Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hog Wallow Pub Revisited

The outside of the Hog, on my way out last night
 "The past is never there when you try to go back. It exists, but only in memory. To pretend otherwise is to invite a mess." 
-- Chris Cobbs

They say you can never go back.  It's been years since I've been to the Hog Wallow Pub (this links to their Facebook page), even though it's only a couple miles from my house.  I quit going because I knew I'd run into "my favorite mistake" if I did.  After our most charming little romance ended, he got custody of the Hog. It was one of those love situations in which you are hopeful for a different outcome but the reality is really quite hopeless.  And on those few occasions when I went to the Hog with friends, and he was there, I felt like crying in my iced beer. So I stopped going.

But I went back.  Finally.  Last night's Hog expedition was a social group of about 20 or so ... I was in very good company.  I arrived a teeny bit late, but not unfashionably so.  Shortly before it was time to leave my house, I decided I needed some new earrings, so in the middle of two telephone calls, I created the Hog specials below from burgundy and ivory fresh water pearls, accented with champagne crystals, with silver wires.

These earrings may have been a bit upscale for the Hog, but I took the chance
The minute I walked in the front door of the Hog, I heard the "last call" bell, at about 8:30 pm.  "Gee, they're closing early these days," I thought, but as the evening went on, it became obvious the bell was a communication system for the staff.

I'm not sure if the wristband was to confirm that I was over 21 ...

The Hog was crowded but not packed.  Other than the now outlawed cigarette smoke and "my favorite mistake" being absent, it's the same place.  I don't think they've even rearranged the tables.  

The hog still smiles from his distinguished spot above the fireplace mantle.

The Huckleberry Blues Band was not the reggae band we were expecting but not a disappointment by any means.  I like blues, being the BB King megafan that I am, but I'm quick to acknowledge it's not always the best music for dancing.  The Huckleberries played quite a few peppy tunes with the usual downer blues lyrics, and so we managed to dance to their guitar and harmonica melodies on the skinny little dance floor in the front.  (Side comment: it's always been my fantasy to be on that stage, playing my flute. Maybe someday.)  At one inch from the stage, literally, I got a closeup view of all of them and smelled what they'd eaten for dinner on their breath.  I was most fascinated by the long haired harmonica player wearing sun glasses.  He held his instrument up to the microphone and oddly enough, it sort of looked like he was shaving. 

The Huckleberry Blues Band, June 18, 2010 at the Hog Wallow Pub

I went outside with one of the others in the group to see if there were any changes to the famous Hog patio.  He was probably bored when I told him all of the tables I had sat at over the years.  That would be almost all of them, and, I can still remember highlights of conversations at each!  Oh my gosh!!  It was the same scene.

Note the hog gazing down from the top of the waterfall
One minor change ... the ladies room was a bit of a challenge.  I used to think the Hog had one of the nicer, albeit small, ladies rooms in Salt Lake's bar scene (not that I'm an expert) where a lass could escape the noise and activity of the bar to call or text message a friend about how her date was going, apply lipstick, or relieve herself.  The Hog still ranks far above the Westerner as far as the facilities, but really ... no toilet paper in the dispenser, same with paper towels, and trash all over?  Very disappointing, and no, it did not ruin my evening in the least.

Other than the $6 cover, it was a cheap evening as I was drinking water.  Some ordered food, mostly nachos, and I noticed they weren't as tempting as in "the old days" when I used to come more often.  One gal and I engaged in a little text messaging fun with one of the absent members of the group and I saw a few others doing same, no doubt updating their friends on very important news and information.  Why are we always so plugged in these days?  I got a little distracted by the Colorado Rockies vs Minnesota Twins game on television - shame on me for loving baseball and having ADD - but generally we had sufficient conviviality.

The group wound down earlier than usual as there is a big PARTAY tonight with 60+ people at a private home.  But for last night indeed, it was fun to revisit the Hog, and reconnect with one of my favorite places.  Who says you can't go back? {wink}

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