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The end of an era.

one last call for this here poll here!

My friend, Leesa, called me from California last night. The room around me was filled with people talking and joking (well, okay, only 3, but they were rather boistrous.) and happiness, and Leesa was crying. She said "i wanted to call you, because i thought you would want to know..." i immediately think that one of our friends is dead, and start wracking my brain for people that her and i both know and who would have ties to contact her before me in the event of a death.

"Good Time Charlies closed its doors last night for the final time."

.... okay, so this is almost as bad. for those of you following my journal for the last 4 years, Good Time Charlies was MY bar. and before you think "ya drunk! it's just a bar!" keep in mind:

- i met a lot of new best friends there (including Leesa).
- i spent 3 new years eves there
- i spent 5 of my birthday parties there
- it was my haven every single friday after work, i would drive down after a long week, grab an armload of free wings and nachos, and a handful of 2 for 1 well drinks, singing my lungs out for the next 6 hours or more, as my friends would slowly trickle in after their long weeks to join me in song.
- i met my last boyfriend there
- i learned how to sing there. i freaking learned how to SING there. if it hadn't been for a seedy bar 2 blocks from my house that had karaoke 7 nights a week and cheap beers, i never would have gotten the drunken nerve to start singing. my confidence never would have grown. i never would have joined The Stairs or relearned how to play guitar.
- it was a place much like Cheers, where everyone knew me, if i was bored and had nothing to do, without making a phone call, i could drive down there and hang out, sing a few bars. i didn't have to be afraid or nervous being a single girl in her mid 20's going to a bar by herself. in fact, the two times that someone DID try something, everyone there (workers and friends) pooled together to protect me. so many times, it could start out as only the bartender, karaoke host, and myself, and one by one, the people that meant the most to me: Peyton. Patrick. Meredith. Bald Patrick. Tiffany. Annette. Leesa. would all trickle in throughout the night. we would greet each other with big cheers and gigantic hugs as if we hadn't seen each other in forever.

it wasn't a place where people were always stinking drunk. in fact, during the 6 months that i had stopped drinking all together, i still went, i still had a blast, although i was sipping virgin rum and diets ;)

that dark room in the back with the creepy red lighting was where so many of my mid adulthood memories were created. i went to that bar for almost 7 years. it was there that i sobbed on the bar because i was supposed to sing in a friend's wedding but showed up the wrong night for rehearsal and instead crashed a full blown mexican wedding (mariachi band and all). it was there that i saw my then boyfriend giving a girl i couldn't stand free drinks, as he would turn around and start charging me for them (and not giving me my change.) it was there that annette and tiffany really came out of their shell, instead of being shy and introverted, to being a lot more comfortable in their skin.

it was more than a bar, it was a clubhouse, our secret hideout.

i feel the burning need now to get my boxes of photos from my mother's closet and scan a bunch of them and post them in homage.

Good Time Charlies, RIP. And thank you for making me Me.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
aubkabob
Nov. 29th, 2004 07:39 pm (UTC)
it's sad. i mean, i have always had a feeling that it was coming, but i figured it would last long enough to where i could actually go back and say GOODBYE or something.

when i moved up here, i left so quickly, that i didn't even have a chance to stop in and tell everyone i was leaving - i got a call from one of the karaoke hosts via my friend pat's phone about a month ago, and he was telling me to come down... i laughed and told him that would be difficult to do ;)

now i'll never get the chance to officially tell it goodbye.
wendywoowho
Nov. 29th, 2004 07:19 pm (UTC)
Anyone who actually thinks "ya drunk, it's just a bar" should be FLAYED.
aubkabob
Nov. 29th, 2004 07:41 pm (UTC)
agreed. i sort of got that reaction from my roommate. well, not that LITERAL reaction, but she said something along the lines of 'wow, it's weird to hear you so sad over a bar closing, it makes you sound like a drunk.' in a joking manner. i told her that it was like as if Denny's here closed, which is the denny's that EVERYONE they know has hung out at for extensive periods of time. i said "it's like Denny's, but with alcohol."
jenniffer
Nov. 29th, 2004 07:19 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear that. And I completely understand. There's almost nothing worse than losing something that contains so many wonderful memories.
aubkabob
Nov. 29th, 2004 07:43 pm (UTC)
exactly. i used to even sneak my brother in there with someone else's i.d. when he was 16. so his first bar trips were also there.

and now lookit him ;)
adamsloco
Nov. 29th, 2004 07:42 pm (UTC)
sorry to hear about your haven place. There is always room for more memories as long as you can cherish and always remember the old ones.

*hugs*
aubkabob
Nov. 29th, 2004 07:46 pm (UTC)
exactly. as i was telling Leesa, the thing that makes me saddest is to think that all of our memories at Charlies have already been written, that there will never ever be new memories of times at Charlies.

and then i went on to tell her that it's up to us to write new ones involving newer situations...
pnwheelpop
Nov. 29th, 2004 08:42 pm (UTC)
I completely understand. And I'm sorry :(
It would be like if they closed down The Rainbow here in LA.
It would be tragic.
I'm sorry :(
aubkabob
Dec. 1st, 2004 08:43 pm (UTC)
it's okay. i feel that everything happens for a reason and within its own time. mayhaps everything positive that anyone ever could have gleaned from going there was past.
(Deleted comment)
aubkabob
Jun. 16th, 2005 05:33 pm (UTC)
i'm sure it would have been a solemn occasion. i also hear that they were forced to close it at some ludicrously early hour, like 8 pm.
baryon
Nov. 30th, 2004 03:34 am (UTC)
It seems that all the good places that mean something to people close down and are replaced with large cookie-cutter soulless establishments.
aubkabob
Jun. 16th, 2005 05:34 pm (UTC)
yup. cookie cutter establishments which i am sure will house an entirely new, younger generation.

it's funny that at only 30 years old, i sort of feel as if my generation is slowly being phased out for the early 20's folk.
belenen
Nov. 30th, 2004 04:20 am (UTC)
oddly enough, reading this made me feel really good. I suppose it was all the mind-pictures of a 'safe and loved' place... and I'm very much a 'places' person; a particular place can mean as much to me as a person. I remember certain places I'd go in the woods as a kid -- I can visit them even now and feel loved and safe... do you know what I mean?

Anyway, I'm really sorry your place closed. >hugg
aubkabob
Jun. 16th, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
i know exactly what you mean. and, oddly, now knowing that charlies is closed, it has sort of helped to close that section of my life, causing me to not want to go back as badly, if that makes sense. i guess i had always seen in my mind that i would go back to phoenix, no one would really know, and i would miraculously show up at good time charlies and everyone would be there, just like Old Times.

alas. now where does everyone hang out?
ferris_dabler
Dec. 1st, 2004 12:42 am (UTC)
wow.
Jeez... I haven't been back to GTCs for a couple years now, I guess.

Too many memories of my last relationship lived at that place (things were a lot worse than anyone ever could have known), and it became a job after I'd worked there for, which was terrible. Plus I was drinking every single night at the time, and it's tough on me to remember that part of my life that I didn't really control.

It's sad though... I don't know why, but I always thought we'd have some sort of big reunion there with a bunch of the old regulars and talk about what we're doing now and sing songs together. I hope Colleen found herself, and I hope Meredith and Patrick and Annette and everybody are doing well. I tried to get in contact with Meredith a couple times, but we never got together.

Anyway, I too found a big part of myself there, and to some extent, getting up in front of people with a microphone and making them laugh is something I can never look at in a bad light. Plus, now that I'm acting and doing theater, I'm glad I had that experience.

I really miss that place, I guess... different times. It's sad that it faded from my life like it did.
aubkabob
Dec. 1st, 2004 07:55 pm (UTC)
Re: wow.
it IS pretty amazing how much things can change. i can't even freaking imagine going out 5 nights a week and drinking every. single. night. i do miss the singing, and my voice isn't as strong anymore because of the lack of doing it...

i guess i'm thankful for having had a place like that during my adulthood. everyone should have one, but not everyone gets the opportunity. i'm thankful for just about every bit of it, give or take.

and hell, that's where i got to meet you!
ferris_dabler
Dec. 2nd, 2004 07:59 am (UTC)
On tonight's episode of Blossom:
Two friends reunite and talk fondly, if not in melancholy tones, of days gone by on Live Journal.


But yea... it's nice to be able to talk to you... and Charlies was a lot of fun a lot of the time.
aubkabob
Dec. 3rd, 2004 06:07 am (UTC)
Re: On tonight's episode of Blossom:
yup. especially for being a horrible seedy bar.
nutty
Dec. 4th, 2004 06:17 am (UTC)
Long time no talk. I was going to go there tomorrow night. I've been thinking about it because I've missed the old times. I'm depressed. :(
aubkabob
Jun. 16th, 2005 05:22 pm (UTC)
i miss the old times, too. *hugs* i hope that everything is going well on your end! i miss you!
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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