In September of this year it will be ten years ago that Johnny Mango started a thread, asking people about their memories of Okies, an iconic bar in the 1970s/early 80s at the corner of Central and University (where the convenience store is now).  This conversation is still going on; stories recounted by those who were there, with - I should mention - astonishingly good memories for such fogies (and, in some cases, having spent a number of years in altered states). A few people were proposed to there over 40 years ago and are still married. Some  told outrageous tales and others showed up on the thread who were there for the incident too, and added details. A number of "whatever happened to so-and-so" questions were resolved (I am amazed at how people who frequented that bar remember folks' first and last names from so long ago)


It was an iconic bar during an unforgettable period of time in Albuquerque.  In those days, you'd see old pick up trucks with gun racks on the back window (remember those?), and the driver would get out, wearing Birkinstocks.  I used to say that - unlike in California and many other places - in Albuquerque you couldn't predict somebody's politics, whether they were carnivorous or vegetarian, or even their ethnic background just by looking at their shoes.  We're complicated like that, and rough around the edges, which is what I love about this place!

So many people I know now moved to Albuquerque long after Okies had closed, or were not even born yet.  So thank you, Johnny, for providing a venue to catch up for those of us who Were There, drinking 10 cent beer out of mason jars at a long wooden table with burned out Vietnam vets, members of the Bandidos biker gang,UNM professors, prestigious lawyers from down town.  Bob Dylan and John Mayall were on the juke box, and Jacks down the street had great mushroom pizza.

There is a book in this, dammit.  In-depth interviews with the people who are posting on that thread.  Some have photos.

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