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Tuesday, November 04, 2014


My wife says we need to get out more and get the feel of modern nightlife in Phoenix and Scottsdale. I say "But, honey, I know all about nightlife. I started serious partying in 1962. Surely nothing has changed since then, has it?" She says, "Yeah, maybe. Tell me about one of your nights from ‘62."

Well, in those days I never thought about going out until 9:30 on a Friday night. By then I would be showered, shaved, splashed with Old Spice or Hai Karate, and have my hair slicked back with Groom and Clean. I would put on some pressed pegged pants, a white shirt, a pair of Weejuns (white socks optional), and I was ready for action. I would head for some of my favorite dance joints in Kansas City which were usually smoky bars with a loud band. Nothing fancy, just beer joints with great music and girls kind of like the ones you WOULDN'T bring home to meet momma.

Usually there was a cover charge of $1.00 at the door and the bands never started until 9:00. If you got there about 10:00 you had it timed just right. I always knocked down a couple of beers before I arrived since the beers at the club were 50 to 75 cents and I sure couldn’t afford that all night!

You had to be fast to meet the ladies. Closing time was usually 1:00 a.m. so you had no time to waste. If you couldn’t pick up some babe maybe you could at least get a bank deposit slip. In those days, if a girl gave you her phone number it was via a bank deposit slip which had her name and phone number printed on it. Her address was even there but it didn’t matter since you would never just "drop by" without an invitation..  There was a lot more trust then.  If you received a girl’s number it was to call her for a future date. After a few nights out, you could build a pretty good portfolio of slips.

I have a feeling things have changed since those nights in ‘62. I just read a review about a new place in Scottsdale called Taste. Apparently some rappers were recently in town and they were cruising the place "making the most of the bedside bottle service and hottie dancers." Huh? These rappers also released a song that "became the ring tone, download, and car bumpin’ song of the summer." Once again, Huh? And what are those funny looking $12 drinks everyone is having? I’ll bet they don’t even sell Schlitz beer! What kind of a place is this?

A guest list was recommended so you had to email the club to confirm you were on a list. I know of other places where you stand in line and the bouncers choose who gets to go in. It’s like you have to qualify and meet their standards. I don’t like that, our lines in ’62 were always "first come, first served."

I don’t think I like the new bar scene. It seems very superficial and I’ll bet those modern women don’t even carry deposit slips. One thing they probably do is jabber on cell phones all night. It doesn’t matter, I prefer women who use a pay phone if they can find one.

Today I would rather remember 1962 as the year Lawrence of Arabia, The Manchurian Candidate, and To Kill a Mockingbird were released. As for me, I had a sleek ’61 Chevy, and was serving in the Air Force.  Now, if only I could find some Schlitz beer!                              
                                        Me and my trusty '61 Chevy in 1962.  Gas was 24 cents a gallon.    

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Joe Finnerty said...

By 1962 I was married and had four kids. I had ended my NYC bar hopping days in 1952. Back then, boys drank draft beer. Real men drank whiskey. Girls drank soda. Real women drank Pink Ladies. No piano bars. Customers sang whenever the mood struck them. O Sole Mio or Danny Boy, depending upon which side of Manhattan you happened to frequent. Saloon keepers were called bartenders. Nowadays they call themselves Mixologists. You can call me a Nix-ologist. I don’t imbibe anymore. Well, maybe a sip here, a sip there. I still sing, quite soberly I must admit.

Anonymous said...

Great post Jim!.....I remember a couple of the top songs from '62 which were my favorites..."Hey Baby" by Bruce Chanel and "Smoky Places" by The Corsairs...I wonder how our futures would be if we were allowed to relive those years?...Would they change?....Or would they remain the same?

Jim McAllister said...

Dear Jim,

You always write the cutest blogs. The title even rhymes: you in '62 I have been intrigued with the bar scene write-ups, too, but, having heard of police incidents here and there, I decided I wouldn't be interested, even if I were younger.

My husband, Duv, was in the Army Air Force during the WWII. We are much older than you and Barb! At that time the air force was still part of the army, He served in the South Pacific as a navigator and has some interesting stories. He also had a convertible, as you did! That is such a nice picture of you standing by your red car.

Well, today is Election Day. We hope the Republicans take the majorities, but then the question becomes whether they will govern conservatively. I don't trust them. Although, we seem to have some good candidates - Joni Ernst and Tom Cotton, for example.

I haven't opened the new Images magazine but hope to find an article by you. Thanks for your appreciative words about the DAR.


Jim McAllister said...
2:28 PM (4 hours ago)

to me
Second semester Freshman at University of New Mexico, and first semester Sophomore at Utah State University. Worked in Yellowstone Park at old Faithfull Inn that summer for $110 month plus room and board. Got a good introduction to whiskey, girls and cards, not necessarily in that order. My 52 Chevy 2 door hardtop was slow, 6 cylinder with powerglide and pretty well worn out. Got laid in the back seat, for the first time! A case of yellow can Coors was $5 in the park.

Jim Johnson

Jim McAllister said...

Lynda Zollinger
3:16 PM (3 hours ago)

to me
Haha!! Where was I in 62? I wasn't born yet!! 😊😊😊

Spread JOY in memory of
Micayla Brinn Zollinger
April 21, 1999-Dec. 31, 2007

Jim McAllister said...

David Biersmith
5:51 PM (1 hour ago)

Enjoy these, both Jack and I thank you

Anonymous said...

I wasn't old enough yet to hit the hot spots but I did my share when I was. Used to come up from Casa Grande and go dancing at the Red Dog and the Clowns Den later in life. Great story Jim.

jack in Glendale

ArizonaDave said...

I can't beat your 1962 covered all the bases...I hung out at a place called the 'Whirlaway Club' where I was the Shuffle Board Champ.....had to relate to my hand to eye coordination from the great game of golf....and Ole Miss football was at its' best, and the girlfriends came and went.

Jim McAllister said...

douglas brinkmeyer4:51 AM

Most likely getting my butt powered

Jim McAllister said...

PPS '62 was a very good year - I was born in March and Audrey in August!

Greg B.

Jim McAllister said...

Joe, I remember you mentioning about being in the Christmas play last year. I'd love to hear you sing!

I always enjoy your comments because as a history guy you supply to me a lot of interesting information since you lived through many of the eras I enjoy studying like the conclusion of the Roaring 20's, the Depression, WWII and post war aftermath.

I miss the term "bartenders" and I miss the kind of guys they were. Not many of them left like the guy Gleason played with customer Frank Fontaine.

I guess all generations regret losing the past in some ways. It signifies a loss of youth which none of us want to forget. Plus, are times really better now? We have more conveniences but do we have more fun?

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Sonny. "Hey, Baby" by Bruce Channel was a favorite; I screw around a bit with the harmonica so I really loved the harmonica bit.

Also, I liked "Sherry" "Duke of Earl" "He's a Rebel" and others. Probably because I reported to Whiteman AFB in Missouri on Jan. 8 (Elvis' birthday) and those songs remind a lot of going to Kansas City and drinking too much beer! Fun time: Young and single!

Jim McAllister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim McAllister said...

Hi Joy,

Thanks for your note about the blog.

Those Air Force years were pretty much a fun time in retrospect. Most of us were in the 21 year old group and single and acted pretty immature at times about drinking beer and girls. Fortunately, most of us matured and finally saw the light.

I was very fortunate when I was discharged in 1965. I enrolled at the U. of Cincinnati and within a few weeks met my future wife, Barb. I was 24 and she was 20 and we immediately fell in love; a love that has lasted full force for the past 47 years. I feel very fortunate.

I have total respect for your husband. He served in a dangerous situation during wartime; something guys like me who served in peacetime can only imagine. I usually tear up a bit when I see old films or photos of those guys celebrating after the war. I can only imagine the rigors they faced.

Election day was great. I had lost some faith in our country when Obama was riding high after 2008. It amazed me that a guy could get elected president of the greatest country in the world with no basic credentials like a birth certificate or friends who remembered him from college, Then he gets Obamacare passed which was a real blow. Fortunately, last Tuesday the voters showed that they learned a lesson the hard way by rebuking him and his followers. It was a joy to watch it all happen on Fox TV. Hopefully, the Republicans can take advantage and not let a mistake like Obama happen again.

I have a Veteran's Day story in Images but it was only published in the Anthem edition. I'll mail a copy to you. I hope you enjoy it; I interviewed some vets who told some interesting stories. One gentleman flew 65 missions in Europe during WWII. He is an amazing guy, born in 1920 and sharp as can be!

My best to your husband and thanks for your interest in my stuff.

Best Regards, Jim

Jim McAllister said...

rettajim, Sounds like you had a great summer in '62. Women and yellow can Coors at $5.00 a case! Helluva deal!

I remember those old Chevy Powerglides. They were definitely sluggis; kind of a poor person's Dynaflow.

Jim McAllister said...

Hi Linda.

Nice to hear from you.I hope all is well with you and your family. Enjoy those post 1962 years.

God bless the memory of little Micayla

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Dave.

Say hello to that speedster Jack.

Jim McAllister said...


I've heard a lot about the Red Dog. It must have been quite a place.

Jim McAllister said...

AZ Dave,

Ah, yes, Ole Miss and Paige Cothran. They and Miss. State are having great years. The state must be happy!

If I could play golf half as good as you Dave, I would be a happy man. After all these years, the game still eludes me.

Jim McAllister said...


That's a cool little car. Kris will look good tooling around Scottsdale in it. The society page of the newspaper will have something to talk about when they see her! I've already seen some old guys with sun burned bald heads in convertibles circling the block trying to get a glimpse of the new "mystery Mazda lady." She has broken two canes beating off the legions of hopeful paramours!

Thanksgiving in Paris? Sounds romantic! Have a great time with that gorgeous wife of yours. She is quite a dish; hold on tight to her around those Frenchmen.

Jim McAllister said...


I know what you mean with young kids. I never see any playing hide and go seek or any of the other childhood games we played almost daily in our youth. We played softball and football in the street and thought nothing of it. I remember Mark Grace when he did Diamondback games saying how kids would do that with someone always saying "Car!" when a car was coming. Now it's all video games and cell phones. We didn't even have a phone through most of my childhood.

I love the old tunes and Cole Porter has always been a favorite. His "Let's do it, let's fall in love" from 1928 had opening lyrics that said "Chinks do it, Japs do it, up in Lapland little Laps do it..." When political correctness arrived in our lives those lyrics were quickly changed to avoid controversy to "Birds do it, bees do it. Even educated fleas do it"

I'm glad to see that you are getting bookings even though the audiences are small. Maybe the word will get around and the crowd will increase. If I had a good tenor voice I'd audition for you but, alas, I am a poor singer.

Good luck, I'm glad you're doing something you really enjoy.