Part of why I like hanging out in old bars is the characters there, not the character of the place. I’ve been amazed by the stories of the old timers I have heard.
There is one old guy, Ed, who hung out at Opal’s a lot. He cleaned the place during the day and would be around in the eveningsÂ regularly. A real nice guy that I didn’t pay much attention to.
Then one night someone came in and handed him a framed picture of James Dean. Ed just lit up. After a while, he was sitting next to me and he told me just why he had this picture.
It wasn’t just a picture of James Dean. Ed had taken that picture. Jimmy was in a barn, cigarette hanging from his lip, leaned over a car. That was about the time Jimmy told Ed he was leaving their small home town to go to New York. Asked Ed if he wanted to go with him. Ed choked out that he wished he’d said yes.
You just never know…