Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Old Postcard Wednesday--Old Tavern, Arrow Rock, Missouri plus Lydia's New Years Message

MidwestLiving gives a quick description of the town of Arrow Rock (highlighting is mine):
In this town of only 70 residents, the beautiful surroundings bring the visitors, and the visitors bring the bustle.

On the boardwalk that links the brick buildings of Arrow Rock, the clatter of shoppers' heels echoes across Main Street. Obviously, this wide roadway was meant for more traffic than the visitors who've arrived in this central Missouri community (45 miles west of Columbia) on a sunny autumn afternoon.

In the mid-1800s, riverboats, as well as wagons heading west on the Santa Fe Trail, traveled through Arrow Rock. Today, during events such as the Fall Crafts Festival, visitors far outnumber the town's 70 residents.

Thanks to residents' efforts, the town's 40 buildings are a National Historic Landmark. Along Main Street, the brick Arrow Rock Tavern, one of the oldest west of the Mississippi, still serves hearty favorites such as fried chicken and catfish. Bed and breakfasts occupy several 19th-century houses. . .

The Arrow Rock Tavern is now known as the J. Huston Tavern, and accompanying the name change is a marvelous website that is only a click away. It includes a current color photo of the building, a tab with the menu and another tab taking you to a full page of wonderful history about the Tavern. Here is the beginning of the warm welcome at the home page:
The J. Huston Tavern was established in 1834 as a place where Westward travelers and rowdy river adventurers could find a good meal and a refreshing drink. Although you won't encounter many rowdy river adventurers among your Tavern dining companions these days, you will still find the good food and refreshing drinks that have drawn visitors to this historic building for 175 years. The J. Huston Tavern is proud of its distinction as the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi.

You can sense the rich history of the building as soon as you step through the door, but you'll also find something new at the Tavern. Chef Liz Huff, the J. Huston Tavern's new proprietor, has created an exciting new menu and brought a lively new energy to the Tavern. You'll be attended by servers clad in 1800s attire, dine on expertly prepared fare, and surrounded by artwork and artifacts from another era. It all adds up to a dining experience of historic significance! 

It sounds like a marvelous spot to stop as a tourist and I bet it is a favorite among the locals. I would definitely like to eat there while experiencing the history of the building and the charm described at the website. Even as a non-drinker I think I'd have an most enjoyable time........

.........which brings me to the reason I selected this old postcard for this particular Wednesday so close to New Years Eve and New Years Day. If you are not an alcoholic/addict then more power to you for welcoming in the new year with some of the bubbly.....or even a lot of the bubbly. I enjoyed doing that before my alcoholism gained on me and I have a few good memories of a few New Years during those days.

I may or may not have been harmless to myself but I was harmless to others when I partied at New Years Eve back then, and why? Because it was during the nine years that I was without a car; actually, without a driver's license. And why? Because upon my illustrious beginning as a new Oregonian/wife of first year law student one night he and I drank drank drank and after he passed out I took the car for a drive to check out sleepy downtown Salem. I was stopped by not one, but two cops who, when I opened the window of our new Mazda, asked about my car's performance and my well-being so to speak. I told them I was fine and so was my car. Then they told me I was driving on two flat tires: right front and rear.......Of course they wrote a citation and of course they took me in when I refused to take a breathalyzer test, the result of which was my losing my license to drive at age 25. When my husband and I separated a few years later he took the car and I had absolutely no inclination to work out the details that would enable me to drive in the State of Oregon, and certainly no desire for a vehicle. I knew I couldn't be trusted on the road and I applied my own restraints because of that fact. How, nine years later, I did get a driver's license and a car, is another story for another post because it was the acquisition of both that ultimately made me face my alcoholism and seek treatment.........

.........and after treatment, in those first years, one of the hugest deterrents to having a drink was simply remembering how horrific hang-overs had become for me in the final stages of my drinking life. I still do not take the memory lightly. But how I did laugh when I stumbled upon this crazy video some months ago (never heard of this singer or the song before - have you?). I stuck it in drafts for New Years Eve. And since it is suited to this old postcard, I guess it means that my final 2009 Old Postcard Wednesday post is also my Happy New Years to You post!

I'm sending my love and best wishes to all my blogging friends and I look forward to 2010 and to reading more of your artistic, insightful, hilarious, heartbreaking, informative, and healing blogs. Please be careful on the roads over New Years and do not drink and drive (ever).
The hangovers are up to you!

Statistics and links from Mothers Against Drunk Driving:
In 2008, an estimated 11,773 people died in drunk driving crashes involving a driver with an illegal BAC (.08 or greater). These deaths constitute 31.6 percent of the 37,261 total traffic fatalities in 2008. (Source: NHTSA, 2009)

Access statistics about:

graphic via webweaver


Don't Feed The Pixies said...

great postcard and thanks for sharing that story. A sleepy night at home playing scrabble for me, most likely: followed by the whole sky exploding at midnight.

Don't know though - i used to sit up and watch Jools Holland's Annual Hootenanny (Jools was initially famous as a musician/member of the band Squeeze, before co-presenting The Tube (infamous for his use of the F word on live TV), but in recent years has been more known for his Later... series which is the only "live" music show on telly now.

I say live with brackets because the Hootenanny (I think it's a scottish word for party or new year) is, of course, pre-recorded in October...

...btw...I don't really drink very much, if ever, so will be unlikely to be imbibing

earthtoholly said...

Beautiful postcard, Lydia. Arrow Rock sounds like an interesting place...I would go just for the catfish!

I've never heard of Jean Shepard, but it sounds like the kind of country-western that my dad would've liked. And good for Ms. Shepard...looks like she's still singing strong.

I probably won't be drinking, definitely not driving, on New Year's, but very wise advice you've given. I hope all party folks heed your words. And you have a great New Year...Lucy and I hope that 2010 is good to you and your most excellent blog! *BIG hugs* :o)

Nancy said...

So glad you are healthy and without the alcohol dragging you down. I think alcohol is, without a doubt, the worst thing that has happened to many families. It is so addicting. We have family members struggling with this nasty drug right now. I couldn't be much of a drinker now, although I did plenty when I was much younger, because of hangovers. But my children will be out raging on New Year's and I will be worrying at home, always relieved when I know they are safe and sound on this holiday.

Loved the song!

Looking to the Stars said...

Great postcard and history, loved it.

Never heard of the artist or song :) thanks for sharing.

My husband and I gave up drinking about 10 years ago only because our bodies can't handle it anymore. When I think back, we were lucky that we never hurt anyone or ourselves in a car.

You have a Great New Year also :)

Rhiannon said...

How I highly respect your honesty and integrity about your alcoholism Lydia. I wish my younger sister had learned more quickly as you did. I don't think she will ever be able to drive again and it's been over 20 years since she lost her licsense for the very "final" and last time.

I was blessed to not have had this addiction which did seem to be "carried on" genetically with some of my family members. Drinking always "went to my head" so quickly I could not handle it and it never made me feel good and "depressed" so I rarely drank also thanks to my health problems I am unable to drink even if I wanted would kill my already compromised immune system. Strange blessing hey?..:o)

I wish you a stress free "peaceful and joyful Happy New Year" and may all of us see "good changes" and more happiness and healing within ourselves for the New Year and on!

Thank you for your comment in my most recent post. It was nice to have you drop's been a while.

Oh, we had lovely snow here about you there?



Lydia said...

@Pixies- Sounds like your New Years Eve will be calm until the fireworks. I wonder if it's a city firework display or if individuals have their own displays at home...

We will have Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve on TV in the half-hour prior to the countdown at Times Square. Michael used to play "Auld Lang Sein" on his trumpet from the front porch but he's been too sleep the last two years!

@earthtoholly- I appreciate the good wishes from you and Lucy, and the same goes out to you from Bonbon, Abby, and me! That is actually comforting to know that your dad might have liked this little song. xoxo

@Nancy- I'll keep a small silent vigil here while your kids are out on the least one of them must be going out in Portland. It's a fun place to be at New Years Eve, so may they have a great and safe time.

@Looking to the Stars- It's interesting to read comments here from people who have quit drinking. Obviously your body told you when it had had enough hangovers! I'm glad you are happy and well this New Years Eve.

@Rhi- I am sorry for your sister. It's never too late, though, and you never know when the light might dawn for her.

Yes, we had lovely snow on Tuesday also. I had appointments in Salem and so got to drive in the stuff, something I've always loved to do. It was beautiful and ended the year almost perfectly (wish it had stuck around a bit longer).

Have a great New Years Eve.

Carlos Lorenzo said...

Well the video couldn't be more relevant to the day we are on. I am lucky not to drive. Hope everyone is safe and have a great night. Thanks for your always kind and felt words at the blog. I do wish you and your family have a great new year's eve and a happy new year. My best wishes for 2010.

francessa said...

Lydia, let's meet sometime in this Old Tavern for a nice meal! ;-)
The hangover-song is very funny! But still, I'm so glad your hangover-times are over!
We will probably walk to the friends we're spending the evening with, as it's snowing at the moment. Drivers here in Northern Germay are not really equipped for this kind of weather, most of them don't even have winter tires which are, of course, obligatory in Austria (where it is not snowing).

Wish you a great New Year's Eve!

Lydia said...

@Carlos- A very happy new year to you and your family....indeed to everyone in the beautiful city of Barcelona!

@francessa- Wouldn't that be something to tour somewhere in this country together?

I told Michael earlier what your plans were and we chuckled about the switched places for snow. I wish we had snow tonight; it's gusty winds and lots of rain.

Happy Happy New Year!

francessa said...

Yes, Lydia, we should start planning a tour! We did not walk yesterday, as we had a lot to carry, and took the car but I had mixed feelings and the street was slippery. However, everything went fine and we arrived safely.

Happy New Year!

Lydia said...

@francessa- It's never too soon to start planning one.
I'm glad that you had a safe drive and a good evening.
Happy New Year to You!



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