Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I didn't know Baxter

I don't go out much on Wednesday. No drink special at the Grantree (my haunt) it's mid week. Nothing really to do.

I started stopping at Boxer's Lounge ( not our Boxer I don't think but maybe? She can confirm.) this past summer. Went in there in July on a non-North Dakota trip for something different. Well it turns out that a lot of guys I know in Belgrade stop there on Wednesday so I would pop in on occasion and tip a few with them. My banker, a couple of guys I play golf league with, people I know. Anyway, its always a nice evening.



I didn't have the best of days today.  Don't want to say anything about that right now but will at a later date. Anyway, the guys at Boxer's were knee deep in the hoopla when I arrived at 5:45.  Usually its just the guys talking about life, their day etc. When I arrived tonight, everyone was already drunk.  Baxter had had a heart attack and died this morning. I didn't know him. The few times I had gone to Boxer's I had not met him.

I made the comment to Ron that he was already in the bag. "You're drunk? It's not even six."  Ron, "Didn't you hear? Baxter died this morning."  Me "Sorry, didn't know him." Ron "No shit? Well by the time you usually got here, he was already playing poker"  Here in Montana, we have poker machines that you can play for money. It's why I never met the man. 

No one was weeping. There wasn't a lot of sorrow. Just guys saying "Here's to Baxter!"

Let me get on with this.  As I've said, I go here on occasion. It's a quaint little joint and Wednesday is the day that everyone meets. Of all the Wednesday's that I have attended, the jukebox never played. Not once. Tonight it played constantly.  Evidently, Old Baxter was a regular. A retired guy who went in about 2, drank till 7 and went home ( God Love you for that Baxter ). He had all these songs he always played so the guys were playing them all.  When this particular song came on, the entire bar stopped and sang with all their might. I'm assuming it was his favorite.

As I was leaving I told the guys that they were giving him quite a tribute. Now let me say this, at Boxer's I drink Canadian Mist because it's a buck cheaper than Crown. I like all Canadian whiskey but a buck is a buck. I said to Ron " Well usually I drink Crown but here I drink Mist. When I go, I want everyone to drink Crown all night. The beer drinkers can nut up and just drink whiskey."  Ron "You drink Crown? That's what Baxter drank. We all had three shots before you got here. Joe (my former banker) almost puked. Baxter would have love you."

I can hardly imagine the party after the funeral.

Baxter, I didn't know you. I know the men who are heartbroken at your loss. I promised Ron I would post about it and put your favorite song on my blog. Ralph, remember this at Stines?

Hit the deck a runnin Baxter. Godspeed.

7 comments:

moi said...

I bought some Crown this Christmas in honor of the time when S.B. and I were able to drink ourselves silly and not feel it the next day. In that era, Crown and Cokes were our holiday drink du jour. So I made 'em this Christmas Eve for old time's sake. And woke up the next day feeling like a bunch of elves were tap dancing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer all along my neural passageways.

Pam said...

Ha, this song would be on Moi's list of strange songs on her current blog post. Good ol' Baxter. I never knew him either but I like him already.

Milk River Madman said...

God love you both. It's been a long week for The Duke (aka MRM) I don't know if I can tell the story, but it's work related and I'm not happy. The good news is that life has only one progression and that is forward.

I didn't learn a lot from my Dad,(my fault not his) though he tried his best to teach me, but I did learn that life has only one direction. It will get me through.

Ralph said...

Yes I do remember that one, and wish we could be right back at Stines right now, giving Linda some shit, tipping some back, and singing our hearts out. That is if you are actually going to be drinking booze not just faking it. Hang in there, I am sure you will be right back on top of the world in no time.

Ralph said...

Yes I do remember that one, and wish we could be right back at Stines right now, giving Linda some shit, tipping some back, and singing our hearts out. That is if you are actually going to be drinking booze not just faking it. Hang in there, I am sure you will be right back on top of the world in no time.

Boxer said...

If I owned a bar, I'd call it Boxer's too and would only serve vodka.

:-)

Milk River Madman said...

Make sure when you open it up, you have Tito's. Though I tend to get way loose with my money. A post for another day. Or maybe I posted about it. I can't remember anything anymore.