Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our Man in Klamath Falls

Jack is writing this post for later uploading from Waldo's, a downtown Klamath Falls bar. Mrs Elliott and I came to town this morning to work with a video guy on some ads -- YouTube kind of stuff -- that she is putting together to promote her business. I drove, helped set up the lights (I have some portrait photography experience), held the cue cards, and checked the audio. I can help with that kind of stuff.

The morning started pretty early. I woke up at 3:30am for some unknown reason, and was unable to fall asleep. Fortunately my Kindle was at hand and I brought a novel from 24% done to completion by 6:30, rolled onto my side to see if I could snag a z or two, sinuses promptly filled up with boogies so I said fuck it and got up.

Watching myself gaffering, gripping, and best boying on monitor this afternoon I found that I was pretty pleased with my new svelte figure, but high-def does not favor older men. What a geezer, I thought, seeing my age spots. So while Mrs Elliott and the video guy are holing up and editing, I'm moodily reflecting on aging over a couple of fifty-cent happy hour tacos and soda water.

There are no salubrious places in town with free wi-fi that I could find. Our usual place in town, the Daily Bagel where we eat lunch when en route to the Bay Area for the holidays, close in mid-afternoon so I had to find some other place to wi-fi hobo and do that moody reflection on aging thing.

The memory of decades of cigarette smoke lingers in this bar. An unfamiliar style of rock and roll is playing on the CD player. Who are these artists? After two hours I didn't hear a song I recognized. There are three sports channels on the TVs showing no games of interest, a large semicircular bar notable for its height surrounded by oddly short stools, some tables and chairs of black wrought iron and expanded metal, and a general dark funkiness, the kind of ominous ambiance that tends to attract vaguely threatening men.

This place, I feel, has seen its share of bloodshed.

We'll probably get a room and spend the night. One December winter night a couple years ago we stayed at another motel at the south end of town when the weather was too bad to continue to Bend. It was dismal, an cinder blocks and Cool-White fluorescent lights affair sited at the south end of town. But it was cheap, and that's an essential quality for "business route" motels in towns with depressed economies and no reason for tourists to visit.

The video guy tells us that the Best Western Olympic Inn is the premier hotel, so we'll give it a try.

Klamath Falls does not give the appearance of a town that was formerly prosperous. The most expensive-looking building here seems to be the First National Bank building, now the home of El Palacio *KARAOKE* Restaurant and Bar.

Time for another soda and lime.

1 comment:

  1. "Klamath Falls does not give the appearance of a town that was formerly prosperous."

    But it was. During Prohibition it was a wide-open town -- booze, gambling, whores. Folks used to come down from Portland and up from San Francisco to indulge their vices.


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