Friday, September 19, 2008

Remembering Whiskey’s

Express Staff Writer

In the fall of 1974, my wife Nancy, Stacey Reider and I opened at the Alpine Saloon (later renamed Whiskey Jacques') to play for several weeks on the weekends. We set up in the corner by the bar near the entrance. There was no stage at the time, so we were eye-level with all the patrons who would occasionally walk right up and request a tune. Usually, there were one or two fights a night so you never really knew for certain what the song requesters would do when they walked up to chat. Our assignment was to keep on playing no matter what until the crowd settled down. Though we did once see a man's head actually move one of the massive pool tables seven inches after being hurled into it. Fond memories all.

A few years later, in 1977 "The Whoop Show" started at The Kneadery when Mike and Karin Martin wanted to liven up Sunday nights. They were supportive of the idea of a comedy/variety show that lampooned the week's local news and events. We later moved to Elevation 6000 and upon the Martins' purchase of the Alpine in 1978 we moved back to perform at the remodeled Whiskey'. Mike, Karin and partner Brad Roos had done a marvelous job redecorating. We got the door (cover charge) and they got the floor. The arrangement went on successfully through 1979 when I moved to Seattle. They remained wonderful friends of mine.

All these memories came flooding back on Monday as I viewed the disaster on Main Street—the benefit performances, the touring bands and musicians like The Bobos. It was a great spot for entertainment for Ketchum, both for residents and visitors. Now it's gone. So sad. So many fine folks out of work. Karin Martin will rebuild and will try to open in the winter.

The empty space next door where the fire originated poses many questions. This was a spot that many tried to manage over the years to no avail. From The Tram in the old days to Mulvaney's, Silver Creek and the Ore House later on it just never worked. Now it's gone as well. The other side of the street is up for sale. Who knows when that will change hands?

The buildings were old like a lot of us. A little part of our history is gone. Change is coming. Change is good. Why do I feel so sad?

Nice talking to you ...

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