i love this bar.

I’m not a Toby Keith fan. You know, the singer of “I love this bar.” I am, however, a John Keith fan. He’s my grandpa. And since he claims that we’re related to ol’ Toby (we’re totally not), for the purposes of this blog post and the fact that his song makes a pretty handy title, I’ll be a fan for today.

This is my grandpa’s bar.

It’s been a gathering place for friends, family, strangers, Ramblers (shout out to Uncle Glenn!) and weirdos (every family has ’em) for over 30 years.

It was built by my grandfather and his uncle in the early 70’s and has acquired quite a collection of, um, collectibles.

Collectibles of the middle-aged man variety. You know, beer signs, singing fish, and naked women. Which is why I can’t show you what’s posted behind this door. Let’s just say that as a young child I was fairly educated in anatomy, courtesy of some vintage Playboy pinups. Wearing conspicously placed cowboy hats.

(And no, the bar isn’t closed on Sundays.)

Dancing on the bar is a long-standing tradition in our family. A Keith rite of passage, if you will.

 As young children (and then not so young adults) my sister and I and our friend/brotherish Paul would hop up there and put on a show for all the party-goers while Waylon or Willie or Merle played on the record player.

These days a new generation is dancing on the bar while Waylon or Willie or Merle play on my grandpa’s new pride and joy – a 50 disc CD changer. Technology may change but Keith traditions live on.  

Like I said, it’s a rite of passage. Which explains the cameras. Like a baby’s first bowl of spaghetti or learning to ride a bike – it demands to be documented.

No one dares whisper what might happen to this place when the torch passes to the next generation. It’s an unbearable thought actually. Because the bar is more than just a place. It’s the essence of my grandpa and his work hard, play hard, laugh even harder mentality.

So we won’t talk about it just yet. We’ll just keep dancing, drinking, telling stories (and then telling them again. and again.) and laughing at each other. And we’ll keep singing too.  

Everytime I visit I try to soak up a little more and hold on a little tighter.

 I love this bar.

GramaApril 7, 2010 - 12:59 pm

It’s easy to love that place and the people who made it what it is. I love seeing the new batch of kiddos dancing on the bar!

Aunt LuApril 7, 2010 - 1:47 pm

This bar is OUR family tradition…

Melissa MApril 7, 2010 - 3:36 pm

What an awesome tradition! Looks like so much fun 🙂 Love all the pictures of dad and grama holding onto B-Ro.

robinApril 7, 2010 - 3:45 pm

the bar is AWESOME! and this collection of photos just make me smile & laugh. kids on a bar — too cute! btw, do you remember what song were you all dancing to?

AmyApril 7, 2010 - 10:58 pm

I love the one with Brent taking a pic with his iphone. . . did he not realize you were documenting the entire thing with far superior equipment and skills! 🙂

Lorena MoraApril 7, 2010 - 11:08 pm

Awesome bar, I would spend hours looking at all the knick knacks on the wall. Looks like such fun!

marthaApril 8, 2010 - 8:08 am

Erin, what a great tradition. Sounds like you miss those traditions. Maybe you should take over the bar when the time comes! 😉 Great documentation for the kids.

JenniferApril 8, 2010 - 1:56 pm

I’m so grateful to be able to say I’ve enjoyed the hospitality at that bar more than once. But I will say that I have never actually danced on the bar – and I have to say I’m a little surprised I haven’t!! 🙂

adminApril 8, 2010 - 6:52 pm

Are you sure Jennifer? Maybe you just don’t remember dancing on the bar!

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the bar, again. » The PigBearSeptember 9, 2013 - 6:12 pm

[…] written about Grandpa’s bar before but there really can’t be too many posts about such a treasure. It’s been a work […]

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