My old buddy John Glionna was up in the Olympia area recently doing research on a couple of stories for the Los Angeles Times. It was great to see him: John is perhaps the most wide-awake person I have ever known, and he’s been a stalwart friend to me over many years.
John’s a brilliant and truly tenacious writer, now based in Las Vegas after a long stint working out of Seoul, South Korea.
In Olympia he reported on a private club over Frankie’s Sports Bar and Grill (not too far away from where I’m staying this summer):
“Tavern owner Frankie Schnarr takes a long draw from his bottle of Coors Light and scans his sports bar, listening to billiard balls rattle and a pinball machine explode with points. … Suddenly, there’s that smell: musky-sweet, skunky yet somehow pleasing, an odor traditionally fraught with illegality. …’You get used to the smell — it’s like the mold at your Mom’s house,’ he says, motioning for another Coors. … At Frankie’s Sports Bar and Grill, firing up a ‘fatty’ or a ‘blunt’ is not only condoned, it’s welcomed. Last fall, Washington state legalized recreational marijuana use, allowing people to smoke the drug in private, but not in public places such as bars. Schnarr, 63, has found a way around that: He’s using a space in his bar he says is private, not public.”
As they say on the Internets, read the whole thing.
While in the area, John also interviewed Chuck Cox, the father of Susan Powell, “the 28-year-old Utah stockbroker and mother of two whose disappearance in December 2009 made national headlines.” The mood of this piece is altogether different, of course; the last line gave me shivers.