That's the way it started 28 years ago today! Gene and D.W. bought the bar from Dave Knighton which was then known as the Rockin' K. They decided to rename it the Lariat Saloon, because that's what it had been known as since the 1920's. They were also managing the Little Bear across the street, which is now Pancho and Lefty's. They promised to keep the Lariat open 365 days a year and from 11:00 am 'til 2:00 am and that's the way things have been ever since.
The picture on the right is probably from that first year, I believe. From left to right is Bill Losasso, who owned the Stagecoach; Dave Knighton, who they got the bar from; Gene; Bob Beck of Squeaky Bob Wheelers; Terry Bramwell; D.W.; and Bill Reardon, also from Squeaky's. Hazel Mosley was on the far right (out of the picture) with her arms crossed and her back to the whole scene! The girl posed for the photo taken by 'Dr. Slime' Fielder only with permission from her boyfriend who made her put duct tape over her nipples for the shot.
The pool cues hanging above the bar probably belonged to D.W. and Bobby Anderson. Bobby still sends flowers every year for the anniversary and I imagine there will be some there on the bar and Bobby might just pop in for a game of pool with Skip tonight.
There are way too many stories to tell and so little time that I can't even begin to recall them here. If I ever write a book, it would probably be about the Lariat and all the wonderful characters I've had the pleasure to meet there. Even though the stories might be true, they would have to put it in the fiction section because the truth is stranger, especially in Grand Lake! I've been there for most of the ride and according to last week's paper, I'm at "almost a staple at the Lariat" (whatever that means).
Anyhow, if you read this blog, you might give The Rope a call and wish Gene a happy 28th or better yet, show up and celebrate with the rest of the degenerates!
p.s. I didn't know this but ronnie says if you click on the picture,it enlarges it so you can really check out Bob Beck's eyes...Priceless!!