The End of an Era......

>> Friday, January 22, 2010

A few weeks ago, I received some devastating news......

Our favorite local bar was closed -- for good.

I was stunned. There was no warning, no farewell party - just a court order on the front door stating that legal action was being taken against the bar and that it was closed.

The doors were locked. The building dark. The large neon sign unlit.

I'm very sad. I have many good memories of that place.

The wheels of our life, as we now know it, began turning at that bar.......

Four years ago, when My Marine moved out here without us to start with his new unit, he walked into a bar one night. As he sat at the bar, he struck up a conversation with the bartender -- typical conversation -- what brings you in, etc. etc. My Marine started to tell her that he relocated to a new unit at the local base and was waiting for the day when he could move his wife and baby daughter to join him. "How ironic," the bartender said....."My husband is a pilot at the base!"

Little did we know at that time that her husband and My Marine would be in the same unit.

When we finally moved out here, Cindy and her family took us under their wing and adopted me and Nani as their own. When our husbands were deployed together, she took care of us, making sure we weren't alone a lot and were surrounded by family since I had no family of my own out here.

Four years later, Cindy & Mike are Nudgie's Godparents.

But the bonds of the bar didn't stop there........

Before our husbands were deployed, they would stop there every Friday after work for a couple drinks and to decompress. It was their place to leave work behind and get ready for the weekend. Sometimes the wives would join them when we could and it would end up being a great time.

Once our husbands were deployed, the wives claimed the bar as their own. We'd have regular girl's nights out while they were gone. It was our safe place. The bartenders knew us (especially since one was a Unit wife too), the waitresses knew us, and even some of the regulars knew us. The bouncers knew us so well they would come up to our table to make sure we were ok if someone they didn't know was talking to us. One would walk us to our cars when we'd leave. It was our home away from home. Where we could bond over a common experience -- bitch about having to do it all on our own all while listening to some great music (and sometimes not so great music) and having a beer or two.

When our husbands came home on leave, we'd have big celebrations at Patricks. And when they came home for good, Patrick's was the first place we all stopped at.

The guys started to realize that the wives had invaded and Patrick's now became the "couples" place. We celebrated many things there -- birthdays, new jobs, new homes, moving away, pregnancies, and deployments.

Patrick's became such a big part of our lives -- and now it's gone. I suppose all good things must come to an end -- but we weren't ready for this.

But times change......

Our close little group is drifting apart. Some are moving on to new opportunities. Some have become parents. Some have started new jobs. And bars close.

Maybe some day we'll find a new place to reunite and make some new memories. In the meantime, I'll cherish the memories that we all made at Patrick's.......

Farewell Patrick's......we all knew you well.......


Mayhem and Moxie January 22, 2010 at 11:34 AM  

Such a heartwarming little story, Jennifer. I loved, loved reading this. It was like watching the final episode of Cheers! :)

Sigh...some special places like the one you described just can't be replaced.

You wrote a wonderful tribute.


Too Many Hats January 22, 2010 at 12:31 PM  

What a special place. Your right though the memories will always be with you.

Buckeroomama January 23, 2010 at 11:10 PM  

I feel the same way about the bubble tea place where we usually get our fix. It closed down, just like that, no advance notice, nothing. I really miss it.

Anonymous February 14, 2010 at 8:52 AM  
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