Tag Archive: strip joints

[Read Part One or Part Two] This is the third and last installment of the series. As I explained in part one, I haven’t spent all that much time in strip joints, strip clubs, gentleman’s clubs or whatever you want to call them. As I said in part one, there were two periods of time that I visited strip clubs. The first was when I was in high school, as illustrated in the first two parts. The second was after I divorced my first wife. I had a job on Northwest Highway, I was lonely, and they were convenient.

But oddly enough, the third time I saw a celebrity was in neither of those time periods. It was later, but I’m not sure how much later. The strip joints were dwindling in the particular area on Northwest Highway. A lot of things were dwindling in the area. I was there for some reason or another in the late afternoon or early evening and I wanted a beer. Then I came upon Caligua. It was one of the first “gentlemen’s clubs”, in that it was looking for a higher class clientele. But it was still called a strip club.

I didn’t see any other place where I would like to get a beer, so I pulled into Caligua. I sat with the small group in front of the stage where a ventriloquist was performing. He was funny, but a lot of the jokes were making fun of people in front of the stage and the hecklers who just wanted to be pains in the ass. But being where I was it seemed rather natural. I just sat and drank my beer. I think I finished the beer at the same time he finished his set and took a break. So I got up and left.

Like the first two instances, it wasn’t until later that I realized who the ventriloquist was. It was when Cyndy and I went to see him. It was Jeff Dunham and, if I’m not mistaken, the “dummies” I saw that day were earlier editions of Peanut and Walter.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

First of all, in my life time, I haven’t spent much time in strip clubs – you can call them gentlemen’s clubs if you want to, but I didn’t see a lot of gentlemen when I was inside the clubs. My visits were in a couple of time periods.The first time period was when I was in high school. I would sneak my parent’s car out after they went to bed, meet my friends, and go downtown to the Cavern – before and after I had a driver’s license. There was a Cavern in Ft. Worth as well, but I don’t know if they were connected.

The Cavern in downtown Dallas was like a cave, particularly when you went inside, past the “ticket booth” and the bouncer. They didn’t check IDs. If you acted like you were supposed to be there, they didn’t argue. There were also rumors that the Cellar was “protected.” It was dark, obviously, and there were sayings written on the walls around the club. “Evil spelled backwards is live.” “You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.” And so on.

The customers laid on mats in front of the stage. Waitresses (the dancers with clothes) took your drink orders and brought the drinks. I’m not sure the drinks had a lot of liquor in them. Liquor was not all we consumed, and being an inexperienced drinker, the issue was confused.

The stage was not really a stage. It was more like a riser for the choir from the elementary school. If there were two or more girls on the stage, when the red light went on, they had to follow each other off. The red light supposedly meant the cops were there. But I found it strange when there was an officer talking to the bouncer long before the light went on. Besides, it wasn’t like they took a lot off.

Crammed behind the stage was the band. I heard the dirtiest version of Rocky Racoon I have ever heard at the Cellar. Just a side fact in case you were interested. The band got to play their good stuff when the girls were off the stage. And there were often guest performers.

There weren’t comedy clubs back then like there are now. And popular strip joints often had comedians do shows. I saw a comedian at the Cellar one night that I thought was funny as hell. Turns out it was George Carlin with short hair. He had hired a new management company, and they had him play smaller venues around the country. I believe he played the Cellar in Ft. Worth as well. It was just before he grew his hair long. I didn’t know all that then. I just knew I laughed my ass off. There were others that night, but he stood out – as you can understand.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

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