New Year’s at the Sporting Club

December 30, 1871

Honorary Editor: Words Swiderski

The catastrophe began with the piano in the Salt Lick Saloon.

Bring me back my tail feathers or bring me a drink.

Being the only musical instrument in the valley, folks came from miles around to listen.   Silky Sue, proprietor, waved her ostrich fan in the face of tradition and invited women to accompany their husbands inside to  listen. But, even here at the edge of wilderness, Two Pan ladies did not break the taboo against women in drinking establishments. They made their husbands stand on the street with them to hear the melodies.

Silky Sue, with a quick eye for opportunity, quickly jerry-rigged a canopy to protect listeners from rain. Then she tried to ply them with overpriced coffee and cocoa delivered by properly clad maids.

Sigh....I hate corsets. Let's take them off and yell at people.

Across the street, the ladies at Opal’s Sporting Palace lounged on the porch. Sugar Cherie, a tall woman who claims to be French but is known to lose her accent when excited, waggled her buxom bosom and cat-called across the street, asking the men to come see her when they were in town without their wives.

Go ride a Cow!!!

When a few of the settler women told the whores to shut up, the prairie doves became wilder. Later, when asked about the incident, Big Opal, owner of the Palace said, “All rumors that I’m losing business because of that clinky-dink piano and tone-deaf player are filthy lies. Men always want the bodacious bounty I’ve got. We don’t cater to families. If they’re offended, they need to move their dried-up little carcasses off the street. I don’t know why those self-righteous women are in such a pucker. The girls simply became carried away with the music.  The piano is the culprit.”

Two of Opal’s girls, Roamin’ Retta and Kitty Galore stood in mid-street in gauzy white dresses, yowling  and goading each other into a horse race.Then they worked bets from the bystanders. The saloon emptied to watch the two women fly down the street on Big Opal’s white steeds, the girls’ hair and gauzy garments flowing behind them.

Life is a bed of roses and ferns in Two Pan

The settler wives were outraged at the foul language and public indecency. Silky Sue was livid at the loss of business. The bettors were angry because neither horse reached the finish line. A winner was never declared. Having had a few shots of stout liquor for luck, Roamin’ Retta fell into a garden at the end of the street. Kitty Galore rode into the SaltLick Saloon  where the horse broke glasses and chairs.

“Damn fine advertising,” was Big Opal’s only comment. “And it’s still the piano’s fault.”

(Based on a true historical event)

From the Old Design Shop Blog


About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Pioneer Friday in Two Pan and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to New Year’s at the Sporting Club

  1. Pingback: Birth Control in Two Pan: 1871 | Before Morning Breaks

  2. The Hook says:

    Don’t ever lose that vivid – and naughty – imagination, young lady!


  3. Pingback: Before Morning Breaks: Floozys on Main Street | Before Morning Breaks

  4. Lisa Nowak says:

    I don’t know where you come up with these outrageous tales, Barb. 🙂


  5. Helen Wand says:

    Two Pan is rapidly becoming one of my favorite towns. Watch out; It’ll be a tourist destination before long! Might be fun to spend New Year’s Eve there next year!


  6. Priya says:

    …waved her ostrich fan in the face of tradition. I like that description.

    Your words weave images, Barb. Few can claim that skill! I am so happy I stopped by this morning.


  7. What a great romp. Enjoyed the story. Well told.


  8. digipicsphotography says:

    Love these stories!


  9. Barb, this may well be one of the most interesting articles I’ve read for quite some time. Hilarious, well-written, and KUDOS to you. Your writing voice is unique, this is REAL writing. I will consciously choose to be late for the bus every chance I get, if only to spend time enjoying your blog. Well done! It seems I have a lot of catching up to do, it’s a good thing there’s always another bus to catch…..


  10. niasunset says:

    Happy New Year. Thank you, with my love, nia


  11. souldipper says:

    Yahoo! Ride ’em, you crazy pair of hootenanny hussies! Better than listenin’ to a pee-anna played off key with a bunch of tin ears.


    • Barb says:

      What’s a respectable lady like you doing out on the street hooting for a couple of hurdy-gurdy girls? If you’ll come back inside the bar, we’ll offer you a complimentary Pink Elephants Child drink. Maybe you could help chase the horse out of the bar as you whoop it up?


  12. Beth says:

    Stunned and speechless. What can I possibly say?


    • Barb says:

      I know. I know. Who would expect hussys to cavort down the street like that? If it’s that simple, I’ll meet you tomorrow at 11 and we’ll try our hand at cavorting. Wear your purple hat.


  13. I suspect that Silky Sue’s business went gangbusters the next day. After all the husbands could say ‘I took you all out last night. Tonight me n the boys are going to have a little drink….’


    • Barb says:

      Is that what the guys in Oz tell their wives?
      I need to interview you, because it sounds like you have insider information about running a bar. Perhaps you haven’t fully fessed up about those colorful birds in your post. Perhaps they’re really part of a tourist attraction you run out of your back yard. (I saw the rum-fruitcake you allegedly make for gifts, but I suspect they possibly appear in your souvenir shop). With all your business acumen, perhaps Silky Sue will name a drink after you.


  14. Michael Ann says:

    Love these little stories! I have such a visual in my brain now! 🙂


  15. Spectra says:

    Did those two Hussies give the money back to the bettors when they fell off their horses / broke glasses in the saloon? Damn cheets.


    • Barb says:

      I found this account in a newspaper. The good folks of the town were indignant and called for some kind of law enforcement because the hussies caused such a stir racing half-clothed down the street. And yes, they kept the money…which was probably their intent in the first place.
      Few men lodged complaints about the missing money, but the saloon owner was really mad about a horse in her saloon. Nothing was said about who paid for the damages.


  16. Alice Lynn says:

    I can’t believe how you manage to deliver a one-two punch and a lot of laughs when most of us are trying to think of anything even mildly interesting to write! You are my hero. Love the horse race. And before I forget, where did you find those fancy drawers (complete with occupant) to photograph????


    • Barb says:

      My source material is real. This actually happened. Of course I changed the names and location to protect myself from angry descendents (if they’d even admit their grandmother was a whore).
      That’s Scout in the fancy drawers. I was hoping his hairy legs would show more clearly, thus being even funnier, but alas….I have no camera skills and even less photoshop skills. My New Year’s resolution is not to improve.


  17. magsx2 says:

    A great story, well done.
    A very Happy New Year to you as well. 😀


  18. momaescriva says:

    Two Pan has more excitement in one afternoon than when Gladstone’s giant sized firetruck worms its way out of its specially built garage to get washed and toot it’s horn.
    Love your stuff, girl friend.


  19. winsomebella says:

    You can tell a tale better than the best of them, my friend. Wonderful, like you always are. Thanks!


  20. Roxie Matthews says:

    Life is never dull in TwoPan. And Silky Sue is a real go-getter! I wonder what’s going to happen on New Year’s Eve?


    • Barb says:

      Sorry, I just said a few toasts to Susan, (see below) so I doubt if I’ll be aware of what’s going on in Two Pan. You, however, if I can find your house, I’ll be over for some of that hoochy-coochy caroling and bread in a can. Happy New Year my blessed friend.


  21. Love it! (And thanks for making me honorary editor, dear lady.) My two favorite phrases: “waved her ostrich fan in the face of tradition” and “claims to be French but is known to lose her accent when excited.” They’re both delightfully fresh descriptions. (And I’ve known some of those fake accent kinda people, too.) Only slightly confusing part is where you say the gal drank “stout liquor.” If by stout, you mean dark ale, you don’t need to say liquor. But if you mean she drank a strong liquor, you might want to use a word other than stout to describe it. (Or maybe she drank a stout … stout?)

    Again, great job, as always.

    Happy New Year! I’ll drag myself back to the blogosphere on Monday.


    • Barb says:

      Thanks Susan for the suggested word tweak. You’re from the Deep South, so you may only have one kind of moonshine. What you didn’t know…here in Ory-gone where liquor is made from natural materials ranging from tree bark to last summer’s slug and corn crop, we must classify our beverage to maintain safety rules and organic bragging rights.
      Lightweight=suitable for office parties and church fundraisers
      Fair to Middlin’= If you drink this and talk to your in-laws or boss—you’ll be divorced, out of a job and really sorry.
      Stout= Removes facial hair and grants the ability to fly.
      Thanks for your help. I’m toasting you and the New Year with a Stout stout.


Tell Me All About It.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s