I think the first word I learned to read was cat. Leave it to my son to sound out the word bar for his equivalent milestone. He’s recently figured out the rudimentary elements of reading, and that’s a pretty darn cool phenomenon to witness. But when you’re walking down the street and he’s pointing at every bar on the block, going “there’s a bar right? That’s also a bar!” and then sounds out Miller Beer out of nowhere, you’re obligated to turn on your public-facing parental persona and say “yes, that’s right Marcus. Good reading! But you know, those places are for grown-ups,” instead of simply high-fiving him, cracking open another beer and clinking his sippy cup.
But even parents need to be drinkin’ buddies with their kids sometimes, and that sometime was this past Labor Day weekend. The wife, kid and I packed up the truck and made our way to Pioneertown. A former movie set town used in 1940’s westerns located in the sparsely populated High Desert region of California, Pioneertown attracts an interesting mix of off-road enthusiasts, bikers en route to Vegas, and families with kids. We stayed at the Pioneertown Motel, a fun quirky place owned by the parents of one of Marcus’ classmates.
There ain't enough room in this town for the both of us, Dad!
There’s not much to do in Pioneertown, but that’s the simple life appeal of this place. We explored “Mane St.” and played sheriff among the movie facades, went 4-wheelin’ in a dry river bed newly revived by a recent downpour (Marcus took one look at my mud-caked Chevy and exclaimed proudly “now that’s a truck!”), and ate, drank and made merry at the only saloon in town, Pappy and Harriet’s, which also happens to represent 50% of the town’s real business establishments (the other 50% mentioned above).
The Wiggles can't hold their liquor like these guys!
The novelty alone of loud idling dune buggies, muddy ATVs and roving packs of Harleys was enough to induce wide eyed kidphoria, but add to this a real live honky tonk band playing full volume, and suddenly Chuck E. Cheese seems so “4-year-old.” I don’t remember the name of the band, but I apologize in advance that they are now forever tagged on YouTube as “family, fun, funny, kids, music, bar, Pioneertown.”
Enjoy the video. I hope it brings back childhood memories of your first bar jam. (Note: this is a YouTube video, which is probably blocked if you are at work.)