Monday, September 13, 2010
Arkey's and the Quihi Gun Club
I covered a little ground on Saturday night. I went back to Bandera for Arkey Blue’s Silver dollar Saloon and stopped by the middle of nowhere (10 miles from the nearest small town of Hondo) to the Quihi Gun Club on my way back. Arkey’s was a one red doored entrance to a stairwell down to a basement in downtown Bandera. A local bar that’s not got one flat or smooth piece of wood in the whole place. It had a stage, a beat all to hell bar, a jukebox, restrooms (nastiest I’ve been to in years) and a 70’s Dolly Parton Bally’s pinball machine that lined the room. Nothing about the bar was modern or really that nice. It’s all character down there and a great dive bar! I had two beers and headed to the Quihi Gun Club. According to my GPS I was driving in a field. I saw a sign saying to "turn here" for the Quihi Gun Club. That one “laned” road dead ended into a dirt road. A smaller little sign pointed me right and that dirt road lead to a driveway looking dirt road that (after a little ways) ended at building in a field. This was an old wooden building built up on piling’s because of the likelihood of flooding. It’s between 2 creeks and was damn near flooded the week before. Walking up there was a woman spraying herself down with bug spray and I’m like yep this is a local place. Two sweet older ladies all “hair sprayed up” was at the door taking money. 8 dollars was the entrance fee. I walked toward the back of the room and saw the food table with bags of chips, some fresh vegetables and other appetizers to snack on (more like something outta a church reception). The tables all old plywood neatly sat around the perimeter of the room with the well worn dance floor in the middle. Once “Cactus Country” started playing, the dance floor eventually filled up. There were young couples, old couples, daughters dancing with fathers, daughters dancing with daughters and some couples dancing with an appendage-ed child. At the table next to me there was another father (with big bottle of proudly displayed "Crown" on his table) who was coaching his wide eyed son (in a hat he was still learning how to wear) on the tricks in how keep a girl dancing. I’ve always had a soft spot for wide eyed kids, that’s why I’m posting the kids picture. “Cactus Country” was a functional band that played songs from Brooks and Dunn to Merle Haggard to “Time Marches On” (which seemed so appropriate for this place). A big event was when they played the “Chicken Dance”. Hadn’t seen that before :). Oh, it is an actual “gun club” that is still active and from what I’d read had over 300 members. The place was really just a beautiful old hardwood building with a bunch of families attached. If only I can find one more of these on my trip. Who knows, I may just check on “double wide” prices around here. To me this place wasn’t about the music. This place (at least on this night) seemed to be more about the community than the band. I loved it. I’m now gonna spend the next coupla days camping on the Guadalupe River before jumping into next weekend.