286 thoughts on “Welcome to the Oar Blog July 10, 2009 to the present

    • Well, one dumbass reporting in from Ohio! A quick shout-out to all the folks who continue to make me laugh! And, of course to Clark Merritt, who deals with my dumbasssery would good spirit and patience. Can’t wait to see your latest creation!

  1. George Waite passed away Wednesday, 7/22 at 10:40p.m. He moved to Sacramento almost 2 years ago for his daughter to care for him.
    We are meeting Sunday, 8/2 @ 2:00p.m. on the west patio of The Farmers Market @ 3rd
    and Fairfax.

  2. R.I.P. George Waite. George Waite passed away Wednesday, 7/22 at 10:40p.m. He moved to Sacramento almost 2 years ago for his daughter to care for him.
    Old friends from J Sloans are meeting Sunday, 8/2 @ 2:00p.m. on the west patio of The Farmers Market @ 3rd and Fairfax to celebrate George’s life and share some memories about him. Everyone that knew George is welcome to join us.

  3. Sherry…. very good…. I think you are correct. PM has celebrated her 21st birthday more than anyone else i know !!!

  4. Yea. I know what you mean, Brent. In Reno I saw that she had laminated her driveing learner permit and kept trying to use that for identification! Of course it was all cracked and peeling open. And in the picture she was a blond with a flip!
    Just the same I love her and hope she has a Wonderful Today Birthday!

  5. Well lets see. Oar House on Wed. nights, Baby Huey’s on thursday nights, Itchy Foot Mose on Friday nights, Mothers on Sat. nights, rested on Sundays. Cant remember what Monday and Tuesday brought us? Too much alcohol for sure. Oh ya the Sea Inn in Redondo. Never a slow night back in late 60′s early 70′s.

    Does anybody remember a band called “The West Coast Branch”, that played at the “Flying Jib”? Great band especially for someone who was freshly back from Viet Nam.

  6. Oar House 1971-1974—Betsy & Rusty we lived on 2nd Street, we moved to Santa Monica from West Virginia. We went to the Oar House on our first night in Santa Monica and most nights after that. What great times, and great people!!! Russ Armstrong lived with us off and on and we all still keep in touch. I was so excited to see the web site, great memories!!

  7. Not sure how to post a memory of the Oar House/Buffalo Chips. so I’ll put it here!
    I enjoyed the Oar House in 1971 & 1972 while going to LMU. When I moved to Sacramento in 1973 or 1974, I went to work as a bartender on the opening crew at Fanny Ann’s Saloon, a sister store. Next time I visited SoCal, a bunch of us went into the Oar House on a Sunday afternoon. When the bartender found out I worked at Fanny Ann’s, he offered to make me a special drink: An Earthquake. He cautioned that only a select few were ever served this concoction, and only an employee was ever served two! I watched as he mixed 4 shots from the well (I think vodka, rum, tequila, and gin) and two shots of liqueurs (galliano and kahlua, I think.) He added ice and MILK, shook it with two steel milkshake mixer cups, then tossed the whole thing into a beer pitcher, put two straws in it, and served it up (“key 4″ of course!) Ready to be slammed, I sipped the smoothest milkshake like concoction I’d ever had in a bar!! I fine memory, and the last memory I have of that day, too.

  8. Responding to Bill Moore above:
    I remember the Flying Jib in Redondo and the house band, The West Coast Branch, very well. Used to see them once or twice a week — in between visits to The Oar. I went to high school with Jon Hill, the rhythm guitar player. I thought they were one of the best acid rock and blues bands around. Their version of “Smokestack Lightning” was the best I ever heard. I think they could have hit it big, but, unfortunately, their singer had a very undistinctive voice.

    The Flying Jib also had some great guest bands. One, in particular, was called The Sot Weed Factor. The played often at the Topanga Corral. Anyone remember that place? It was near the top of Topanga Canyon and the crowd was mostly shit kickers and bikers. Interesting venue, to say the least.

    Regarding The Oar House, I seem to predate most of the people posting here. I go back to the 1965-1070 era when Venice was a real skid row and most of the customers were Venice psychos. Buffalo Chips was a small parking lot then, with a train locomotive sitting on it. Those were the days. Got a million stories, but no time right now.


  9. Weedy…. Never met you but we need more stories and pictures from your era at the Oar House. My first visit was Spring of 1969. Come to the party on November 14th if you can. 2941 / 2943 Main St. Thanks.

  10. Okay, I’ll start sorting through some of my stories. Why are there two blogs? Is it better to post on this one or the other one?

    Someone e-mailed the reunion notice to me yesterday, so I called Jinks — anyone remember him? — and told him about it.


  11. Hey Everybody!!! There’s a gatherin’ at O’Briens (Buffalo Chips) in Santa Monica on Saturday November 14 at 7PM. On the home page click the top bannerfor more info…this ones for – Ex-employees. ex-customers, ex’s & bounty hunters looking for a lead. see ya there

  12. Weedy….
    So glad you called Jinks. Who doesn’t remember him? Was trying to locate him last year for our party in Reno, Nevada but could only narrow it down to his working for the railroad and they were no help even though they said they would get back to me. I called and left various messages for people around the country with his name, but never got a return call. Pat Merryman is flying out from Ohio for this party and everyone would love to see Mr. Patrick Jinks.
    Hope he can make it.

    There are two blogs because this is a bit of a transition period. The one with 219 posts is 1.5 years old and was the original, but with a different format and then the host went belly-up or something. So Clark transferred everything to this site for the time being until it can be transformed into something better. What you are doing is fine. The other one seems to have reached a humorous dead-end for the moment, but curious individuals will seek the location with the most activity.

    Looking forward to meeting you. Bring a carload of friends! We’re putting old tunes together to bring back the “Vibe.”

  13. My Oar House Genesis:
    I turned twenty-one in August of ’65. I had been hearing rumors about this dive in Venice called The Oar House for several months. The father of one of my buddies, in fact, was a pilot with Western Airlines and flew with Al Ehringer, the principal owner of The Oar. I suppose it was sometime in the fall of ’65 that I first went there with two or three other guys.

    A couple of things caught my attention right off the bat. First of all, in those days that part of Venice was a real arm pit. It was not a place you wanted to wander around alone, especially at night. Why would anyone open a bar there? And then at the door, there was this burly, surly, black doorman — can’t remember his name right now, but he turned out to be a great guy — carding everyone, including people that were obviously on social security.

    My first impression when I entered was that this place was just a rip off of The Pitcher House in Hermosa. Well, that notion didn’t last long. The Oar House had a better selection of crap strewn about the place. The Oar House has a better selection of psycho customers in those days, comprised mostly of Venice locals. The Oar House had a better selection of sounds on their stereo (don’t know what most of you remember, but initially it was mostly sound effects, folk music, show tunes, and a rare Beatles song).

    I couldn’t believe the chute that came out of the ceiling to fill up the giant peanut barrel, the chute that had the “Caution: Phallic Dust“ sign on it. The ritual of filling the peanut barrel was something to behold. And then there was the huge statue of the Ubangi holding its kid next to the service bar. Sadly, it was one of the treasures that apparently didn’t survive the fire.

    While my friends and I were enjoying our drinks, several peanut fights broke out. Plus, we were shelling and eating peanuts like crazy. Finally, a giant mound of peanut shells filled our table. The bus boy at the time — I seem to recall his name was Tony — came over and very carefully scooped all the peanut shells and cigarette butts into a very neat pile, and then brushed the entire pile onto the floor.

    That was my introduction. I was hooked. More later.

    Talked to Jinks tonight. He plans to see you all on the 14th.

  14. Okay everybody…. Forget that 7pm thing mentioned above. Anybody who marks down “7pm” in their desk calendar and then decides to show up fashionably LATE will be sorely disappointed to find out that, not only have they missed 98% of the fun, but that the music will be switched over to the normal programming they play on late Saturday nights. It’s become obvious to me that the party will be starting much earlier. Pat Merryman will be starting before noon in the SM/Venice area, and O’Brien’s will be our official check-in place on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 14th, 2009. Arrive by 5 or 5:30 latest to order something off the menu. At 7pm we will ceremoniuosy open the back door to the old Oar and put on our music. We will have the place to ourselves until their normal opening to the public at 9:30pm.

  15. Some Oar House characters that most of you probably missed:

    In the first couple of years of The Oar House’s existence, there were some strange local characters that frequented the place. They all seemed to disappear by the end of the ‘60s.

    One character was Dirty Al. I don’t know how he got that name, except that the only words that ever seemed to come out of his mouth were “f*** you!” No matter what you said to him, that was his response. He used to drink a drink he called a “snow cone,” which was beer in an ice-filled mug. He was often with a buddy that rarely said anything. Can’t remember his name, but Weird Ed comes to mind.

    There wasn’t a lot of rock in the early mix of stuff on the sound system, except a very infrequent Beatles song. There was sound effect, show tunes and Mitch Miller sing-along stuff. Every so often “The Stripper” would blast out. Now, if a local guy named Jack was there, he would hop up on a table with a couple of bar towels and do the bumps and grinds sexier than any woman you’ve ever seen. When he was done, everyone in the place was cheering … and panting.

    Another semi-regular was an African guy named Louis. He claimed to be the son of the chief of some African tribe. Indeed, he had a very cultured African accent. He was also very athletic. He often sang along with some of the music, and he could actually drown out The Oar’s stupendous sound system. When a song particularly moved him, he would pick up the nearest woman in his arms, hop up on a table and leap from table to table singing at the top of his lungs, while the woman’s date would just stare in disbelief.

    And then there was Jinks …


  16. Great stuff, Weedy, and rest assured I will be bringing some old tunes with me as I was a big fan of those tapes. If you can remember what Beatles’ songs were played please let me know, as things changed in 1969/70. We’ll be bringing a nice mix to span the years. Thanks. br1118@gmail.com

  17. Hey, Clark, that clock is so wrong. I did not post the above at 5:47am on Nov. 4th. Right now it is Tuesday night, 9:49pm, November 3rd, 2009.

  18. To Brent ’71-’77:

    Believe it or not, I made the tapes for a couple of “Going Out of Business Sales.” They were the first tapes The Oar used that were predominately rock. I was actually going to discuss the early GOBS in a future message. Didn’t want to hog the blog too much by myself. I’d be glad to bring some CDs on the 14th of ditties from that era.


  19. P.S. to Brent ’71-’77:

    The message clock seems to be using Greenwich Mean Time, which is several hours ahead of bar time.


  20. There’s no CD player at the place. If you want to bring a portable player we will probably be able to plug it in. Otherwise, an iPod with a playlist is the preferred vehicle. I’m bringing a laptop with iTunes. Sending me a playlist of your CD contents would be a good start, if you can. br1118@gmail.com

  21. One of My Favorite Oar House Stories:

    The best and worst bartender The Oar ever had, in my opinion, was a guy known to all the staff as Tweetie Pie. I don’t know how he got that handle. He worked part-time at The Oar while finishing his masters degree at UCLA in thermodynamics, a word, incidentally, that he never learned how to spell.

    Okay, let’s start with some background information. The first manager, as far as I know, was a guy named Don Thomas. He had a very strict dress code for bartenders: white shirt, tie, red vest. Tweetie conformed to that for awhile. However, one Easter Sunday he came to work in a head-to-toe bunny suit. Don Thomas was horrified, but Don’s wife happened to be there and thought it was cute, so Tweetie got away with it. He never wore the standard uniform after that. One time he came dressed as an accident: bandages covering his entire body with blood stains and gore everywhere. One time he came dressed as Hitler, and so on.

    So one time — maybe it was on a Halloween — everyone, including Don Thomas, decided to surprise and upstage Tweetie by coming to work in costumes. Now Don was a roly-poly guy, hairy body and bald. He came in a grass hula skirt. Not a pretty sight. I don’t remember what anyone else wore. When Tweetie finally rode up to The Oar on his motorcycle — fairly late, as usual — he was dressed in a complete scuba diving outfit: wetsuit, tanks, mask, flippers, etc. And that’s the way he worked the bar that night. The staff never tried to outdo Tweetie again.

    About the Hitler costume … sometime during the night he wore that costume, a particularly spirited Beatles song came on the sound system. Tweetie happened to be making one of those drinks that required a shaker. He hopped up on the bar and was dancing around shaking the drink above his head. By this time half the people in the bar were looking at him. Suddenly, the two halves of the shaker separated and the drink poured down all over him.

    Okay, now to the main story … Tweetie was living at a place called Israel Levine’s Senior Jewish Community Center, which was on the Venice beach only a few blocks from The Oar. Think about that: a twenty-three-year-old gentile living in a Jewish old folks home. I had to see it to believe it, so one night I dropped by Isreal’s while Tweetie was getting ready to go to work at The Oar. We were rummaging through his stuff trying to come up with a new costume. The best we could do that night was to dress him in drag using a blond wig, a sweater (with only one boob) and a borrowed skirt. When he was set, I drove him to The Oar.

    About an hour into his shift, one of the waitresses came in to start work. Her name was Mary Ann. She was gorgeous, sexy, outgoing, and easily raked in more tips than anyone else in the place. Tweetie always lusted after her, as did everyone else. Okay, so Mary Ann went behind the bar to stash her purse and coat. She saw Tweetie and started laughing uproariously and hollering at everyone within earshot to check out his costume. By now, all eyes were on the two of them behind the bar. Mary Ann then grabbed Tweetie in a huge embrace and put a lip lock on him that wouldn’t quit. Must have lasted twenty seconds. She then stepped back and eyed him from head to toe laughing, while he was breathless with eyes spinning. Finally, she reached down and lifted up Tweetie’s skirt. Now this presented a few problems. First, just about everyone in The Oar was watching all this happening. Second, Tweetie forgot to put on any skivs under the skirt. Third, Mary Ann’s prolonged kiss induced a major case of EF (erectile function) in Tweetie.

    It seemed like the laughter went on for at least a half-hour.

    By the way, that night I had to leave before last call, so Tweetie had to walk home through Venice wearing a dress. More on Tweetie later.


  22. Great Stuff, Weedy. Looking forward to meeting you at the party. Rest assured your stories will be posted with the Archives.

  23. In June of 1997 I was having breakfast at a place just down the street from The Oar. My niece and I walked past the place. It seemed like it was still in business at that time, but they had not yet opened for the day.

    When did The Oar actually close? Was there any kind of closing party? I’m surprised that there isn’t some kind of shrine or historical marker in front of the place.


    P.S. Am I the only guy posting? I’m a latecomer to this blog. Has everyone else already posted all their stories? I looked at the other blog and the stories on the website. Surely those aren’t all the stories there are.

  24. Ed….I believe we all have an oversized treasure chest of stories. I for one did not want to Bogart the blog & website with my stores. so I sit politely at the table hoping someone like you will step forward. I love to listen & read about others experiences in those elysian fields. Don’t be shy. We will jump back in as soon as we hold our breath

  25. Thanks, Clark. I, too, don’t want to hog all the spotlight, and am likewise interested in hearing other’s stories.

    But please answer my questions about The Oar’s closing, if you or anyone know the answers.


  26. Hello All. Weedy, you reminded me of my Topanga Corral storey. I did not get a drivers license until I was 21. But at age 20 I did get a fake ID. And I thought ‘Yippee!’ So 6 of us smooshed into a small car and went to the Corral. Just as the driver turned off the key there were 2 policemen at our windows. They asked for our ID. Fortunatly I had a library card to show them. I told the police that I planned to sit in the car and read the book I found on the floor. When the police left I started to cry and my friends had to take me home! I lived in Topanga Canyon for 2 years, back when hitchhiking was safe and fun. I was a governess for 3 girls and I did house cleaning. I cleaned Neil Young’s house about 5 times. He had a recording studio downstairs. I made a turkey sandwich for Graham Nash. Neil had a pet bush baby – it is a small unfriendly rodent. He had to wear welding gloves due to its sharp teeth. Of course I had all the CSN & Y records but I also liked the band ‘Southwind”. They used a flatbed truck for a stage to have concerts at the shopping center. When Neil got divorced from Susan Acevedo she got the shopping center as part of the settlement. Finally I turned 21 I got my drivers license and a grey VW Bug. That year there were bad fires in Topanga. The parents were out of town. So the kids and I took one shopping bag of clothes and one sleeping bag each plus the 2 dogs and went to Santa Monica for saftey. After the fire the kids went home and I decided to stay at the beach. Some time after that I started to work at the Oar House. About 10 years ago I met a woman named Linda who had been a partner in the Corral. She is still friends with David Crosby.
    I would love to attend the party on Main Street next week. But, dang! 3 months ago I said I would volunteer at a fund raiser event. As I asked at the last Oar House gathering I hope someone will knock back a Shirley Temple for me!
    Have fun, Sherry

  27. Another Quick Story about Tweetie Pie:

    One spring break from UCLA Tweetie and a pal, Tricky Ricky, went to San Filipe, Mexico to relax and raise hell. While they were there, they got into a barroom brawl with two guys named Igor and Lardo (sounds like two guys you don’t want to mess with). Tweetie ended up with a world-class black eye. Shortly after that trip, he had to have his driver’s license photo taken, and the shiner on his left eye showed up beautifully.

    After Tweetie’s bartending days, he and I would occasionally go to The Oar. Because of staff turnover almost nobody remembered him. He loved it when he was carded at the front door. First of all, Tweetie pulled out his Cub Scout wallet with great flourish, making sure the doorman saw it. And then when he displayed his driver’s license showing the very prominent black eye, the doorman knew he had seen it all.


  28. One of My Favorite Jinks Stories:

    This story has nothing to do with The Oar House, except that it involves Jinks.

    One evening Mike Grzanich and I were having dinner and a drink at a place called The Buccaneer, right near Manhattan Beach Pier. Mike was an Oar House manager in the very early days. At the time of this story he owned a bar in Manhattan beach called La Paz. He now owns the best bar/restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, Latitude 22+ Roadhouse (http://www.lat22nobaddays.com). So much for the commercials.

    Mike and I were having a good chat when Jinks came in the front door. When he saw us, he came over and sat down at our table. Jinks was clearly troubled by something that was weighing heavily on his mind.

    It might help you to know that Jinks was raised with a devout Irish-Catholic background. In fact, he even spent some time trying to become a monk in the Christian Brothers order. Hard to believe, I know, but it may help you understand if you remember that the Christian Brothers supported themselves by making and selling fine wine and brandy.

    Anyway, Jinks started to tell us what was troubling him. “I had this dream,” he said with a worried look on his face. “I dreamed that I was one of the apostles sitting at the Last Supper with Jesus. Jesus broke the bread and passed it around. He blessed the wine and passed it around. Then He said, ‘One of you has betrayed Me.’ There was stunned silence at the table.

    “The silence was broken by a knock at the side door. One of the apostles went over and opened the door. It was the Budweiser delivery guy wanting to know where to drop all the kegs.”

    This dream apparently tested Jinks’ Catholic sense of guilt and he felt it bordered on sacrilegious. On the other hand Mike and I laughed ourselves silly. Only Jinks …


  29. Oh, man… guess what? I waited too late and the Seashore Motel in Santa Monica is now sold out for our party on November 14th. It’s only 3 blocks from the old Oar. What the hell was I thinking? Will I be sleeping in my car?

  30. Why I’ll Spend Some Time in Purgatory:

    After a lifetime of exemplary behavior, countless good deeds and bringing comfort to my fellow humans, I expect I’ll have no trouble getting past St. Peter. Well, there is this one blot on my record.

    Not too far from The Oar were two lesbian bars. One was called Scotty’s at Lincoln and Rose. Scotty’s was usually filled with women ranging from passable to quite attractive. Then there was Big Brother’s on Washington Place (now Abbot Kinney) near Venice Boulevard. It was where the Dikes on Bikes crowd gathered, and was the only bar I’ve ever been in where a bartender vaulted over the bar, Western movie style, and smashed a bottle over a patron’s head. It seemed someone was messing with the bartender’s date. Of course, all three in this particular triangle were women.

    Every so often, after a night of striking out at The Oar, a buddy and I would stop off at one of these places and try to talk the lesbians out of being lesbians. That didn’t work, either, but it was always worth a few laughs.

    One horrendously crowded Friday night in The Oar, a couple of friends and I were squeezed elbow-to-elbow with a zillion other people. We were right near the bar. There were three Marines sitting at the bar, freshly returned from combat in Viet Nam. One of them tapped me on the shoulder and asked where they could find some women. Without hesitation, I pointed in an easterly direction and said, “Scotty’s at Lincoln and Rose.” I assured them that there were plenty of women there, and they took off in eager anticipation, graciously offering their seats at the bar to us.

    About twenty minutes later, I turned to my friends and said, “You know, those Marines are going to think they died and went to Heaven when they walk into Scotty’s. About ten minutes later, they’re going to figure out that they’ve been had. They may come back here and beat the crap out of us.” So we drank up and split to Big Brother’s. After all, if the Marines tracked us down, we figured the Dikes on Bikes crowd would protect us.

    Today happens to be Veterans Day, so maybe my conscience is bothering me. I always felt kind of bad about pulling a crappy trick like that. I think it’s worth a few dozen years in Purgatory. But on the other hand, I assume they didn’t get laid, so what’s wrong with them going through the same thing I was going through?


  31. A Small Memory:

    When Buffalo Chips was built, I guess they also did a few structural improvements to The Oar House itself. I say that because in the very early days there was a large hole in the ceiling. The hole was located … well, if you were going back to the heads, just before you took that step up to the back bar area, look up to the right and there it was. You could see the rafters up there.

    The hole apparently opened to the outside world somewhere else in the roof because there was a flock of pigeons that roosted up there. Every so often they would swoop down into The Oar, crap all over the place, and then go back to their residence. It seemed to fit the general ambiance of the place. Didn’t happen often, but once was enough, especially when they crapped on the Happy Hour free food.

    I don’t remember it happening again after Buffalo Chips was built.

    By the way, how many of you remember the free food — cold cuts, etc. — during Happy Hour? I was very poor in those days and it saved me from starvation more than once. All I needed was a quarter to buy a beer.


    P.S. Sure wish someone else had something to say here. It’s getting lonely.

  32. Keep the Faith, Weedy.
    This Blog is in Low Profile @ the moment. We all know there are more stories out there. Look how long WE have waited for YOU to tune in…. !!!

  33. BTW…. Party this weekend @ the old Oar House Location. Sat., Nov 14, 2009, 2943 Main Street, SM, 90405. Starts @ 5pm. Don’t be late or you miss all the fun.

  34. A good friend of mine Rob Driscoll of Alaska Airlines was at a pilots meeting yesterday and mentioned the Oar House to some exWAL pilots. Small world as shown here by one of their responses –
    “Thanks for the info. on the OAR HOUSE, man does that bring back memories. I knew and flew with the three Western pilots that founded the bar and restaurant Buffalo Chips. Al Ehringer, Denny Gibbons and J.O. Howitt. What a group!!! We tipped a few at the OAR HOUSE. Al Ehringer went on to make a ton of money from his company The Great American Food and Beverage Co. where he set up other bars using the OAR HOUSE model. All of the other bars and restaurants were located in college towns and Al used the money that he made from that venture to buy real estate in Malibu and other places. He was a very successful entrepreneur and a super guy. I will share this with some other WAL guys.”

  35. Going Out of Business Sales (GOOBS):

    For those who never attended an annual Going Out of Business Sale (a.k.a., Oar House anniversary), they occurred on a Sunday in October. The place opened earlier than usual, 6:00AM, and closed, as usual, at 2:00AM.

    My first Going Out of Business Sale was in 1966, I think. That would be the fourth Going Out of Business Sale, which was actually the second one. You see, they numbered each one two more than the previous one. If that confuses you, just have a drink. You’re probably behind anyway.

    I went to The Oar not knowing anything special was happening. I showed up about sunset and the line at the door was practically a block long. My bartender friend, Tweetie, was ending his shift, and he snuck me in the back door. I was lucky to find an empty seat at the bar. The first clue I had that something momentous was happening was when I found out that all drinks were 25¢. I forget what beer was selling for, maybe 10¢. I’m normally a beer drinker, but the price for mixed drinks was too good to pass up. I ordered a gin gimlet.

    That went down the hatch rather quickly. So I ordered another. The bartender was a guy named Roger Small, and he was clearly overworked that night. When I ordered my third, he said, “Can’t you see how hard I’m working? Why the hell don’t you order a double?” So I ordered a triple. It still cost me a quarter.

    Well, my first Going Out of Business Sale lasted about forty-five minutes. I was completely hosed. I practically had to crawl out on my hands and knees. And I think I spent a buck.

    By the time the next Going Out of Business Sale rolled around, I had sufficient warning and training. A group of about five of us started banging on the front door at 6:00AM on a foggy Sunday morning in October. One of the managers, Tony Parmely (sp?), opened the door. My girlfriend and I survived until 2:00AM the next morning. We didn’t pass out, we drank steadily, our hearing and our livers were completely shot, and we sure had fun. I don’t know how many people have ever survived the full twenty hours, but we did it once, and once was enough.

    At one Going Out of Business Sale, Jinks disappeared at about ten in the morning. We couldn’t find him anywhere. We figured he went to the nearest Catholic church to pass out. He often did that, good Irish Catholic lad that he was. But we were wrong. I’ll explain. In the early days there was a partition in front of the men’s head, but nothing blocking the entrance to the women’s. Finally, someone spotted Jinks’ tennis shoes (they were multi-colored and very loud) in one of the stalls in the women’s head. Jinks was in them. He needed to pass out for awhile, and that was a nice, private place to do it. Made sense to Jinks.

    I only went to a couple of Going Out of Business Sales after that. I think my last one was in 1973, or so. Did they continue having them until the bitter end? And (I’ll ask once more) when was the bitter end?


    P.S. Just talked to Jinks. He’s on the bus from Bakersfield to downtown L.A. Looks like he’ll make it tomorrow. He was so excited that he was about to pass out … or maybe he was about to pass out just because he’s Jinks.

    P.P.S. Great article in the Santa Monica Daily Press about the event tomorrow. Is anyone planning to post it here?

  36. 1977 GAF warehouse manager- It was my sworn duty to respond fast to any obligatory GAF call to open the Warehouse- Because I lived 4 blocks fronm the joint I was closest to repond- I was given the secret code and the alarm respose secret message – it was like Gaining entrance into a private club-
    The Warehouse was filled to the rafters with all the Auction merchendise aquired by “A.T.” – Among said itewms were the Special Effects cubes used during filming of the Fantastic Voyage- a lot of items from Planet of the Apes we refered to that area as “APE SHIT” – A partial fuselage of a B-17 Bomber – that was on casters- We once loaned (RENTED) it out to Ba-Ba Black Sheep- it was used in one episope of the TV show- When It came back – I drifted up into the cockpit for a nice Lunch -Siesta- and found a complete script belonging to Bob Robert Conrad aka “pappy Boington” – The ware house was a happening place what with all the PRE- Fab for new GAF Restaurants & Bars being assembled there – And also the addition of all newly acquired Auction merchendise from “A.T.’s” purchases- —More to follow soon -
    Neil Larson

  37. Weedy…. I worked the last two G.O.B.’s ( Going-out-of Business Sales ) and they were, respectively, the 14th and the 16th, in 1971 and 1972. In 1971 we served 20,000 drinks in twenty hours of operation. That’s one thousand drinks per hour, on average, for the day. In 1972 we served 22,000 drinks in twenty hours of operation. I am not making this up. I was a manager and it’s simple math: $5000 gross alcohol sales divided by 25 cents per drink = 20,000 drinks. I have pictures of the liquor bottles (aka “breakage”) lined up in the parking lot on Monday morning. I remember the line being down the block well in advance of our opening at 6am on a Sunday. By 8:30 or 9am the place was rockin’ like a Friday night, and the party didn’t stop until we closed.
    So why did we stop having them? Was it because it was too hard on us, the employees, most of who worked double shifts? No, it was because it was too hard on the “physical plant” – the bar, the building, the tables, stools, restrooms, walls, decor, etc. Yes, October of 1972 – the last of the Legendary G.O.B.’s!! Funny how drinking can make you forget how old you are. More than one customer would first consult a flyer or T-shirt before declaring…. “I’ve been coming here for 16 years!!” The place had been open 8 years. hah!
    Regarding the bitter end…. talk to Les at the party. He was a DJ on Monday nights for 25 years’ worth of ‘Oldies” and watched it all fizzle despite his efforts.

    Neil Larson…. Nice to see you back on the site. You seemed to fade away sometime during your trip to SoCal last summer.

  38. Brent — I could have sworn I went to a GOB in ’73 because it was after I was married, which was in August of ’73. Oh, well, that’s what alcohol does to you.

    Neil — Where was the warehouse, or is it still a deep, dark secret? The story I heard was that the initial load of crap for The Oar came from a sale at Hal Roach Studios. Is that true?

    Jinks says “hi.” He’s crashed on my floor right now (9:15AM). I’ll see what I can do to rally him in a few minutes. Anxious to see you all later today. Will there be a prize for the person that comes the farthest to attend the reunion? One person I know of is coming from Canberra, Australia.


  39. Mike Grzanich was a manager at The Oar from ’64-’70. It’s funny that I don’t remember him there at all, but I got to know him very well later. Anyway, one time when I visited Mike in Cabo San Lucas, he told me the story of his job interview with Al Ehringer.

    I’m not sure I have it exactly right, but the interview went something like this. Al talked to Mike for awhile on various subjects. Then he asked Mike a question. “You have two applicants for a waitress job. One of them finds a hundred dollar bill on the floor. She picks it up and turns it into the manager. The second one picks it up, looks around furtively to see if anyone has seen what happened, and then keeps it. Which one do you hire?”

    Mike thought for just a split second and replied, “Why, the one with the biggest tits, of course.” He was hired on the spot.


  40. I showed up early and ran into a few good friends at the bar. Then it snowballed into a spectacular evening. My only regret is that I could not spend more time conversing with everyone. There were people there I had not seen in thirty years! As the event waned, plans were made to regroup at PM’s palatial suite in the Lonely Arms hotel. That’s when my troubles started. I had not been to SM for 15 years. They’ve added one way streets in all the wrong places (at least that’s what I told the SMPD). I managed to talk myself out of a ticket and sobriety ballet. At that point the decision to flee took over somewhere around 4th & ???
    and my next cognitive moment came as I was I found myself barreling down the 405, steel eyed, heading for the safety of my abode. I don’t think I like Santa Monica any more than I did when I moved to Malibu in 1976. Too foofoo tooty for me. Give me the tattooed skinheads & plastic adorned rollerblading milfs & cougars of the OC. At any rate, my humblest apologies to everyone. I really wanted to be there. Other than my run in with officer Krupke, the evening was sublime. Thanks Brent, et al for the splendid effort.

  41. Anyone that took photos at O’Briens, the ones of ___e on the box springs with the live chicken are already on the net at a site where you …well you know – anyway, please send to me for the site….remember 72dpi by 8×10.

  42. A tip o the hat to Brent for putting together the gathering at O’Brien’s — great to see so many old friends again, so many memories.
    Speaking of memories, I recall working day bar one Monday in ’73 BF (before fire). Manager came over from Chips and said Ed McMahon was coming in that night and to clean up the back bar. Well, it was a wreck. I got to the decorative urinal bolted to the wall and it was filled with trash. At the bottom were a couple of Burgermeister tap handles. Still got ‘em. Used one as a gear shift knob on my Camaro for a while (seemed like a good idea at the time). Question: Did the Oar ever pour Burgie BB (before Budweiser)?
    And how did they replace the big curbside mailbox with that big tree in front of the Oar? I recall bouncers tossing troublemakers straight out the front door into that mailbox. Bong!

  43. Oh, yeh… the U.S. Mailbox. Doorman Ben Cocker once made a guy still and behave himself for a good hour-and-a-half on top of that mailbox before he would let him back inside..!
    Btw… I stand corrected on the last of the G.O.B.’s. Somebody brought an old flyer in to the party, and it was indeed in October of 1973. Weedy has a memory like a steel trap.

  44. To all who had a hand in pulling off the gig last Saturday night, many kudos. It was a great evening. Everyone, except Jinks, was new to me. I heard lots of great stories. The place that now sits on the hallowed ground where The Oar once stood it quite a contrast. Talk about zero ambiance.

    Anyway, thanks again. Here’s another recollection about The Oar House of old …

    The Rose Bowl Fans:

    It was always interesting to go to The Oar around Rose Bowl time. The word had spread to the Midwesterners and several of them would make a pilgrimage to see the notorious Oar House while they were in southern California for the game.

    In my era The Oar charged 59¢ for a cocktail. I guess most bars charged 75¢ for well booze and 95¢ for call liquor at that time, maybe more. I always got a kick when some Ohioan or Michigander would order, say, a scotch on the rocks. The bartender would pour a hefty shot of Chivas Regal. The customer would walk away, shaking his head saying, “Fifty-nine cent for Chivas Regal?!?! I don’t get it.”


  45. We now a page dedicated to photos of the recent Oar House Party. Mr. Weedy has anti’ed up with 3 priceless gems and now has left up to you to match’em. Thanks Weedy for the photos & all the great blog memories!

    Due to the overwhelming response to the Oar tees & sweats I have dropped the shipping and lowered the price. Check out the Swag page. Call me crazy.

    Now go to the Memories page to see for yourself

  46. I had a great time at the party with everyone who showed up, as well as AFTER the party with Michael Scanlon, DeeDee and others as we made the rounds to the Circle and what used to be the Blue Fin. Drinking shots of various concoctions like Kamikazees, Touches and DeeDee’s favorite: Tootsie Rolls, Funny, I just turned 62 and i had to tell the bartender how to make a “Tootsie Roll.” That was not an Oar House drink, but one I learned in the early eighties bartending in the state of Washington. That was funny. Too bad I didn’t get wasted – I had taken my vitamins and could have gone all night. I did crash before sunrise, on purpose!

  47. Hey, a nice, New Look to the BLOG, as well as more photos and commentary added to the Memories page, in particular the Oar House Party of Nov. 14th. It’s too bad so many are still RECOVERING from the party. C’mon you old Coots & Misses…. Take your Freaking Vitamins and Get On with it, Man..!!!!

  48. Cinco de Mayo at the Oar:

    I decided to spend one Cinco de Mayo at The Oar House. You would think the special for that night would be some kind of tequila drink. But no, it was something they called “The Green Zipper.” I don’t know if it was a standard drink, or something they just dreamed up on the spot. I never heard of it before or since. It turned out The Green Zipper was a pitcher full of just about every kind of booze they had behind the bar. What made it green was a final shot of Creme de Menthe. It looked harmless enough. What the hell; I ordered one.

    I put a straw in it and sipped it throughout the night. I was having a great time. When I was about two-thirds through the damned thing, I began to realize I was completely hosed.

    My friend, Tweetie, was supposed to meet me later that night, so I sat at a table waiting for him. Sometime around 10:00PM my tunnel vision was coming to a point about two feet in front of my eyes. The only way I could really recognize anything was to scan it, like a TV camera, and then try to assemble the various lines and points into an image in what was left of my brain. Does that sound familiar? After awhile, I noticed that someone was sitting across the table from me. After about a minute of scanning, I realized it was Tweetie. I asked him, “How long you been sitting there?” He said it had been about a half hour.

    That did it. I figured I’d better get home before I passed out. I said, “Adios,” to Tweetie (in keeping with the Cinco de Mayo spirit), and staggered out to my car drove home using every back road available.

    I’m not prone to passing out, but that was about as close as I’ve come … well, except for the time that Tweetie and I stopped in The Pitcher House for “just one beer,” and rolled out an hour or two later after splitting twelve pitchers.


    P.S. I’m almost out of stories. I may have to start making them up if someone else doesn’t come forward.

  49. Thanks to Chas Atherton I found Fanny Ann’s & St. James Infirmary FACEBOOK pages. Had a thought. How cool would it be to have a GAF reunion with stores being represented complete with their own esprit deor.. I see games & competitions & of course..a lot of drinking. wut say ye?

  50. Aloha to all the old gang….Daniel (Kowabungus)Baralt just checking in from the island of Maui (aka “The Bastard” per Clark). Great job on new website items…loved PM’s SLIDE SHOW (part 1 and 2)plus all the pictures of the Reunion Party 2009 held at O’Brians. It really made me miss everyone and I’m sorry I didn’t attend. I just can’t leave paradise. I loved the one picture of the “WALL OF DEPARTED EMPLOYEES PICTURES” and hope that those of us that are still alive and included on it will be so for many years. It was a very nice rememberance of our friends and kudos to the one(s) who thought about doing it and made it happen. That’s a class act.

    I thought about you old surfing buddies on Dec.7th when JAWS was breaking 45 feet and I was perched on a cliff taking pictures. Wish you were here.

    Keep up the great work on the Oar website and thank you one and all for your friendship since the early 1970′s. There are too many names to list here but they know who they are.

    Mele Kalikimaka and to a great 2010 for everyone.

  51. does anyone remember the song oar house always played at last call. I thought it was Isley brothers, shout, it’s like that, but it’s not.

  52. Barb – the Last Call tape included several songs. It started with a horse racetrack trumpet fanfare then it went into the WIGGLE WOBBLE by Les Cooper & the Soul Rockers. It was probably modified in the “Sound Room” by speeding it up a bit. It is available on iTunes. .. but let’s keep going. I suspect the WW is what you were referring to. Handel’s Messiah let desparados know that time was running out and to step up their last gasp hustles. Mitch Miller & the boys followed with Good Night Ladies/Merrily we roll along. The Star Spangled Banner closed down the bar and sent the remaining bar rats scurrying into the dead of night. There is an on-going project by Brent Steiner & myself to resurrect the Last Call tape with the original components. Not a simple task. We’ve even tried to secure an original but no luck so far. I’m sure Brento will chime in as well. thanks for asking

  53. Funny: I don’t remember the Star Spangled Banner being part of Last Call. I though it ended with the hallelujah chorus. I remember TV stations signing off with the Star Spangled Banner late at night.

  54. Regarding the ‘Last Call Tape’, didn’t it include “The Great Pretender” and “Smoke gets in your eyes” song? Plus, “keep on Choogin” song? And, what is Brento even remembering about the Star Spangled Banner being played late at night? He was working at the OAR and blowing harmonica tunes through a peanut shell! I know cuz I have a copy of it on an 8-track somewhere.

    But there was the HALLIJULLAH (sp)chorus at the end. AND, LAST MIND FLASH FROM THE 1970′S LAST CALL TAPE WAS: Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs. Maybe include “Rock around the Clock”….I’m not entirely sure.

  55. Daniel, you are so damn funny. Some things never change. Your spelling of Hallelujah is fine with me. Just had lunch with Clark, and I can say that those lunches are never long enough. We talked about too many things, kept announcing Change of Subject on each other. Stay tuned for more innovations. Clark, thanks for dropping me off at the chiropractor.

  56. I apologize to Brento. For those that don’t know him…he was an icon of the artists and creator of art that made GAF what it was and why we still continue to live this time we remember. He’ll frankly acknowledge that he was only a part of what made the OAR happen but he had his “OAR” in the water when he taught others about ‘style’ and was a teacher to those of use who needed instruction. I remember being hired by Brent to come up to the “ART STUDIO” and help do art work. (I was just a bartender at the time and going to UCLA) When I arrived, upstairs, above the office, across the street from the OAR, I found a wonderful crampted place that ideas happened. It was also a place that T-Shirts were printed for the other bar locations. We all ended up being in a locomotive, split in half, and either Abby was printing T-Shirts on one side or the other side of the wall we were recording songs or sound tracks for the next month’s music recording to play at their saloon. (I think at the time I arrived there were about 8 saloons in the GAF series) I left the Art Departmet to continue college and barkeep at the OAR. Brento brought in Link & Paul Tank (sp) who were truly artists….no, I mean, really artists. I was a total moron compared to the brillant artistic work they brought to GAF.

    So, I leave you now and salute my hat to all who made this happen. Keep this blog going…..

  57. How to Eighty-Six Jinks:

    Whenever I visit former Oar House manager Mike Grzanich in Cabo San Lucas, I always fill him in on the latest status of Jinks.

    Mike has frequently told me the same story about Jinks. He eighty-sixed Jinks on a temporary basis whenever Jinks got too hosed, which was regularly. It got to be such a habit that Jinks finally started eighty-sixing himself. Here’s how that worked. Mike would walk up to Jinks with that “you’re outta here” look on his face. Jinks would then grab his own right shoulder with his left hand and pull himself out the front door hollering “and don’t come back again” all the way out. Mike didn’t have to lay a hand on Jinks or even say a word. I’ll bet all you ex-managers wish it were that easy to throw out someone who had too much to drink.

    Mike Grzanich now runs Latitude 22+ in Cabo, http://www.lat22nobaddays.com. It’s a great place for food, booze and ambiance. Mike has almost as much crap in his place as The Oar House had. It should bring back some memories.


  58. Okay….it’s time for Barb Carvis, Glowbird, Great Scott, Sandy & Ralph, Annie, to put some fun rememberences down. You guys made it all happen. Let’s hear from the real people who made it happen!

  59. We need input from Sandy & Ralph, Glowbird, Great Scott, Les Perry, Anne Michel and everyone that attended the reunion on Main St. to keep this blog alive and happening. Just tap the keyboard with a story and let it flow.

  60. An Impressive Newsletter just showed up in my email box, The House Oargan, and all I had to do was be on Clark’s mailing list – easy as pie. So happy to see you give Weedy his own page after al the stories he posted to this Blog. That’s all I wanted to say. That, and I just wanted to be entry #69. See Buffalo Chips menu for the hot dog that is “tasty from either end.”

    Oh, wait…. Story Time: Remember the wooden benches in the old Oar, including the splinters…. and the guy who had to go to the Emergency Room after sliding into the booth INTO the splinters? Did he ever come back? We fixed that booth I’ll have you know!!

  61. Here is a nice token coin from GAF real metal & on EBAY for youto BUY with CASH on the internet- I have one and it is Puss – get yours so you can dangle it in the face of some other GAF idiot at the next Reunion – I will bet A.T. or britt or Sean do not have one of these in their collective pockets at present – I do ! get this one NOW


    later Dudes & Dudettes
    Neil GAF Commando Babies Crew

  62. I have a part time job – cleaning swimming pools – today-
    During the long silent loniness – I imagined all the stuff on the Oar web-site & the disclaimer about “selling” the web site ?- anyway – it flashed over my graymatter- like so much as an epiphiny – wow- a Hollywood movie-
    With an ensemble cast – sort of an “omage”- done by Oliver Stone – or Ron Howard – using all the facts on the blog website – and then more interviews with Gaf-fers … My mind reeled with dancing old farts & nubile girls in scantily clad night clothes- running the gamit from a studio sound stage built in perfect detail as the Oar-Chips — or location shoots in GAF bars-
    I was in nervana –
    Then I had to reach into the 31 degree pool water to fetch my hose- and came reeling back to reality – so much for creative juices-
    Time to go clean another pool Neil-
    AH But what IF?

  63. Freeman Pad (old crib)web Blog- is added here for reference to my comments about living in a place just likea mini Oar …
    QUESTION , in 77′ when we would drop in to the Chips- does anyone have details on the “cook” a little man who seemed to always roam the place a small stature very large handlebar moustache, I thinks he wore a Greek Fisherman’s cap all the time & stripe pants, Do you know whom of which I speak?

  64. I think the person you are referring to is Phil. His sidekick Prince Valiant (Willie) were on the kitchen staff. I get this mental youtube image of Phil grinning as he throws the white bar rag over his shoulder and clears the room of dinner & bar ware. Willie, his pal, had straight black hair styled like Prince Valiant. Phil & Williw were always in some sort of “state of grace” if you know what I mean.

  65. Oh, hey… I remember Phil…. he was an artist too. Had a fun little gimmick of first painting blotches on the wall in a light color, then coming back after it dried and adding additional detail to the blotches to create faces and characters he saw in the blotches while in a “state of grace.” Hahahah..!!.. funny stuff. Was a contributor in the rebuilding of the Oar.

  66. This Phil could be the guy since his state of grace seemed to indicate to us GAF LAX crew folk in the Chips for lunch -that he knew his way around the Oar side as well. If – You know what I mean… sometimes its those too quiet dudes who are walking the tight rope- Thanks –
    Phil was as I recall short in stature , Yes the other dude Prince Valiant always poked his head thru the little entree pass-thru window where the fries & burgers were launched… he was more vocal than Phil…

  67. Hey, Neil…!! BTW…. (That’s “By the Way,” by the way)
    I never did see a follow-up report on your trip out west. Was thinking when you were out my way I was going to get to meet you considering my proximity to the early Hang Gliding sites of Newport Beach. Can only imagine that you got overwhelmed with old friends to look up – understandable. But how did that trip pan out? You were going to visit Reno shortly after our reunion there in October, 2008. Did you go there? Did your truck perform well after the fix-up? Pictures of your cross-country trip would be fun to see. Maybe a link to a site where you have them posted? It’s all good, you know. Maybe I missed something, but would like to read a report if you wrote one. I truly miss road trips – could enjoy yours.

  68. Yeah, I remember both Willy and Phil while I worked at the OAR. They both worked in Buffalo kitchen and after their shifs came over to the OAR side to party to the music. Phil would always have a “heat” on and just go, “Ahaaaaahaaa” to the music and talk in ‘beat nic’ phrases. One night, after the OAR closed a bunch of us went up to his apt. (close to the Oar) and I saw his pictures on canvas. They were just as Brent described….little faces drawn on bloches of paint. Fun stuff to see after hearing that he was an artist. He and Willy were close friends. As I recall, Willy went on vacation but was killed in an automobile accident. They were both hard working employees and valued by us all. Don’t know what became of Phil.

  69. Brent
    Last winter , Nov.13-Feb.4 , I certainly did adventure forth –I did the non-stop coast to coast run of 2200 miles in 33 hours- stopped for 4 hours in Midland Texas for an oil change they had to “send-out” to the auto Parts store to get my proper size oil filter ….Do not I repeat do not —under any circumstance ever drive on the Interstate-Ten (I-10) narrow raised platform from Beaumont TX. to Baton Rouge LA. …The most God Forsaken Stretch of US road known to mankind I want you to imagine a 2 lane idiot highway across the delta on I-10 thru west Louisiana … think of it this way …You are traveling on a raised pier / strip of roadway over a Alligator swamp that stretches for over 200 miles …you are going a forced speed of 70mph in the dark with no high quality road lighting only 2 lanes each way divided by a 3 foot ribbon of concrete barrier …it is raining not unlike cats & dogs or like Sylvester & Droopy…. There are no turn-outs , no off ramps, no easements , no wide shoulders for 60 mile stretches at a time….with 18 wheelers tail-gating and barreling down on you and when you do see an off ramp ahead “sign” through the rain the actual turn out sign in the rain is so poorly lighted that you whiz by at 70mph and miss it. Better you should take the Dallas route on I-20 and head south through Shreveport, down to Hattiesburg and then down to I-10 at Mobile Al….
    I will never drive on I-10 across the Mississippi again…
    I did not have the time or extra funds to get up to Reno , and since winter was closing in (late January) I decided I did not want to get stranded in a Donner Pass snow drift.
    The truck ran perfect except on the way to Cali – the battery / alternator / regulator developed a short & over charged the battery , so from about Rosedale Miss- to the Hollywood Park Race Track in Inglewood the truck spewed out toxic acid vapors from the over boiling battery through the heater vents & into the cab. I dropped a new rebuilt alternator in 3 hours after arriving in LA. Then hosed off the engine and no worries mate-
    On the return in February, the climate was cold so when I turned on the heater core- all the hidden battery acid drippings began their torturous vulcanizing toxic dance through the heater ducts and into my lungs which meant I played a game of alternating between no heat with fresh air blowing in the open window for as long as my body core temperature could take it…to choosing some warmth with the heater on & being asphyxiated with caustic gasses left over from the earlier battery eruption … with eyes watering & burning from the sting of the cruel warm air … Oh Yes it was a real Grand American Tour.
    More to come from the epic trip to the left coast -in upcoming editions of the House Oargan……

  70. Not good news, Ben Cocker is in a nursing facility and it would be nice if he could here from some of his buddies from the Oarhouse. Ben does not have or use a computer so we are limited to the post office. This is his address:
    Benjamin F. Cocker Room 320
    Atherton Heathcare
    1275 Crane St.
    Menlo Park, Ca 94025

    Bill Bilbrough

  71. Not good news, Ben Cocker is in a nursing facility and it would be nice if he could here from some of his buddies from the Oarhouse. Ben does not have or use a computer so we are limited to the post office. This is his address:
    Benjamin F. Cocker Room 320
    Atherton Heathcare
    1275 Crane St.
    Menlo Park, Ca 94025

    Bill Bilbrough

  72. Feel free to drop a line to one of our most loyal doormen/guests ever……
    Benjamin F. Cocker
    Room 320
    Atherton Healthcare
    1275 Crane St.
    Menlo Park, Ca 94025
    Ben truly enjoyed being a doorman at the Oar and “protecting the guests” from those that would disrupt their celebrations. You are the man, Ben.

  73. You know, when you start getting on in years, you begin to wonder what the future holds. And maybe you start to get a little apprehensive.

    One day I was asking Jinks what he sees in his future. When he gets old, I was wondering who was going to take care of him, who would talk to him, who would befriend him, who could he rely on when the going got tough, and so on.

    He looked at me as if it were the stupidest question he ever heard and replied, “That’s what bartenders are for!”


  74. I want to say Thanks for the information about Ben being in a healthcare facility. I sent him a Get Well card today. Ben was always so kind to me. He somehow kept my beater VW’s running. He would take payments of $5.00 & $10.00 per week. I hope Ben is feeling better today.

  75. This was my hangout…THE HANGOUT back in 1980. We used to order a pictcher and used it as our glass. We did inverted shots at the various bars inside. That was the best bar ever! Great people…hot women….good music!

  76. Clark: Here’s another Jinks quote that may be good for a T-shirt.

    Jinks came down from Martinez to watch the Super Bowl with me here in Manhattan Beach. He’s here right now. I was asking him about his family. He said that every Irish family has to have at least one priest, one cop and one drunk. “My uncle was the priest, my brother was the cop, and that left only one career choice for me.”


    P.S. I noticed that my last Jinks posting was #86 on this blog. That’s fitting.

  77. Ed – having just digested the first season of Father Ted on NetFlix last night, I am totally in the mood to read yet another in the long line of Jink’s confessions in “g” minor.
    I’ll start working on the shirt..give my best to the drunk!

  78. Jinks was always “there” at the OAR and loved by all….we just didn’t know where to find him hidden. Cool guy before he hid away. Where is the great JULES BORYCZEWSKI general manager of the OAR HOUSE during the real BLAST-OFF Years?

  79. At the party last November I recalled the story of seeing Jinks in 1971 or ’72 sitting in the Oar House with Shelley Fabares, whom we all remember from her hit tune “Johnny Angel” and from the Donna Reed show. She was laughing and having a great time, and Jinks wasn’t even drunk yet! He admitted he took her out on a date. This was obviously before the M*A*S*H guy came along. Jinks had his own show, but television was not ready for it.

  80. Brento comes through with a brain recollection…NOW HE’S WORKING ON ALL CYLINDERS. Keep those memories coming. My claim to fame was pouring 2 beers for Kurt Russell (sp) (Goldie Hawn Fame) when he came into the Oar. He was really nice.

    Is Patrick Flannery out there anymore? We’ve lost your voice on the blog. Cough it up and get back because you were talent and history.

    Brento….get a new computer. Miss your emails.

  81. Bet you didn’t know this …

    Jinks was an extra in The Blob (1958). I know this will have you all racing to Blockbuster and Netflix to get a copy and try to spot him. Hint: he’s part of the mob racing out of the movie theater attacked by the blob. When he was here on Superbowl Sunday, I dragged out my copy and, sure enough, there he was. But I wouldn’t have spotted him on my own. It makes sense, then, the he dated Shelley Fabares (see Brent’s message #93). Those Hollywood types all stick together.

    He got paid $27 for the gig. He was an extra in another movie, but I forget what it was. He also was booted off The Gong Show a few times.

    I’m too modest to tell you about my own brush with immense fame and fortune.


  82. The Jinks soup thickens….as it should. Here all this time I thought he was just an ole luvable lush, harmless and somehow given a lifetime pass to escape membership in the 86 countryclub. That’s how Jack Grayson explained it to me when I worked the door. He pointed over to Jinks….asleep in the bleechers and said “leave that one alone …he’s harmless – His name is Jinks”. 39 years later I find this magnificent alter life underneath that Auzzie bush hat. DAMN!

  83. I swear I was with Jinks once when he got booted from the Gong Show. Why am I thinking Sandy Papeika was somehow involved….?

    Hey Weedy – next timeyou see Jinks – tell him he owes me a T-short from behind the Murphy bed.

  84. (from msg above)Tell Jinks..”owes me a T-short from behind the Murphy bed.” I’m thinking about what THAT wold look like.


  85. Pat,

    I talked to Jinks yesterday morning. He had no idea what you’re talking about, but said he would call you to find out.

    Now, he was in a bar when I called, so I’m not responsible if his recollection of the conversation lasts only a few nanoseconds.


  86. Does anyone (besides me & Clark) remember the night “we” turned Jules B. into a burrito? There was a going away party for one of the Graysons at Andy Hall’s house on Pacific. May have been a green bucket party but the “highs” came from an alternate source for most.

  87. Pat, re: posting #100
    Of course I remember that party. One of the best, most memorable parties ever. Yes, that big beige blanket did look like a tortilla. Jules was a willing participant. Many laughs that night. I wanted to make a poster commemorating it, but never got around to it. Or forgot… Or something.

  88. Brent, re: posting #100 & 102
    That party at Andy’s is a blur – Clark filled in some details – but his most vivid memory, (aside fr Boro Burrito), was the “crows”. (?) Do you remember who was there besides me, Sandy, Jules, you, Clark and Andy? Glowbird and Scott I’m sure – and the Graysons. FYI – not Anne Michel…she said did not hit Venice until Feb 1974. I was surprised by that.

    On the subject of “most memorable parties”, one that comes to mind is a crew party at Rosarita Beach in Mexico. I remember being there…and it was awesome…but don’t remember why Al picked up most/all of the expenses for it. Any recollection by you or anyone out there?

  89. I believe that party at the Rosarita Beach Hotel was about the time we (the crew) was finishing-up Bucci’s at the Beach. Maybe Al was providing a reward for working our butts off to get it done? I can think of lots of memorable moments from that affair. Some of them are printable. It was 2 days & 3 nights. I remember that Schlitz Beer sent a salesman down there to try to wrestle the GAF account from Budweiser. The guy arrived in a suit & tie. After taking a look at us the jacket & tie came off right away. After a few drinks, he was down to his Tshirt and then he went & borrowed a pair of scissors somewhere and cut off his trousers! I also remember that the bar bill was what, 5 times? the food bill for breakfast on the 1st morning there. And did most (all?) of us end up skinny dipping in the hotel pool just outside the lounge one night? Or is that just a crazy dream I had?

  90. Bucci’s at the Beach? I remember Long Juan’s, Imperial Beach – black tie opening and what seemed to be a very fast shuttering of the doors for an Al bar – but not Bucci’s. What city?

  91. Bucci’s was the re-christening of Long Juan’s as the fancy dinner house in 1975. Yea, it didn’t last too long. I remember going back there one time in 76 tho for Lou Bucci’s birthday party. The crew was working on the expansion of the Bull & Mouth at the time.

  92. Back to the party at Rosarito Beach Hotel party – One of the nights we were in the hotel lounge with a local Mexican Rock&Roll band playing and the bartender was having trouble keeping up with us. So Michael bought a bottle of tequilla from him and we were passing it around to keep the juice flowing between rounds. Lots of dancin going on and Melinda asked one of the guys to dance with her. when he stood up to head for the dance floor, he took 2 steps and fell on his face. Realizing he wasn’t too steady on his feet, he decided to crawl to the dance floor. So Michael bestowed upon him the nickname Creepy Crawler which stuck with him for the remainder of his days with GAF.

  93. Rosarita Beach…..I remember it being a great time. Pat Merryman and I went down the night before the crew arrived. I remember thinking it wasn’t the best idea to be driving in Mexico in the middle of the night looking for a hotel we’d never been to before, but we made it there safely, probably with the help of a few beers. Next morning, I remember waking to some strange sounds and pulling back the curtains in our room, there was a donkey and 2 chickens standing just outside the window. Somehow, we locked ourselves IN the room…so we had to call the lobby and have someone come to let us out. I remember they sent us bloody marys along with the maintenance guy to unlock the door.
    Printable memories: that first day, I learned my first few words of Spanish…..”Dos cervesas por favor” . I recall the rep from Miller Brewing started calling me “pajarita” (supposedly Spanish for Glowbird, or at least as close as he could come to it) , playing cribbage next to the pool and the pool party night. We were all in the lounge drinking, dancing and listening to the band, who seemed to know only 5 songs, when Melinda Hogue decided she was going to go swimming…next thing I knew, someone was shouting that Melinda was on the diving board sans clothing, which drove the whole group out to the pool and into various stages of undress. I also remember someone calling me over to meet someone in the pool…turned out to be the guitar player in the band, so we had apparently driven the lounge area into complete silence. Quite a time…
    Also remember the paranoia when PM and I were driving home. As we waited to cross the border in my ugly yellow Rambler Rebel, a border patrol guard stuck his head in the window and said “So…which one of you is Kathy and which is Pat?” We looked at him in astonishment and PM said “How did you know our names?”. He pointed at my dashboard and there were two nametags “Pat” and “Kathy” that we’d left stuck on the car from our excursion to the “Price is Right” filming the week before. I remember dissolving into a hungover fit of laughter , as we crossed the border and began searching for a McDonald’s to get some real food….

  94. GB – you are TOO funny. So guys, besides GB, PM, Dougie, Melinda and the Schlitz and/or Miller guy(s)who partied down at the Rosarita Beach Motel that week-end? PS. I still have a RBM postcard/comment card from that week-end.

  95. Pat – I definitley remember Bev Howell chasing a waiter around a big table, trying to throw him into the pool with eveyone else. Quite a lot of the crew was at that party. For sure I know Roger Graybill was. And I think pretty much the usual suspects from that era. Bear, Roger U., Julie W., Malcolm? By the way Duckbill & Bev are both on facebook. I told each of them about this website but don’t know if they have checked in or not…

  96. Well, I was Married with Children and so missed the party in Mexico. Doug is right about Long Juan’s being converted to Bucci’s. We put together a logo in Promo Services. Doug… long time!! Nice pictures. I always liked flying out to work with you folks, even though I was never there for long.

  97. Well, I was Married with Children and so missed that party in Mexico, but Doug is right about Long Juan’s being converted to Bucci’s. We put together a logo for them in Promo Services. Doug… long time!! Nice pictures of the crew. I always enjoyed flying out to paint on the walls.

  98. Hi Brent,
    Yea, I always knew the end was near when you showed up to give the joint some class. Hey you don’t happen to remember the last names of Larry, Lisa & Roger on the Fanny Anns crew?

  99. Hey does anyone remember the name of that restaurant in Venice – I think it was on Pacific at Windward or so- It was very popular for breakfast and did a good lunch business too. I remember that instead of hash browns they had “Potatoes Venice”, cut in cubes & served with some sort of herbs. Spent many a morning after in there for breakfast…Lots of food for cheap. What WAS the name of that place???

  100. Hey Doug,

    Yeh, great website. Brings back lots of memories… mostly good too.

    Commando Babies Was that by Neil something? I was thinking Linkus.

    Anyway my Commando Babies t-shirt is a rag but I have saved the picture part because I always wanted to get it copied onto another shirt. Are there actually new shirts available?

    Well gotta go I’ll try to keep up

    Jim Dixon 76-78

  101. Doug… sorry, don’t know last names, but Julie told me Lisa died of cancer a few years ago.

    Jim…. Commando babies was originated by Britt during a Minder Binder’s remodel. Paul Tanck then did a spiffy logo that we screened on shirts. And then Link painted Commando Babies on several walls, I believe.

  102. Hi gang, I was the guy from Alaska that rode the 750 to work parked out back. Worked at Chilkoots Ak with Wynn,Harlow,Dovey,et al. I’ll have to keep and eye on the site. When I get throuh LA have to tip a few.


  103. Happy Birthday Glowbird! Big 60/May 6) As promised, I tossed back a couple of Cinco margaritas for you yesterday. My friends and I sang “Happy Birthday Glowbird” – me with a chuckle as you cross the threshhold to senior citizen. You almost got a prank call from my brother – I told him to zip it or you’d personally come to Westerville (Ohio) and kick his ass. Of course, you have a standing invitation to come visit all of us crazy Merrymans. XO,PM

  104. Glowbird they say it’s your birthday da da da da da da dump Beatles song can’t you here it baby We’re gonna have a good time! Hope you had a great day! Kawabunga Baby

  105. To Pat Merryman besides our common ties to the past GAF, I believe we have a common friend; Ken Kledzik.
    I was there at the beginning of The saddle Peak Lodge rebuild When Al E bought it, I was on the crew with Major Eyeball Cameron, I built the bar section and was also one of the plumbers,I went to be the first bar back where “Uncle Jules DiFederico taught me to bartend! I was the third bartender there! I have some good stories of those days! I miss the Malibu INN I think AJ was the manager there back then, I have to say that Is when I got hooked on building fun retaurant bars, I miss the crazyness of the start ups and dry runs/ I learned enough do have done a few on my own! the best one was in Lahaina in 93/94 I crewed up and ran a place called Pirates food and beverage for a guy named steve bobian, all the servers were entertainers and we had an open mic policy for anyone (if you sucked you only got 1 time!)
    that seemed to never happen though. I used to keep both my guitars out front for anyone and we had a baby grand piano and I kept an electric wireless flute for myself behind the bar so I could jam with the band every now and then!~ the owners lost the place due to some bad buisiness practices, but thats another story
    I had the pleasure over getting to know Mr. Ehringer a little and Anne Grahm as well, they were great! still the best I have ever worked for! It is great to see the influence on the American bar that Grand American had on your bars I love them I used to go to Kimos,
    anyway if you ever build another bar/restaurant here I would love to come and play! I am semi retired so I don’t have to work much I love being creative with a bigger purpose (building a great restaurant!) Do you Know how to get a hold of Jules Di Federico? it would mean a lot to me if someone could find him and tell hello for me I think of him often, he made a big difference in the development of my character! my favorite Uncle Jules was”Don’t be shy!”

    I remember once he let me create an ungodly drink I called “love potion”(Stanley the waiters favorite drink!) it actually sold! they were pretty damned strong though, you could only have one, anyway
    say hi to anyone who remembers me give them my email and Aloha from Maui!

  106. So Glowbird was 60 on May 6. I was 70 on May 6. Probably be down in theL.A. area this summer,don’t know whn yet. I plan on looking up Halligan and Brent again and who ever we can find.

    Bill Bilbrough 67 to 71

  107. Hey Bill – First, a belated Happy Birthday! Very cosmic – you and Glowbird. Now I have “birthdays ten years apart” story…

    I was at the Oar one summer night and happened upon a very engaging young man (we were all young back then – remember?) Anyway I happened to mention that my birthday was coming up in a day or two (perhaps trolling for a free cocktail?). He asked when – & I replied August 10th. He said his B-Day was Aug 10th, too. I said No Way – demanding to see a Driver’s
    License. He was indeed correct – he was 8/10/56 and, knowing that I was 8/10/46, all of a sudden it got a little creepy – he was 21 and I needed to get a life. Looking back, I think that chance encounter with “8/10/56″ impacted my life path. All for the good. Funny how the cosmos works…

  108. Hi Bill and anyone else interested in a get-together in LA area in mid August…AND/OR for Bill/Ben/Sherry Smilo about a visit to WA/OR!

    For L.A. area friends – I’m planning on going out to Seattle late summer – August 18-Sept 1. Could possiblny do L.A. before or after Seattle if anyone wants a group get-together.

    As far as Seattle – would love to catch up with anyone in the Seattle to Eugene Oregon area during my Seattle stay I will have access to a car.

    Other thoughts on a train/rental car adventure down the west coast. No dates…could be as early as August or Sept 2010 to coincide with Seattle trip.

    1) TRAIN from Seattle to Eugene, Amtrak Cascades, a commuter train that travels between Vancouver, BC and Eugene.

    2) TRAIN from Eugene to SF on the Coast Starlight – the regular long distance route and coach along the coast – supposed to be awesome!

    3) CAR from SF to L.A. with a stop at Hearst Castle.

    Of course, the best/most economical adventure would include a chance to travel/stay with old friends along the way.


  109. Pat
    If Anne and I are home you or a traveling companion are welcome to stay at our place in Eugene. I’m up for any get together you people can organized as long as I’m available at the time. I’ve rode the Starlight quite a few times from Eugene to S.F. and Portland
    I’m retiring June 17 so September on on will not be a problem form know on.

  110. Bill,

    Happy belated Birthday….I’ll be sure to remember your birthday next year….since we share the same one.


  111. A toast to you birthday folks, Glowbird & Bill.

    I decided a couple of years ago to never again call Jules B. on his birthday, May 12th. For one he got MAD, saying he didn’t want to be reminded how old he was. Second, I got stuck with a “roaming” charge on my cell phone of $20. Never again!

    PM, you know you are the party catalyst. All we need is a place and time…. and YOU and it’s Party Time. If we can keep adding to the contact list you may eventually be able to sell your house and just roam around the country.

    When I worked at Sloan’s I met a woman who had my birthday as well as a brother & sister with the same names as my siblings.

  112. Sherry,
    Thanks for the greeting. I may be down that way at the end of June. I’m still formulating my plans.
    Anne and I haven’t got a chance to visit Asland, but when it happens we will let you know and plan a visit.

  113. I invite you all to listen to music being programmed by a local radio station, KOCI FM. You can listen online. It’s listener-supported with sponsors. I am not the “Brent” mentioned on the web site. I became acquainted with it several months ago and find it to be excellent. Go to http://www.kociradio.com/

  114. Torry – did you find Jules DiFederico? Jules and I are originally both from Columbus, Ohio. I met Jules when he and a couple of other OSU football players cut in front of us/Otterbein College girls line outside) one freezing winter night at an OSU bar. We yelled at ‘em and I think they felt a little guilty cause they bought a pitcher when we got in a few minutes later. We all hung out at the same bars so we got to know each other. Two years later I moved to L.A. – then about a year after that I ran to Jules in Columbus – told him he’d love the west coast. I guess he believed me – I’m very influential when I drink – shortly after that I got the call that he was coming out. He came with a friend named Mike. I think I introduced them to the Graysons or Jules B. (whoever the manager was at the Oar) and they got jobs as bouncers. Jules, Mike, and Tom Miller lived in our back room in Manhattan Beach for a while.

  115. BRS- Glowbird – Cleveland – and a whole other story! Part of which makes YOU a glowing grandpa I think!

  116. Let’s all call Jules B on his birthday and charge it to Brento’s cell phone account….his number is
    555-6*&*1 or something like it. I think it’s Jim Rockford’s number if I remember…better check my files.

  117. Does anyone know where Rudy Lopez is? Michael Scanlon knows him from the J. Sloan era. Plus, he worked for us at Hogue Barmichael’s in Costa Mesa, Ca as a manager. Doc (from J.Sloans) knows him. Any info on where he is or how to contact him would be appreciated. This man was a giant in making Hogue’s fun and a great sucess.
    Thank you,
    Daniel at baraltd@hawaii.rr.com

  118. During a brief respite in SoCal I went to my local UPS store to mail a package to a friend in Tempe. The man behind the counter see’s the address & says I went to ASU. I said “bet you downed a few at Minderbinders…he says “ohh yeahhhh!”…an hour later, I left with a belly ache from the nonstop laughter.

  119. I first went to the Oarhouse in 1973 and stopped by on and off until 1975. My friend Mike and I didn’t have much money and were just walking around after a party and happened upon the Oar. After finishing off a dube we squeezed into the Oar and proceeded to have one of the best times ever. I don’t think we paid a dime when we were in there (if memory serves me right ), we just picked up a couple of mugs and people were pouring us beers all night. I was hooked and been a long time fan of the Oarhouse, the stories and characters that hung out there just added to the fun. I do remember two particular stories about the oar. One in which a greased pig was let loose inside and another when a bartender was asking female patrons to give him their bras to pin up for posterity. No one would come up so he bent over pulled his pants down and had “F*** You written on his ass. Several women donated their bras after that. What a great time it was and I was just turning 21. Ahhhh the memories……

  120. Don – I am responsible for the greased pig incident…something I regretted doing shortly thereafter. The piglet, scared shitless found a good home by the end of the night….thank goodness. Who knew there would be a pig caller/handler in the bar that night? Also rigged up 30 boxes of Mini-wheats to the ceiling in response to a very obnoxious TV commercial airing at the time. We’d play the commercial & drop them at random….a better idea.

  121. All – had a great visit with Jules Boryczewski (May 2010) in New Jersey. See story and photos on Memories page – at the top/Snapshots.

  122. I’m sure the pig prank was harmless in intent but we have all done some things we thought were “brilliant” that landed with a thud. I was not able to visit the Oar frequently after ’75 as we moved to Covina for work reasons. But I would stop in occasionally when I was in the area. One idea I thought was “brilliant” at the time was right after an over-the-line softball tournament we played every year on the sand at Imperial Beach (Playa Del Rey). For those of you that remember the softball tournament it was a very unconventional version of baseball with plenty of partying and colorful team names. A lot of the teams had custom shirts/uniforms made, we were no different and as a member of the mighty Gargantuous Gonads (we had a well endowed character with “three footprints” walking in the sand). So after spirited back to back victories over the “Tenacious Testicles” and “Piss on Godzilla” we headed right to the Oar to bask in our glory. Well needless to say our uniforms were quite a hit and several ladies wanted to see if we lived up to our team name. I wasn’t going to flash my junk so I offered a rather attractive blonde to take a handful, she complied to my surprise which sent her boyfriend into a rage. My buds rushed my ass out of there before this guy pounded me to a pulp. Aaaahhh the memories.

  123. Pat,
    Jules was a room mate at my place at 3133 5 th street up the hill a few blocks. Think it was 1970. I’ve got a good story about the night I found him outside the door with his head on the concret step. Woke him up and he headed to what he thought was the bathroom, but turned out to be the bedroom closet and before I could react he was urinating in a box I had paper work in! Got him turned in the correct direction and the next day I don’t think he remembered any of it. Jules, Pat has my E-mail if you want to make contact.
    Pat, I’ll be in the Santa Monica area the last week in June for about three weeks. Going to see who I can Make contact with.

  124. Can we purchase any momentos (T-shirts, shot glass etc.) with the old Oarhouse logo? I would love to have a keepsake of any type to wear or have in my office to rekindle the fond memories. Thanks

  125. Speaking of Birthdays & T-shirts…. Now may be a good time to acknowledge the efforts of the man who is hosting this website, since he is selling T-shirts to support the effort (see Swag Shop) and since his birthday is very near, like mid-July. Very few people know that Clark is the one who came up with the idea to have the home office produce T-shirts for every store in the chain. It was the spring of 1973. I had already been a bartender and then assistant manager at the Oar and in 1972 started working with the crew and in the warehouse striping various decor pieces. I had already started drawing flyers, updating menus and recording tapes, simply because there was nobody else. My wedding to Sandy in Feb. was an Oar House first. But we had no T-shirts! Jim Furry was silkscreening T-shirts himself for St James Infirmary, and heat-setting them with an iron while he watched TV. But every other store had no T-shirts. So Clark had this great idea that one central department at the corporate office could provide flyers, menus and T-shirts to all the stores in the chain. We pitched the idea to Bob & Al with a stereo, reel-to-reel presentation and had them wear headphones to listen to it. They listened, showed little emotion and wanted to think about it. About 1-2 months later, in May 1973, Al told me while I was working on the Fanny Ann’s crew that they were going to implement the idea. I asked him to remind me what idea he was talking about. (Oh, that idea…okay). Clark took on the first project: a commemorative mug for the pouring of the one millionth beer, to take place at J. Sloans, for Grand American Saloons, Inc. I still have one of those mugs. Happy Birthday, Clark…. so glad you are hosting this site.

  126. Hey Clark – Happy Birthday old friend from me and my new drinking buddy. Me & the monkey will toss back a few Mich-Ultras for you on July 15th. Can’t help myself – love this video!

    PS. Monkey keeps hinting about a trip to L.A. – wants to meet “the ladies”.

  127. For Doug Croall (Blog #115)….I think the name of the restaurant was NEWPARS or something like it. They served hugh portions for cheap. Good food, too. We used to go there in the early 70′s.

    Happy Birthday CLARK. U-da-BEST!

  128. I have only been to the Oar House once [I think] It was in April of 1995.
    Can anyone please tell me when the Oar House closed?

    I was living in Scottsdale, Arizona at the time with a college friend and we took a road trip to LA.
    We stayed the first night in Venice and someone told us that this place called the “Oar House” was a fun bar.

    All I really recall of the night is my friend Will asked the DJ to play the Beasties “No Sleep till Brooklyn.”
    Is it possible that we were at The Oar House in ’95?
    you can e-mail me at:
    Thank you and God bless

  129. Oar House was still open in 1995 and even still had much of the decor installed during the rebuild of January 1974. Don’t know when it closed. Les Perry might know that.

  130. Really loud and having to wait too long until I turned 21 in 1969, and then standing in line for the ID check, sticks in my mind. Once I made the grade, though, I was there plenty until Navy time starting in 1971. Went back after I got out a couple of years later for the law Schul gig, one of my UCLA buds used to tend bar there, Dennis Bruneel (?). Memory suggests best burgers and just about everything else in Buffalo Chips. Many pitchers and many Chivas quaffed, especially when living the last student years on 6th Street in SM. The pictures and stories are one of the few things I’d really like to turn the clock back for. I’d go more often knowing how much I miss it. Don’t know if the same mood could be struck now in the era of no cold war and no cheap tuition. It was one of those boomer milestones that was too good to be true. Like the Ash Grove of the same era. Bummer. Life in Ohio today is practically not at all in comparison.

    Steve Kidder

  131. A part of the goings on at the Oarhouse just came to mind. When I started working in 1968 and was being trained by a fellow bar tender we had a “Wort Hog contest”. Does anyone remenber it? Here is how it went. Said bartender had a book that he kept points in. Points were givin out for gross acts, quality of the Wort hog an employee participating in the contest left with and slept with.
    I”m sure Bob Halligan was part of this and I”m sure on one occasion he varified the points I submitted.
    If you took part in this it will do you

  132. A part of the goings on at the Oarhouse just came to mind. When I started working in 1968 and was being trained by a fellow bar tender we had a “Wort Hog contest”. Does anyone remenber it? Here is how it went. Said bartender had a book that he kept points in. Points were givin out for gross acts, quality of the Wort hog an employee participating in the contest left with and slept with.
    I”m sure Bob Halligan was part of this and I”m sure on one occasion he varified the points I submitted. I started working in the fall of 1968
    Bill Bilbrough

  133. Hi, I used to go to the Oar House a lot in the early 80′s, there used to be a bartender named Sherry,(never did find out her last name) that I use to tell, that I thought, she was the most beautiful woman in the world.(I was such a young pup.) Any one there know who she was? I was 22 then, now I’m 52, and feeling old and just wondering how life turned out for her.

  134. Brento,….cancel that order for hamburgers and dogs from Tommy’s and In and Out burger stand. I figured that half would have been eaten and they would have arrived as a security risk. But, thanks for my order from 3000 miles away. Certain things you miss when you can’t get them. Maybe PM thinks of White Castle when she’s away from Ohio?

    Be good and Mahalo…Daniel

  135. Jinks is on his way down here to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is tomorrow (9/19). It’s one of his favorite days, next to St. Patrick’s Day, Hiroshima Day and any day that bars are open.

    For those who know his phone number, I’m sure he would be delighted to get a call from anyone talking like a pirate.


    Arghhh! Avast, ye swabs!! — Weedy

    P.S. His birthday, 66th, is the next day.

  136. Re: Brent’s message #156 above …

    I, too, have asked when The Oar closed. Nobody seems to know. All I can tell you is that I happened to be in the neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon in June of 1997. I walked by The Oar. It was not open for business at that particular hour of the day, but it did NOT appear to be out of business.

    The next time I was in the neighborhood (don’t remember when that was) The Oar was history.

    Somebody must know more.


  137. If we decide to have another reunion the place to do it would be at the original buildings The mamager of the present bar would like this because when we(Halligan, Brent and myself( were there she was interested in the original Oar House.
    Might need to do this before most of the older people are gone

  138. Great reading, glad I stumbled upon it this morning.

    Mostly a daytime customer 75-78, but I did see my future wife donate her bra one night at the Oar, maybe it was an official banthebra night? Shocked the crap outta me!

    Couple of names I didn’t see mentioned….bartender Chuck Locko, think he’s a lawyer now? Upstairs admin Maggie, I remember her shopping exploits for special black rims for Al’s new porsche, and a big guy named Grant, maybe a busboy?

    Thanks much, great memories!

  139. Re: Correction to #43

    I was just rereading some of the old posts in this blog. In posting #43 I made reference to a manager named Tony Parmely. I don’t know where I came up with that name, but I think I had it wrong. I believe his name was Tony Pumphrey. He had a sort of British accent. Anyone remember him?


  140. Ben Cocker is at a nursing home in San Carlos. He does not uses E-mail. US mail is the only way to reach him.
    Ben Cocker
    San Carlos Elms
    707 Elm St.
    San Carlos Ca 94070

    A letter from some old friends would be great. A visit if in the area would be a great thing. Since I live in Eugene Or. it is hard for me to see Ben on a regular basis.

    Bill bilbrough

  141. Thanks, Bill, for Ben Cocker’s address. I knew I wanted to drop him a line but had lost way too much info last year when my hard drive went bad.

  142. Sad to report, Lucy Murphy passed away Dec. 19 following a short illness. Wife of bartender Kelly. Did a photo shoot in the bar, on the beer wagon. She leaned down to deliver a pitcher, and dipped her prominent features in spillage. Great photo (not for publication). Services are Jan. 8 at 11 a.m. at St. Jerome Catholic Church, at the 405 and La Tijera Boulevard. Reception to follow in the hall.

  143. Heey-

    Me and my best friend Monica spent a year in L.A -82/-83.. it fell like 10 years. Every monday night we went to The Oarhouse for ´OldiesButGoodies´ night, we made a lot of friends.. LesPerry, Jack Kisch, Johnny Howe and many more. I´m so glad now that I found Les Perry on FaceBook! after so many years. To the rest of you.. Take care.. <3

  144. Hey all you cool cats and hot kittens Happy New Year to all and may this message find you in good health and spirits. Kawabunga Baby!

  145. Tonight at Sequoia Hospital Ben Cocker pass away. He had terminal liver disease. His wishes was not to hurt and the hospital followed his wishes and he passed away without pain.
    Ben was my friend since I was 17 years old. Our paths crossed many times. I was a bartender and Ben was a door man from late 1960s to early 1970s
    Drink a toast to Ben (it doesn’t need to have alcohol in it) he would do the same for you

  146. When I first arrived at the Oar as a very green 21 yr. old doorman replacement for Frank Carone – recently shot in the line of duty, it was Ben Cocker and Mark Williams that took me under their wing. It was quite comforting to know that Ben & Mark were right next to me when confronting trouble on a weekend night. Off the front line, Ben continued to breathe life into my old VW with the skill of a blessed shaman. To this day I can recall that silent,fatherly,squint- eyed signature look of disapproval he’d throw at me when I deserved it..and I guess when he’d just want to say “Hi, how’s it going?”. Thanks Ben Cocker for having my back on & off the court of nightlife at the Oar & Chips………..May you rest in peace..and if you have a chance…..confirm to the rest of us still stuck down here whether or not in heaven there is no beer. SALUD!

  147. Ben. Beside his “presence” at the Oar, I don’t remember Ben much at all – without Brandy. To me they were perfect. So in sync/love – living in a cool house on the Venice canals – and always ready to party, Bohemian style, with roaring hospitality in the early 70′s. When I saw Ben at the OHBC reunion in Reno he looked like life had taken a big chunk out of his heart – and very ill. You could tell it took so much out of him to have made the journey – thanks to Bill B for that – but I believe he was so happy to be with us and share the memories. Ben – wherever you are in the cosmos – I wish I’d been a better friend over the last three years. I’m so sad today.

  148. My condolences are extended to Kelly Murphy and family for the passing of Lucy. I was so glad to see you at our last get-together in Santa Monica in November, 2009. Sadly I have no other way of contacting you at this time. Sorry I could not make it to the services.

  149. I’m sad to report that Ed Wedemeyer died yesterday. He had suffered a stroke the day before and never regained consciousness. He loved the Oar House and took us there a couple of times. My name is Shawn Rosvold. I’m married to his niece, Laurie Wedemeyer. He was a good man.

  150. I always enjoyed Ed’s recollections of the “Good ole daze.” He always had the best Jinks stories that I’d never heard before. I wish I had known him during my tenure……..oh the trouble & hijinks we’d a caused.
    I raise my proverbial glass with a hearty “SALUD!”. Hey Ed, if you run into Samuel Clemens up there(they hate nicknames), go head to head with him with the best you’ve got.

  151. Weedy. I met Weedy for the first time when he came down with Jinks for the Oar House reunion in Santa Monica. I exchanged a few e-mails with him ‘cuz I was kinda surprised that I didn’t already know him…at least by name. He had his own little business – web site design I think – and worked from home. I think he loved it when Jinks came down (on the train probably) so they could play. I believe Weedy was his guardian angel…a wingman in best possible way…always amazed by the antics Jinks still managed to pull off. Weedy seemed like a real genuine, funny guy.

  152. Weedy was a serendipitous friend that brought us many heartfelt and funny stories that linked us with an earlier era of a place we hold dear. It was so great that he came to our reunion in 2009. My hat is off and my glass is high in a toast to you, Weedy. Thank you very much for your contributions to this site.

  153. I never met Weedy but from the great attributions he’s getting He deserves a toast. A friend of the old Oar is a friend of ours. I’m happy that some saw him at the reunion in 2009. Hey, Weedy, we’ll all be up to join you someday and the first round is on me.

  154. Just clicked in to see what condition my condition was in-WOW -Doug Croall’s Photos from the Archives Thanks Doug for surfacing with the vault treasures of GAF & the Crew Mighty Fine stuff you’aall Well See ya later- I appreciate all the new stuff on the House Organ, Hello Annie & Beverly , where ever you are God Bless you & everyone have a nice one

  155. Success, loaded the first , GAF / Oar Chips -Tribute Video on You Tube (click on) http://youtu.be/56Lf1gNapCQ
    Leave me a message on the comments below the video- Please tell me your ideas for the next one or just let me know what you think- due to copyrights & privacy I have avoided “faces” and have to use really obscure sound tracks, otherwise they unplug your music track – The compression got altered on this one , but I will correct that on the next one-

  156. Shannon Burke Mgr Oar & Bull & Mouth 89-91 now working as DJ at Big 810 AM radio > Streaming Live broadcast of Shannon Burke radiotalk show Orlando Florida/ California time Noon till 3 theshannonburkeshow.com

  157. MSG 185. Hi Neil. Very cool what you did with the Old Sloan’s promos. I never worked at Sloan’s but visiting these on You Tube was kinda like traveling back to Oar/Chips stuff. Anybody out there have any Oar/Chips paper promos? I have one on my bulletin board at home – Les Perry gave it to me at the last OHBC reunion – Kash Kowabungus, Monday oldies. Neil – thanks for the memories – hope to see you at the next reunion!

  158. When I was at GAF in LA airport – at the warehouse – There was (I think ?)
    A rough neck carpenter in there with us, he went by the name “GRADY”
    As I recall , It may have been one of the door men from the OAR…
    There were 2 brothers hired to work at the GAF LAX by Bruce Barefoot because he knew them from the Oar House / Buffalo Chips. These two brothers stayed pretty “lit” , they would tell all sorts of wild tales from their time at the Oar & told me stories of
    “Grady” and would actually have all sorts of colorful adventures told
    Throughout the day’s work. Did you know of another Grady at the OAR?
    This was about 1977 / 1978 – It was so long ago – really fuzzy –
    One story the brothers told me –Was they stopped Al Ehringer with Al’s “date” at the front door- Strict rules from the owner you see … you must …MUST show your
    I.D. before we can let you come inside- Well A.T. went into a rage and demanded to speak to the floor manager NOW- He (Albert T. Ehringer) said… do you know who I am? …No you don’t have your ID- He said …”I left it in my coat in the car.” …..Sorry sir…. –
    Then keeping his composure with the lady present Al asked …Do you have any Idea who I am? I am the owner of this place!…Well until you show me an I.D. you ain’t getting’ in here! When the Manager finally made his way to the front –The Bourbon that this guy had been sipping on kept under the shelf in the Lectern / Podium / Pulpit that the Oar used as a Doorman station, because it had A nice gooseneck flex-light that they used to spot light all the I.D.s…Anyway the Whiskey finally took its toll on the Stiff Doorman
    Just as the manager came to the front to see A.T. being blackballed Out of his own saloon ! The Doorman fell backwards passing out drunk & as Al & the girl finally walked past Al said to the Manager , “He’s in the Wind!” … this is a story told to me by the Stiff Doorman, I can’t remember his name when he worked later on for GAF at the LAX Warehouse,
    So I can’t certify to fact but unless you can get A.T.E. to authenticate it or disprove it, I will continue to hold it close as one of my favorite Oar Stories of all time
    Neil Larson Feb 2 Ground Hog Day winter 2011 – the Blizzard of ’11

  159. Neil…What a great story you told about J.Sloans via the flyers etc. Your video on YOU TUBE was the best! I hope everyone views it. Plus, many thanks to the artists that put their talents with pen and ink on creating the flyers, menus, and fun promotional items together. What a fun time it was to review classic artwork.

    Mahalo, Daniel “Kowabungus” of Oar House staff in the early 1970′s

  160. I had just started working at the Oar House when Sloan’s opened. Actually, my first day of work was at Sloan’s. Jim McGagney told me that the neighbors did not want an Oar House saloon to open. So they were trying to keep us out. In his words, “it is easy to keep a going business open. But it can be difficult to open a new bar business.” So they were operating while the construction crew was in working. Tearing down walls, moving and replacing all the furniture. We had no customers. I sat there all day and did my homework.

    Finally, at 4:30…the construction crew went home. And I had my first customer. (Remember that before Sloan’s….it had been a gay bar.) This guy walks in and sits down at the bar. I ask him what he wants…..he tell me. “I want a draft beer. And would you like me to give you a blow job?”


    I told him that he could drink his beer….if he could keep his mouth shut.

    After a few days, all the gay men went somewhere else. And J Sloan’s was born.

  161. WOW Dan………..that is quite a feat you demanded from the poor chap.

    “I told him that he could drink his beer…if he could keep his mouth shut.”

    Did he comply with a beer enema?

    found ON yOU tUBE TONIGHT -
    bIZARO Video from the upper reaches of the Fanny (Ann’s) – taken by a intozxikated customer with a cell phone camera-really not a bad clip- PS- to Whom It may concern – I there a method of adding another page on this OHBC Blog? that can “host” videos? how or if or can URL links be embbeded into this web site? It seems that at this time it may be a good idea to ask the administrators of this site to develop at least a full blown page with dedicated list of all videos GAF & Oar related – so OHBC Blog guests may scroll through the “host” of future videos sent in as time goes by -PPSS another cold ass night in Florida 33 degrees with a heat index of 28* BBBRRRRrrrrr

  163. Neil – thanks for that video contribution. Looks like you figured out how to embed a link in your message. As for creating a page for videos, I can do that. I should have it up in a week or two.

    keep up the great contributions!

  164. My Mind Wonders – imagine a separate page that would be administered , or controlled to allow approved clips & video only, authorized by GAF Oar House Organ Donors. Great place to post future Reunion stuff – Here is a 30 second commercial that was
    produced by a “past GAF employee”…
    …our own Sean Ehringer is a very creative Hollywood TV Producer.
    Sean’s TV commercials all have a “Comic” Twist that you can always rely on to come at the end of his spots, like a hook in a country music song Sean has carried on the Oar House Humor in the best tradition.

  165. Clark- & everyone here at the HOUSE ORGAN – Thank You – I find reward in producing video clips for You Tube, with each project i learn a great deal about my software & how to do things better. The SLOAN’s Clip I posted is getting a lot of “hits” & I appreciate the exposure. Of Course I will continue to make these fun video clips which are compositions gathered directly from the OHBC Blog Archives here. Again let me state I want to take care & only display these with the consent of the Oar House & Buffalo Chips Blog. Perhaps we may offer my clips exclusively thru this site – I can set future clips with privacy features which will help secure their presentation in a responsible manner. Thank You for your continued Support.
    Neil Larson – Palette’N Studios- North West Florida -

  166. Public Alert
    Don’t blame me for what happens today. Happy St Paddys Day to one and all and look forward to seeing the beautiful Ms PM later this month! Now back to your normal programming!

  167. Paddy…. It is so ALL YOUR FAULT what happened to me today. Luckily it was an Irish cop who stopped me and all I had to invoke was YOUR name and he let me go on my way with his blessings. What a relief! You are one powerful dude, and I Thank You soooo much. Oh…. btw…. you just died, so please play along. Don’t answer the phone for awhile. Thanks.

  168. Hi, this is probably a huge long shot, but my dad used to go to the oar house probably in the late 70 s to very early 80s. His name was Jim Mackie. Tall, dark and good looking! Did anyone know him? I’d just be curious to know.

  169. Daniel Baralt, aka your Maui connection, turned over the big 6-0 today. No, he’s not six feet tall…. so guess again. No,… he has more than 6 gallons of gas in his tank, guess again…..NO, he did not get up at 6 AM…. please guess again. No, he did not perfect the Fosbury Flop,…. please try one more time… you are exhausting me….. He…. is…. now…..60. There… thank you… I feel better now. Geeeesh. Happy Birthday, Daniel.

  170. Belated Saludos y Kudos ole man. We’ve all made a well worn path to the Oar House Rest Home all for you whipper snappers that are tagging along. Give yourself a few chin scratches for me and I’ll square up with you down at the senior activity center later.

  171. Andy Hall, another unique Woody Creature, has gone to his reward.

    Andy was a fixture on the patio of the Woody Creek Tavern, where, with the other regulars, he would spend warm summer afternoons exchanging nuggets of wisdom, conventional and unconventional, analyzing current events, enjoying a smoke, and watching the tourists while they kept an eye on him.

    Andy enjoyed hunting, and fighting with his horse, Country Joe, an animal that would not for one moment hesitate to put Andy on the ground, a job of work for man or beast. They would climb the steep slopes up to Andy’s hunting camp above Woody Creek in weather foul and fair, and a journey without a wreck would bring a sardonic sort of joy to both. Joe wasn’t gun-shy and didn’t mind packing down dead animals, but he wasn’t too crazy about Andy. Andy was devoted to the horse in his own way, and he made sure it was well fed and built it a shelter with the same care he put into his own home.

    “Home” was a trailer with infinite additions in the Woody Creek trailer park. Some called it “the bat cave,” others characterized it in less-flattering terms. Walking through the front door of Andy’s home could mean a greeting from something freshly killed and hanging in the mudroom, or an expletive from deeper in the sanctum. Either way, one felt equally welcome.

    Andy was a Navy man, and, after an honorable discharge in the ’60s, he spent time in the California counterculture from San Francisco to L.A., building saloons, collecting esoterica with which to decorate them, and hobnobbing with the underground comic artists of the time. He could spend hours recounting stories of R. Crumb, Skip Williamson and others. During that period he would scour decaying movie sets, studio back lots, and, indeed, the world, collecting strange and exotic objects for his employers to fill their bars and homes with. This was, undoubtedly, where he developed his penchant for collecting the things with which he filled his own house, and every square inch of his yard — something his neighbors couldn’t help but notice. While it is occasionally said of people that “their trash is other people’s treasure,” the opposite was true of Andy Hall. He could never fully understand why his yard sales weren’t more successful, and this would vex him.

    Andy’s long friendship with Woody Creek neighbor Hunter Thompson was a source of great pride. He was skilled in many areas and was a valuable right-hand man for Hunter in home improvement projects at Owl Farm, and for darker endeavors that occurred in the night.

    At 66 years old, Andy Hall was one tough sumbitch but he knew the game was up on Christmas Eve. Whether he went “gentle into that good night” only the hospital staff can say, but he seldom went gently anywhere else.

    Andy put the color in “local color.” Nothing about Andy Hall reminded people of Aspen, and if that were his epitaph it would suit him fine. Andy will be dearly missed by his friends in Woody Creek.

  172. As soon as I read Woody Creek in the tribute, I thought Hunter S Thompson. Reading down further confirmed it. It makes perfect sense that they were friends. Perfect sense. To say Andy was edgy is being polite. Although I never had a run in with him it was because I was always very cautious around him………like handling damp nitro glycerin. I can never think of Andy without that crazy fucking dog Toke. Etched in my memory is me walking over to the warehouse and bumping into Andy on his 5th beer. There beside him was Toke sprawled out on the floor gnawing on a cue ball. Andy saw the look of befuddlement on my face and commented “loves them – goes through one a week.” Truth be told, I was just as cautious around Toke as I was Andy. It’s no surprise that he also hung with the SFO artists. Again- perfect sense. I think whatever that was that made him friends with Gonzo and the artists is probably what I latched onto. In the early 70′s there were so many characters at the Oar House every night felt like a Tom Wolfe novel of the Merry Pranksters. That changed later after the Graysons left. Chronologically, so did the Sixties. Slowly the characters changed & faded away but not Andy. Why R Crumb never made an Andy Hall character is beyond me…maybe he did. I’m saddened to hear he checked out. I’m hoping that unlike Thompson, who painted himself into a corner with no way out, Andy went boldly-head high.
    My last thought is a recollection of an interview with John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas. He was asked why they broke up. John replied ” we looked around and saw that there was no more fun to be had.” RIP Andy.

  173. RIP Andy Hall. Andy was a friend and boyfriend in the early 70′s. Last time I saw him was on my 40th B-day. His hair was gray then – I was surprised and thought “how old is this guy?” – but never asked him. My friend Glowbird sent me the link to this Aspen Times article with PHOTO – http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20101229/NEWS/101229848 – yesterday. 40 years later his location (from CA to CO) had changed but not much else. Andy could suck the air out of a room by way of his charm…and his fearlessness…always a force to be reckoned with. I will remember Andy with great fondness….and he would have been pissed about that. XO+

  174. I met Andy in the early 70′s, just when we started St. James. Toke’s favorite toy then was a croquet ball nailed to an 18″ leather strap. He would grab it and swing it like hell until the ball whacked him in the head and knocked him on his ass, Andy yelling at him for being so stupid.

    I always liked Andy… he was a real what you see is what you get kinda guy, always fun to be around.
    And his contribution to the Company as one of the original crew was work we all saw and were proud of. RIP, Andy.

  175. My first recollection about hearing about Andy Hall was when I was a barkeep at the Oar House (1970s) and to keep my nose straight, be a good boy and serve him whatever he wanted. The alarm went out whenever the GAF construction crew was coming home to the OAR HOUSE after building new bars all over the country. They were like thirsty men coming off building the Alaskan pipeline. Forget about E.T., they said, just worry about Andy Hall when he gets back to town. I met Andy when the crew came back to Santa Monica and never had to pee my pants once after serving him his libation. Maybe I caught him at a good moment. But I didn’t look at him cross-eyed as I heard that to do so would cost me my family jewels. Ahhhh, he was nice to me and I heard that he threw great parties at his abode not far from the Oar House. I think there are pictures of it on the Oar Site. Hey, Andy……RIP and know that you’ve left us with great memories.

  176. Remembering Andy Hall from the 70′s

    If Andy Hall had been a piece of machinery it would have been a bulldozer. There was no heavy work on the crew that did not involve Andy, and those who were called to help were trying like hell to keep up with him. If you wouldn’t pull your weight he would simply do it himself.

    When you acquire an old, historic building and want to turn it into a bar & restaurant you first need to gut the inside. Andy Hall was the man to lead the “Rip & Tear” phase of construction. He didn’t need a gym… his work was his gym and gave him much more satisfaction than lifting weights ever would, I presume.

    He was strong & silent. I never saw him boisterous, never saw him actually pick a fight with anybody, though you knew if an altercation was unavoidable you wanted Andy on your side. I suspect he enjoyed being a bit mysterious, keeping people guessing.

    He enjoyed the locoweed and shared it with his Golden Lab, Toke, cupping his hand over his dog’s nose and mouth and exhaling the smoke into him. Never before had I seen anybody play fetch with their dog using a six-foot 4×4 and tossing it over an eight-foot chain-link fence. “It’ll take him half an hour, but he’ll bring it back,” said Andy. And Toke did. I watched him scale that fence and relentlessly work to bring that piece of lumber back to Andy. Impressive, the rapport he had with that dog.

    Andy also was in charge of preparing and pouring the resin we used to cover tables and bar tops. The formulation had to be just right to get the layered effect, and he would call us over to place photos and memorabilia into the various layers. He also enjoyed putting the final finish upon the main bar and polishing it up to be able to slide a mug of beer from one end to the other without spilling. On the wooden bar tops he was usually the first to grab a chisel and carve his name into the bar, usually as we neared the end of the project.

    As I understand it, Andy hid a $100 bill inside each of the bars we built, so that he would never feel broke if and when he returned. That was when our drinks sold for less than a buck and a Motel Six room was still under $10. R.I.P., Andy Hall.

  177. I was there visiting from NYC in 1971.It was quite a scene. I met a “chippy” and we drove up to Malibu for the sunset the next day.I became Californicated from that trip and when I go to Main St now I think where was the Oar House?

  178. I believe that Andy Hall is up there with Michael Hogue building the greatest saloon so that when we arrive we’ll be served COLD BEERS.

    Does anyone have a name for the saloon that Andy and Michael are building? Suggestions??????

  179. Hey Daniel…. Did you actually write “up there?” I think you did! Well…. as far as a saloon in the sky name, how about… Paradise Found.

  180. Yo Brento, Yes, I did write “up there”. If you think that they’re both “down there” then the beer will have to be ‘fire roasted’ and they will have to deliver ‘up there’. It’s gonna be a pizza & beer kind of thing. Oh, boy, has a pizza and beer thing ever been done before? Would that even be possible? I’m kinda ‘shakey’ on this idea but I told my friends at the ’round table’ that Celeste and Digorno were keen on the idea. Then the Red Baron came by and ‘cut the cheese’ so that was his opinion.
    I think Paradise Found is good but I want other idea names. It doesn’t need to be pizza themes either.

  181. Okay…… uhm..,,….uh….. I will get right on that….. Yes, Sir!…. uhmm…… yah’ know, we didn’t actually have pizza on the menu…..Oh… that’s right…. you said it didn’t have to be pizza theme….. how about pastrami sandwich theme, like after the kitchen closed? We’ll call it,…Mouthful O’ Fun. Or….. uhmm…..Geesh… this is hard…. how about Uncle Albert’s Hall? Or maybe…. Mike & Andy’s Place?…. or… Ye Olde 2941 Bar & Grill…… or….uhmm…. Caveat Emptor’s?…… or… uhm….No Way, Jose!…. or…..maybe…. My Place or Your Car?…. or… uhmmm….What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Dumpster?…. or…. uhmmmm…… You Want it When????….or…uhmmm….If It Feels Good, Do It To Me One More Time!…. or,….uhmmmm…. Coffee, Tea or Mekong Delta?…… or….uhmmmm….Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Alzheimer’s, but Forgot to Ask Dr. Phil.
    Or how about just, “The Oar House.” I mean… can it really get any better than that?

  182. RE: name of up/down/floating somewhere in the middle afterlife bar. I was thinking Serendipity (random act of fate – luck, chance, happy coincidence) – which got us to the door of 2941 Main St. SM at our own personal beginning. Of course, “Oar House” would be much, much easier to remember when the, uh, time comes. And sinces finding my keys, glasses and TV remote is such a struggle now… XO, PM

  183. Hey DB – nice to see YOU on FB. Truth – I love this OHBC BLOG because when I read it I’m pretty sure I have some interest in the info – great memories or an update on someone or some event. Not so with FB…90% of what I see/read is crap and from “friends” and relatives I wouldn’t recognize and have little in common with any more. Of course, there are a few exceptions…so, I read FB most days but hardly ever post anything out there. Lazy ass that I am.

  184. I had such a great time last month in California! In date order – Venice/Charlie Chaplin’s House/Roosterfish (tip of the halter to Don Tollefson and Eric Parlee). THE Roadium and re-visiting diet pill memories (GB – win big in Vegas). Santa Barbara/min-OHBC reunion/Magic Bus (hola Joe & Elisa Atwill – photos coming I promis). Wow – Frank Caron & Jeff Dunstone in the same room – meeting for the first time – awesome! Plus, Glowbird & Scott, Bob Trimble, Don T., Carol & Phil, my rescuer Paddy Flan – thanks for the Casino trip! Amtrak & San Francisco AND Ann Michel & GB at Pier 52. Thanks to Steve at the Blue Mermaid for introucing us to ARTA Tequila – with a PS to Clark Merrit…this T may rock your world a bit more than Patron. It did mine. A.M. – Mermaid Festival at Coney Island, NY in 2012!! Be there or be old. Missed this trip – but hope to see you in 2012 – Sandy, Ralph, Brent, Clark, Cathy Naugle, Kevin McTigert, Julie. BIG THANKS to Glowbird for, well, all of it. XO, PM 614-432-4559 [RIP Andy]

  185. Aloha PM – You’re right about your comment #221. Thanks for putting it in perspective. Hey, your latest trip sounded wonderful. You go girl. I hope you post new pics of your adventures on the OAR site. Much aloha, Daniel

  186. I finally got to know a little about Andy when I drove him back from the John Wilson Auction. We actually became friends in that short drive back to the Oar House. RIP gig guy!

  187. IF you are on FaceBook and IF you are friends with Pat Merryman there is a surprise waiting for you. Maybe.

  188. Hey there, Newcomer…. We want to hear your stories about your Oar House adventures. Please have at it…. join in on the fun!! And Thanks for your memories.

  189. When are we going to get some of the crew together like we did at the Reno event. Lots of the old crew are dying off, got to sieze the day.

    Bill Bilbrough 68 to 71

  190. I’m not planning to organize anything anytime soon, and I doubt that anyone else will. It’s more likely that people will hook up in smaller groups during some other festival or event. See post #222 above. PM mentions a Mermaid Festival. There are annual festivals all over the country, from Burning Man in Nevada to Garlic in Gilroy, If you are planning to attend something, post it. If Al wants us to help him celebrate a milestone birthday that could be an event in Reno!

  191. Anybody been to Burning Man? My neice (just graduated from CCAD – COLS College of Art & Design – in Columbus. Ohio) says a whole group of her friends are going out this year – they will have a huge art installation. She invited her Dad (my crzy brother Bill) and me to go, too. The hippie in me wants to go – not sure about a week in the desert. Sounds painful. [Link to more on Burning Man – http://www.burningman.com

  192. Hey Clark & Brento – great new addition to this site – Trivia – under MEMORIES! It got me to thinking about yet another possible new additions to the the MEMORIES section: “Other Bar Stories – what was the name of tht place?” I have some great hazy memories from other bars we frequented like the Circle, Pink Elephant, that other gay bar that was not the Pink Elephant, that bar by the Santa Monica Pier that Hank Huling bartended at – huge picture window to the Ocean, juke box with The Spinners, that German bar on Santa Monica I think where the guy chugged beers while standing on his head, and gonna find/listen to “All I Wanna Do”, Sheryl Crow and think of a few more…including the after hours place (I think) The Merry-Go-Round. PS. Clark – I still owe you photos from April West Coast adventure for OHBC Memories/Snapshots section. Soon…

  193. Bilbrough – I’ve never been to Oregon. Would you consider hosting a small get-together at your place in August 2012?

  194. Yes, Anne and I would like that, but it would have to be at the beginning of August, because we do a 5 or 6 day horse trip during the second part of august.
    We have a small house with one bathroom, so we could have one person stay here. There is a nice place to stay within a mile of our house. It is called The valley River Inn. We have had parties here with as many as 15 people so that will not be a problem. We can only acommidate one person to stay.
    We are willing to provide all the information and guidance to the group, so they get the most out of there visit to Oregon
    Eugene is a great small city. Our house is located two houses from the willamette river and The valley River Inn is right on the river 3/4 of a mile up stream.

  195. EXTREME TRIVIA QUESTIONS: There was a bar in Venice in the early-to-mid ’70s that I believe innovated an event called Crab Racing, They held it once a week and it seemed to be very successful. What was the name of that bar and what night of the week was the crab racing?

  196. Another EXTREME TRIVIA QUESTION: There was a bar/restaurant in Venice or SM and the owner was notorious for putting pressure on customers to tip his waitresses well. He reportedly would track down non-tippers to the parking lot and tell them to never come back to his restaurant again. What was the name of that dining establishment?

  197. Hi all. It has been a long time since my bar tending and bouncing days at the oar house. I worked there from 1982 to 1984. I have so many great memories and stories from those days.

  198. Yes, #109 is great.
    Hopefully Clark will put up a Best-of-the-Blog page when he gets time. He usually gives somebody their own page when they submit enough stories, but there are a number of one-hit wonders on the blog.

  199. Although I hate to think of this blog as the OHBC obits I do think it’s good when we can remember in print those who have been a part of our lives. I have just heard the news that Kevin McTigert ha passed away. He had knowledge of a recent get-together of old friends in Ventura County, but was unable to attend. I will always remember Kevin at Station #6….. “What it IS!!” He ruled that area and had an incredible following of friends and babes alike. He deserved to wear those muscle shirts, and he rang that tip bell like a champ. R.I.P. Kevin. So sorry we couldn’t find you fast enough to connect, but I did try. Your smile, stories and laughter would have been enjoyed by all.

  200. To answer Brento’s #234 question I think the name of the CRABS RACE bar was an Irish name….McCormacks or something Irish. But, in truth, the real race for crabs was after closing the bar and getting lucky with the ‘special someone to get cozy with for awhile’….and the song goes on at last call.

  201. Another possible answer for Brento for item #235….Maybe this was Buffalo Chips and before Patrick Flannery got a promotion to bartending. Even then he held a big stick over the heads that wouldn’t tip. (LOL)

  202. The very first Oar House T-shirt I ever bought was in the summer of 1969. It was a thin, white cotton T-shirt with nothing on the front of it and red ink on the back that said, “Oar House Drinking Team.” I think there may have been two Oars crossed, but I do remember that the printing was high up on the T, like across the shoulder blades.
    I posted this on our Facebook page. I like to think that my T-shirt is still out there somewhere, but I have never seen reference to it on Ebay or anywhere else. Did anybody else have that T-shirt?????

  203. Hey, everybody….. we’ve been posting some old Oar House tunes on facebook. You can set up a free account for yourself without revealing a lot. Then search for Oar House & Buffalo Chips Restaurant and join in on the fun.

  204. If you are interested in attending a reunion party….. ANY reunion party that involves the Oar House vibe, old friends, new friends you never met and such…. we need to hear from you. Most likely events to occur in the near future are Santa Monica this November; Phoenix in February and Oregon next August or September. If you really, really liked the Oar House, the Grand American Fare bars that were built in various states you may want to consider telling us your level of interest. You can post here in this Blog for starters. All we have now is the potential for more fun.

  205. Hey Brent/all – checking in from the great state of Ohio, I’m always interested in an OHBC reunion! Always so, so much fun!! Would love anytime to recreate the great O’Brien’s (2940/something Main St. Santa Monica) 2009 get-together…including Venice Beach, bar hopping on Main, and what the heck was the name of that hotel most of us stayed at!? It really was an awesome week-end. PM 614-432-4559

  206. Oh, and about Phoenix in February 2012… I’m definitely going. Gotta pick the date/days – which will include two week-ends. Visiting/ staying with a college pal. Checking with Jan and Barbi via FB on their avail that month. More later.

  207. Oh, and about Seattle/Portland area in August 2012 (excellent sunny weather they say that month). Yep, still planning on that adventure, too. Gotta pick the date/days – which will include two week-ends. (I’m retired ya know.) Visiting/ staying with a college pal & family – big house Seattle. Checking with Bill Bilborough, Steve Bernard, Sherry Smilo and whoever else I can find of old crazies – some on FB. More later. PM 614-432-4559

  208. Ralph Purcell and I are interested in participating in any and all Oar House reunions. The only time we can’t make it is the first Saturday of the month due to attending the US Army Special Forces Association Chapter 12 monthly meeting. Ralph is president and must be present for the meetings. Looking forward to seeing everyone!
    PM-It is the Seashore Motel on Main St., Santa Monica

  209. As of right now there is no gathering being scheduled. However, if you have a Facebook account, which is free, you can participate in our SURVEY question about WHEN would be a good time to schedule a regular event.

  210. Just a teeny tiny correction to last post…no gathering soon in S.M. unless somebody decides they want to have one – and calls some friends and they just get together someplace – like we did at the Atwells in April! Thanks again to Joe and Elise for the awesome hospitality in Santa Barbara!!

  211. Wow I can’t believe I found you Guys LOL! Don’t worry I have been clean and sober now for over 31 years. My name is Roy Koch I worked as the door Man in Oar house I remember being in there the afternoon of Elvis’s Death. I am not sure this was the most rememberable day I just know where I was and what happened the night before. Someone broke into the office upstairs after the club closed I was on the street and just did not feel like sleeping in my 1973 baby blue Plymouth Satellite parked by the canals in Venice that night or maybe it was after I wrecked it in front of the Santa Monica Police station and had no place to sleep. Anyway I was hanging out back of the Oar house and discovered that the window was tampered with upstairs and through my own courtesy went through the same window the person before me did. Not being of a sound mind I started snooping around and remembering that it was kind of strange how the people I worked for kept recorders of people and found something in reference to the older woman that was on the street near tho oar house and how they bought teeth for her or some kind of dental work. I believe I remember leaving a note stating that I would like a new pair of front teeth and left my name on the note. Needless to say I was fired the next day. I think at that point I realized that that was the end of the fun part of my drinking life. After my Priest Uncle came out to see how I was, and making sure I had airfare for my brothers Wedding back in Illinois. I returned back to CA only to find myself at a Navy recruiters office in Long Beach after signing up I got drunk and Locked up in LA county Jail for a week before seeing the Judge.I was charged for damage to a parking meeter and a small tree in front of Santa Monica Police station or City Hall From my first visit to LA. Then I was off to San Diego for boot camp where my life completely started to turn around I am now getting away from my Oar House drunkalog and this starts another chapter in my life so I will stop here. Maybe in another post I can step back and talk more about the fun I had before the end.

    Roy Koch
    Doorman 1977 or 76 oar house

  212. I need to amend one date I am not sure what hour of the day Elvis died. But the afternoon of his death was the day after my encounter that night finding that someone broke into the Grand American Fair Office upstairs. I bet people were think I was crying over Evils in the Ore House that day. The truth was I was crying ove how messed up my life was back then.

  213. Wow. Welcome ROY!! Now, understand… this is not AA… not by a long shot. We actually are a little bit “PU” which would be politically UNcorrect, though we do not condone drunkeness & cruelty. This is quite a story you have, and you are invited to tell more. The Administrator, (Clark), has full priviledge to censor me or any other entrant…. but what I have gathered so far is good and we are mostly interested in your HONESTY. Elvis died on August 16th, 1977, so we definitely have a frame of reference there for your tale. Feel free to start at the beginning….. when did you first visit the Oar? How did you get hired? What were some of the very BEST (and worst) memories you have of the place?

  214. I remember the Oar quite well, as our Club “West Coast Vans” (breadbox bedrooms on wheels) out of Whittier, used to party there almost every Fri or Sat nite in the early ’70s. ‘Course the 1st time I went to the “Oar” was in ’69 with a lil’ nympho Stewardess (another story), and also went to the last of your G.O.B.’s {Going out of business sales} in I think (as I’m now old as dirt with Ol’ Timers) Oct of ’72, gads what a time I had. People packed elbow to elbow, butt to butt, dancin’ on the tables, peanuts & beer aflowing, ’twas worth gettin’ up at O’Dark-Thirty, drivin’ the I5 just to get there by your opening at 6:30am, then the stamina to party hardy ’til you closed at 2am. In all my years, I’ve never had so much fun as those rip roaring days of the late 60′s early 70′s of wine, women, song ‘n free love. Occasionally to this day, when I feel a tad daring, I’ll whip up a few drinks for friends that I believe were only served at the Oar, your infamous “Earthquake”, and the “Skip ‘n Go Naked”…
    Well, it’s 1:23am up here in Montana, ‘n my Lil’ Lady just got outta the spa, so it’s time to hit the sack. btw, what happened to your fb page that you show as existing?
    Cheers to All, ~Rob

  215. The Link doesn’t work. All you need is a facebook account (free) and then search for Oar House & Buffalo Chips Restaurant.

  216. The weather is great in Eugene in August, plus there is more to do here and it still has a village feel instead of the grid lock of Seattle and Portland areas. Anne and I are still open to hosting the get together at our place.

  217. BB – I still plan on coming out your way NEXT August – we’ll work on best date for OHBC get-together! Seattle is my air-travel destination – staying with good friend from college – planning on at least two weeks – maybe more for some north Pac coast roaming – never been to Oregon. I know I sent you a couple of messages via FB – are you still using FB?

  218. I worked at a computer company close by and lived in the valley. I played foosball there from 71 to about 77 with Jim, Bill and Jill (who used to go out with Jim), another Jim and his roommate Jim who lived down the street on the beach, also Ed, Dave (who used to bring his own flask of whisky?), Lucky and others I can’t remember now. Me and Jeff Searcy (who worked there) grew up on Van Nuys Bl. with street racing (informally THE VAN NUYS STREET RACERS)from the mid 60′s to the early 70′s. I would’nt trade anything for those 10 or so years.

  219. Me and my kids, Kelly and Kevin, are coming out to L.A. area for a wedding on June 10th. How about a get together at O’Brien’s on Main (formerly Buffalo Chips)on June 9th? -Pat Merryman

  220. Just got done visiting the NEW OHBC FB page – really awesome. Clark – you continue to amaze. Got a real chuckle out of the “Department of Doodads”.

  221. Oar House Buddy’s -&- Buddettes
    Jan 7th 2012 – Just returned home from Smith’s Station Alabama, made the 200 mile trek to lend a helping hand for an old friend who is attempting to “open” a road side diner near Fort Benning. I conjured up a Logo for them to use on a building front sign.
    My well wishing aid brought ZERO financial gain… so WTF? Over ? I spent 8 days splitting time between Wood Graining his residence (2) double Garage Doors – and walk thru access doors – and – doing some trouble shooting in the so called Cafe/Diner.
    This was an act of compassion or a labor of love- since the wiring there had been totally bastardized by the previous “his-Panic” couple …an Overbearing Wench of a Broad who henpecked & hamstrung her hubby into running endless strands of non-legal & non-code “flexi” 3 strand like so much silly string shot from the wrist of a LSD strung out electrician in a Spiderman outfit …
    After he switched off the main breaker above the panel box I opened the quad box near the coke machine and got a rather mild shock of 110 volts …like I said WTF? Over ?… I declined to do further electrical explaining to the dork that the place was hot and possibly could burst into flame because it had non-fused live power running …this brought me to a strange reality of the days when GAF would control all phases of a site construct- those were the days my friends …This dock was single handidly attempting to open a cafe with less than 14 Grand $…and no pre-analysis or survey of the building before he purchased the lease- DORK city , right? Well that’s not all , this guy took me on a short trip up the ladder to the roof to inspect the 6X6 foot lighted sign box, so we could replace the plexi-panel face- well as I took a stand on the flat roof to the 6 foot valence of corrugated metal vertical face across the top front… I noticed a 1/8th inch steel braided cable launching up from over the back of the building coming up on a tensioned angle to end wrapped around a hand built 2×4 brace behind the sign box …again WTF ? Over ? …
    Now I plucked the cable like “E string” of a double flat back base… as I did this the front of the valence & the sign began to oscillate …I looked at the Dork in question & told him this cable was holding up the entire frontage facade of his fine dinning establishment…No he does not have the first walk through by an Inspector done yet. No he does not have a clue. He does have (whoever) have over 30 years as a Cook/Manager of TGIFridays, & Po’Folks …so there you have it my GAF Oar Buddies, the current state of affairs of the professional restaurant business in Alabama . WTF ? Over ?…I could go on in more detail about the crazy and insane mental state of this idiot. But I will simply say , I can look back on my time as a GAF Construction, Commando Baby, with great honor & pride knowing we were part of the finest independent Restaurant chain on the planet.
    Have A Happy New Year – If you are ever traveling 15 miles east of Opelika on Hwy 280 toward Fort Benning look to the right side of the roadway and find T.R. Grubb’s Cafe, I did the sign ( it is logged in on Google as Durango) slide in and tell ‘M , Neil sent me in for my free Big Coke & a free Taco Platter , see the Dork’s eyes light up like he just grabbed a hot 110 volt wire ! Ask him if the Coke machine is on a “dedicated” power service, and watch him turn red …
    GAF Rules !

  222. Neil….. That was quite a post..!!! Fun stuff. We did build the best bars…. and built to last, or so we thought. Hey, everybody…. a rally is being scheduled for Feb. 18th, 2012, in the Phoenix area. Go visit the Oar House & Buffalo Chips Facebook page or otherwise get in touch with Patricia Merryman. Be sure to wear a vintage T-Shirt.

  223. Leaving for Phoenix tomorrow. Looking forward to catching up with a bunch of the old Oar House folks at Jan’s on Feb 18. There will be photos…!

  224. My facebook account has been disabled and I don’t know why. No answer has been given. I’ve tried sorting through the FAQs and nothing seems to apply to me.

  225. Is it “Last Call” for the OAR website? If I can read this reply then I know it’s time for a change. Maybe put this site on FaceBook and continue on. Or take Brett’s offer to use his servers. There’s enough smart people that can get it done so give Clark an idea. It’s not over until it’s over.

  226. About this site: so much information went back and forth via email a week or so ago (I’ll send more info to that group). In a nutshell: 1) I think Clark’s gonna take Britt Ehringer up on his offer of free hosting (on Britt’s server). Nice for all. 2) I think Clark will manage the transition to new server – with no change to the look of the site. He wants to keep the site alive but doesn’t have time to do much, like adding new content, right now. 3) There will be a cost to keep the domain name – what you clicked on to get here. Britt says this cost is minimal and best deal is for 10 years. Gotta find out how much but he thinks this can be covered by the many people who offered to pitch in some noney to keep this site live. 4) Big issue is CONTENT – stories and photos – old and new stuff. What is now on the site will stay – but new stuff keeps people checking in. Clark can’t do it all. Several people – including me – have volunteered to do more over the years. I haven’t done much but send Clark photos – old and new. Britt has offered to share some website design/development software he has so that I can learn how to help a very busy Clark with this site’s maintenance. Plus, I’m gonna sign up for a Dreamweaver class (this is web site stuff – not Blue Oyster Cult) at a local college. Over 60′s can attend free! If anyone who reads this has anything to add to the conversation – please belly up to the bar.

  227. So long a go, so blurry and my very bad memory with names I wish some body remembers me and contacts me, I worked there in the kitchen I believe 84 to 86, when I found this page, I could smell and taste the amazing burgers that we served there, the manager that hired me was Kimo and the asistent manager was some anoyng guy Doug, some Hawaiian dude, I worked there iligaly because I was under age, 19 I remember with a fake ID, I also DJ for a wile, had a geat time, doorman Peter, Big black dude Bubba, some bar tender with a beard funny guy, can’t remember much only that it was alcohol, drugs, sex and rock and roll, if any body remembers me please contact me now I live in Cabo San Lucas

  228. So long a go, so blurry and my very bad memory with names I wish some body remembers me and contacts me, I worked there in the kitchen I believe 84 to 86, when I found this page, I could smell and taste the amazing burgers that we served there, the manager that hired me was Kimo and the asistent manager was some anoyng guy Doug, some Hawaiian dude, I worked there iligaly because I was under age, 19 I remember with a fake ID, I also DJ for a wile, had a geat time, doorman Peter, Big black dude Bubba, some bar tender with a beard funny guy, can’t remember much only that it was alcohol, drugs, sex and rock and roll, if any body remembers me please contact me now I live in Cabo San Lucas

  229. NASA confirmed this morning “itzago”. Saturday – March 21 Seashore Hotel Santa Monica will be ablaze with merriment & Merryman AKA PM, some fear, a little loathing & all washed down with the cheapest suds that can be bought with food vouchers. I imagine it will begin to rear it’s fire breathing head sometime in the afternoon. It’s a “be there or be square” event in the old turnstyle approach to partying. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya…and spike the kiddies’ Ovaltine – would hate to scarify there fragile eggshell minds. That is all.

  230. Hi,
    I worked the construction crew 1976 through 1978. Helped build Madison Bear Gardens, Ocean Park Omlette Parlor, and Washintons. Did remos on Oar House/Chips, Minderbinder, Bum Steer, Fanny Ann’s, and Foggies Notion.
    Been to every GAF bar built before 1980 and still have most of the t shirts to prove it.

    Anyway looking for pictures of Mindbinders 1973-1976 , stories too.
    Jim Dixon

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