Father’s Day at the Bar

In honor of Father’s Day (In the US) we’re going back in time today. Cheryl isn’t behind the bar, but you can catch her over at her place. I’m also trying to work with Linda’s Saturday Stream of Consciousness prompt:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘reservation.’ Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!”

It’s 1975, and we’re at Dempsher’s Bar and Grill.

“Your reservation for that stool wasn’t until one.”

“Linda’s father wanted her home ‘right after the concert’ – that guy hates me.”

“I know her father, he’s an a-hole – he hates everybody. You want a beer?”

“I do.”

“Here ya go.”

“Thanks Dad.”

“Is that your son, John?”

“It is. Dan, do you remember Mr. Hanley?”

“I do, from the bowling alley – Friday night men’s league?”

“Yes, you must have been in the pits.”

“Yeah, and this guy didn’t let us come out of the pits during league play.”

“It was a distraction. These guys were paying to bowl and I was paying you to set pins, not run up every five minutes to pee.”

“Trying to keep the customer satisfied, eh John.”

“Exactly – whatever it takes.”

“So, your dad tells me you’re going to WVU. How do you like that?”

“It’s good. Much better than the year I spent in Georgia.”

“I tried to tell you before you went there that you weren’t going to like it. The only good reason to go to Georgia is to golf, and I only do that in February.”

“There were lots of times I should have listened to you, Dad. Maybe some lessons are better when learned the hard way.”

“Remember that when you have kids.”

“So, what brings you to this place on a Friday night?’

“Well, Mr. Hanley…”

“Paul, it was Mr. Hanley when you were twelve.”

“Well, Paul. I had a date, but her father didn’t want us going anywhere after the concert.”

“That stinks. What concert?”

Led Zeppelin – 1975 – Attribution Tony Morelli

“Led Zeppelin.”

“At the Civic Arena?”


“Good concert?”


“Then you need to find a different girl.”

“I tried…”

“He tried to tell me that, too.”

“I see a theme developing here, Dan.”

Fried Mushrooms – One of my favorite appetizers. I had to leave some on the plate though.

“Here, try these. Mrs. D. makes the best fried mushrooms.”

“Those look amazing.”

“None for me, John. I’m watching my weight.”

“You’re watching it climb to new heights, Paul. Pretty soon, I’m gonna have to walk around the bar and serve you from behind.”

“OK, I’ll have some mushrooms, they do look good, and another beer, and another for your son.”

“I’ll bring them, but these beers are on me.”

“Thanks. What are you doing with the coasters? I don’t need a new one.”

“That’s his private stash.”


“The kid’s right. I don’t drink, so whenever someone buys me a beer, I put a coaster on that pile. Then, when I buy someone a drink, I take a coaster off the pile.”

“Holy crap, John – there must be over a hundred coasters on that pile.”

“I’ve been here a few years.”

“Did you ever drink?”

“Nope, never.”

“Not even in the Army?”

“Nope. I traded beer for cigarettes.”

“That’s crazy. So, Dan, I guess you got your drinking genes from you mother?”

“She has been known to have a few drinks, but not beer.”

“Well, that’s your last one for tonight, you’re driving me home.”

“You know, you could drive.”

“Uh uh! You borrow my car, you’re my driver. Besides, you have to be at work for six tomorrow.”


“You have the three am shift?”

“Yeah, I traded with Tom – he wanted the day off, and it’s overtime for me.”

“Wait, you’ve been out all night, you’re going home at two and you’re going to work at three?”

“I am, Paul. I finish the first half of my shift at six am. I’ll go home and sleep then.”

“Not too long, you have to cut the front tomorrow.”

“I’ll cut it, dad. I don’t go back to work until three-thirty.”

“OK. Make sure you …”

“…use the red mower, I know dad, the red mower is for the front yard.”

“I was going to say, cut it diagonally, from the front door to the weeping willow.”

“Geeze, John. It’s not a ball field.”

“I like to vary the way it’s cut.”

“But ‘cut it diagonally, with the red mower’ sounds a little too prescriptive for me.”

“The other mower is for the side and the back yard. Lots of sticks and stuff from the woods, and this one just runs over all that crap.”

“The price you pay for free room and board Dan?”

“It’s not bad, he gives me one job a day.”

“On top of working more than 40 hours a week, you said tomorrow was overtime.”

“Otherwise, he’d sleep the day away. Hard work builds character.”

“That’s what you’ve said about every difficult thing I’ve ever had to do – ‘it builds character’ – you’d think I’d have enough by now.”

“Well, you certainly are a character. Here, have another beer – I’ll drive home.”

“Thanks Dad – for everything.”

Today’s gallery has a few throw-backs to scenes my dad would have been familiar with and a few more that I collected this week sitting with the pooch. And, if you have a song stuck in your head, it’s below the gallery.


  1. My mother was big on having me do things that “built character.” Sounds like your dad was cut from the same cloth. Also, fried mushrooms! Hadn’t thought of them in years. Can’t believe I actually ate them, now that I think back on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ally. I think “character” was important to many in that generation. I wish it was still popular, but I think it was replaced by status. We were in Pittsburgh last year, and we had a fried mushroom appetizer. They were good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sadly, I think you’re right, Dan, or maybe replaced by popularity which is similar. There also seems to be the idea that you can do whatever you want if someone else does it. So it someone else acts childishly (or worse), it justifies you acting that way. I’d like to see more people acting honorably.

        Ah well, getting a little depressing, so I’ll say thanks for the memories and happy Father’s Day!


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Perfect post for this weekend. It must be a comfort to have such wonderful memories of your Dad. You’re lucky – all of us don’t have them. And, I love the red lawn mower because I can hear mowers in the area going clunk, clunk, clunk as they just drive right over sticks of varying sizes. It’s a different world today. If the mower break, pitch it, and buy a new one. Maddie is going to love this weekend, but she’ll need a good sized water bowl. :-) Happy Father’s Day, Dan, and I hope you get a visit from your favorite daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy. I spent a lot of time with my dad. He died way too early. I miss him, but I still have a lot of good memories. I do know that I’m lucky. I hope to pas that on.

      Faith is taking a backpacking class up in your neck of the woods, but I’ll catch up with her at some point. My dad got the red mower from his brother-in-law and he repaired it and kept it sharp. Back then, you set the cutting height by removing and reinstalling bolts in each wheel. So the mowers were set at different heights, to allow for those sticks. We basically scoured the front yard before cutting.

      Maddie and I just got back from a nice walk. Must go early this weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Awwwww, Happy Father’s Day Dan! ‘Building character’ was a biggie with my dad as well. Thank you for sharing some of your fondest memories of your dad. Clearly you learned those lessons your dad tried to impress upon you. He would be so proud of you. I love the lawnmower story…..we didn’t have mowers then where you simply pushed a button to adjust the cutting height.

    My dad taught me, at the age of 12, how to adjust the wheels. Why? Because IT BUILDS CHARACTER!! Lol.

    Maddie and Moncton look very pleased with themselves. Maddie may opt for the couch and the AC tomorrow instead of hanging around outside. I’m sure you’ll try to convince her!!
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. You’re so right about those mowers – getting them started and adjusting them. Learning to do things the right way was an important part of growing up with my dad.

      Maddie has already taken me for a walk. I’m sure we will walk early tomorrow, but we will wait for some shade before going outside to sit (and I might bring a cold beverage along).


  4. You have some great memories Dan. A life is rich when diversity and wisdom lives with you. Your Dad sounds like many Dads, including the one who lives here as far as the lawn mowing goes.. Some things are constant. Happy Father’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Maddie’s override made me LOL :)
    That’s cool you went back to see the bowling alley.
    And that you saw Zeppelin in concert. WOW.

    I just told Sassy last week that when her suitor leaves, he leaves. I told her if she wants to stand out there kissing for an hour, she needs to do that before they get to the house because some of us wanna lock the doors and go to bed.
    She looked at me like O_O but I tell ya, third kid. I’m older, I’m tired. I’m not tryin to prevent the kissing, the kissing is inevitable, I just wanna sleep! lol

    I’m also relating to your lawn care story. My dad is a lawn guy. I don’t mean professionally, but as a hobbyist, or maybe it’s more of a lifestyle. Yes, always a rotating pattern and all kinds of stuff I try to tune out. He never wanted me to mow grass, though, so I really don’t think it’s disrespectful to not have taken notes. He does always have a beautiful lawn.
    My mother used to enjoy mowing grass, but since she married my dad, we can’t know if she still does, lol. She was mowing grass when she went into labor with me.
    My father enjoyed mowing grass so much he moved to the desert. I probably have his genes on that. The Mister is mowing the grass right now and I’d say he’s proud, but not enthusiastic. We all have to admire the grass after he cuts it. It’s a thing.

    Great dad stuff today, I really enjoyed this share :)


    • Thanks! I’m so glad you enjoyed this. I can only imagine life with kid three and four coming up. Only ever had the one. I can imagine wanting to go to bed.

      My wife likes to cut the grass but with her mower, her way. I’m good with that. I cut the front yard sometimes but I cut it the way I want (which might be the way my dad taught me).

      We don’t have a beautiful lawn, but the critters like it.

      I did get to see Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the Allman Brothers that year. A good year for concerts.

      Maddie always gets her way.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this, Dan! It builds character theme perfect for Father’s Day. There were many Dads way back when who used that phrase to explain difficult “chores.” I rarely hear it today! Thanks for the Maddie & Sammy pics. Have a Happy Dad’s Day. 📚 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a great Father’s Day story, Dan. It made me pause and remember my dad’s comments about this or that “building character.” Great photos too… :)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was such a lovely trip down memory lane with you, Dan. How cool that you got to have a peek inside the old bowling alley building!
    It’s so weird you have Fathers Day this weekend. Ours isn’t until September. And yet we have the same Mothers Day. What’s with that?
    And thanks for the song. Love me some Funkel Brothers (Simon and Gar).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Now I’m pretty sure my brothers never cut the grass on a diagonal. Yet there were a lot of other jobs for both myself and all my siblings to develop character. LOVE the song which of course brought back memories …. so what if I’m giving my generational age away? Happy Father’s Day, Dan!!! Have a great day!!! 💝

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great story and dialogue! He-Man mows the lawns in a diagonal pattern too. He varies it too. I don’t know if it’s better for the lawn or if he just likes to mix it up? :)

    The French doors on the old Bowling alley are nice.

    I hope you had a lovely Father’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love, love, loved this post: I liked learning a little of your history; I liked your dad; I liked your tribute to him; and I liked the way you were expected to build your character like I was — though it might have worked better for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know about that, Janet. You seem to have brought a lot of character along with you. I’m glad you enjoyed this visit. Everybody liked my dad, at least that’s how it seemed. I think children grew up faster back then.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ah, yes. Saying something hard “builds character” — that’s Dad 101, isn’t it? Too bad the bowling alley isn’t there anymore, but I’m glad you have some nice memories. Here’s to your dad.

    Liked by 1 person

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