Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Missing Whiskey's

A visiting friend and I had enjoyed a nice quiet "slack" dinner at the Sawtooth Club on Sunday evening, and as we were leaving, I noticed a waitress who had made our dinner such fun on previous occasions sitting at the bar. I greeted her and thanked her for adding such flair to the establishment. She said that she was off that night, but enjoyed hanging out with friends at her workplace. Under a bright, full moon, we meandered around the downtown area, noting the many empty storefronts and buildings. I lamented the changes happening in my own private little part of Idaho.

The next morning, as I opened the door to walk the dogs, there was an unusual amount of traffic passing by. Two steps later and a look to my right, I saw with chagrin the large dark clouds of smoke from Main Street. My "team" pulled me there and my inner being sank when I saw that Whiskey Jacques' was merely a pile of dark and wet rubble, with our loyal firefighters working hard to contain the damage to the Sawtooth and what had been the Camp Robber, the Glory Hole Mining Company, Mulvaney's, the Ore House and most recently, Dirty Little Roddy's.

Ernest Hemingway had played cards with miners and sheepmen in what had been the old Alpine Bar, attesting to the spirited atmosphere that had permeated Ketchum before it developed into a "city."

Many fun nights of hard dancing in heavy, tobacco-smoke-filled air had kept the "spirit" alive for a few decades, rocking to The Bobos and other great bands. Ironically, the evenings I spent there after it became smoke-free were numbered on one hand. What a waste, eh?

I want to thank Brad Roos, Karen and many others for having kept Whiskey's "special" for all of us old-time and newbie locals. The only let-it-hang-out place of Old Ketchum for serious, get-down dancing and partying. My sympathies are with the great bartenders and wait staff who have lost their employment.

Rod Tatsuno

Sun Valley

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