal called what game was to be played in that hand. Early in the game a lot of exotics got called like up in Mable’s room, crisscross and my favorite, night baseball with threes and nines wild, an extra card on a four, high/low splits the pot. If you could explain it, then you could play it. As the evening wore on, seven-card and then five-card stud became popular.
Tony and I hung out together a little outside the crowd. We went halves on an old aluminum canoe and fished out of it a couple times and played golf (he could hit it a mile but in every direction except the pin). We also attended many a Beef Days Committee meeting. Tony started and ran the popular horseshoe tournament which morphed into the hay bale toss. How this transformation took place is not recorded as it happened late in the meeting when everyone was well oiled. It was a good move as the toss is now a crowd favorite at the yearly town celebration.
We also traveled to Wrigley Field a couple of times.
Tony moved to a small town in Wisconsin about a year ago, and I was happy to hear he planned to travel back for the Cubs celebration at Frida Kahlo’s on March 4. We’re showing game seven starting about 3:30 p.m. and BF Burt will play from 7-9 p.m.. If the entertainment lags, the brother Bob and pal Gonzo show is also booked. There’ll be a keg of beer from Big Grove and free tacos while they last. Everyone is invited. Wear your favorite Cub shirt and bring a photo of someone who didn’t live to see the loveable losers become World Champions.
Be there or be square.
Oh, and I didn’t finish the story about the dog.
Turns out the pup grew to be a great companion, loved by one and all. The kind of dog you could take to an old people’s home or a preschool and know there’d be only good behavior. But then, 10 years after the adoption, the brother and dog passed a Mariachi band... sorry, another pesky statute problem.