Ignored the Signs. Went In.

Johnnie’s Bar has been serving whiskey in downtown St. James since the Irish laborers built the railroad through here. Even from the outside, Johnnie’s looks foreboding, with its big neon Stag Beer sign over a doorway into cold, smoky darkness. It’s the kind of place that makes you hear your mother’s voice: “I better never catch you going in there.”
“Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll never go in there.”
But in life, a young boy’s perspective evolves. Moms just don’t understand that places like Johnnie’s have the elixir that can subdue frightful images of devils and demons, dioxin and death.
Or bring them out. —Coastal Missouri

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