The Grand National Rodeo came to town a couple weeks ago and, having missed it every year so far, I wasn't about to let it slip by again. Plus, it appeared this might be the last year to see it at the Cow Palace (where its been held every year since 1946) as the city was considering selling off the grand old lady in order to throw up another strip mall. Lucky for us enough people turned out to oppose the measure and it looks like she'll be around for a little while yet. I swear, if I never got to see the cattle drive go up Geneva Street I'd have been sore as hell. As it were, I couldn't imagine anything better than to spend an evening surrounded by so many boots and hats, gleefully watching the feats and stealing whiskey from a flask.
Sometimes Franklin looks like he's straight out of "The Last Picture Show" or a Cormac McCarthy story and it makes me lonesome for the desert air on a warm night with the smell of sagebrush all around and the headlights bouncing off the blacktop. Such a wonderful feeling, driving through the desert at night with someone you like.
Said goodnight to the rodeo, which I'm happy to say was just what I'd hope for. Bull riding, bronc busting, calf wrassling and an amazing man who stood on top of his horse while twirling a lariat around them both. God, I love things like that, makes me wonder if I'm just not meant to live in the city.
Rounded the corner to the 7 Mile House on Bayshore, another place I'd been wanting to visit. Sadly the kitchen was closed for the night, but judging by the menu there's a good chance we'll be back for lunch. Also noticed a sign just a few yards away marking the end of the city and county of San Francisco, I guess I hadn't realized they were being so literal with their name.
The evening's good humor prompted a spontaneous side trip to drop off two very nice, very drunk young gentlemen at their home in Brisbane, which was in fact "just down the road" as they'd promised, before moving on to our perennial favorite the Silvercrest. The neon sign says they never close and I've no reason to doubt them, though I've only ever seen the same one gentleman running the bar and diner and I wonder if he ever gets to sleep.
Its really nice to have a place you know 99 to 1 you won't run into someone you've seen before, especially when the odds are there won't be anyone else there at all. Don't know exactly how this place stays in business (perhaps its the occasional ten-dollar ham and egg sandwich), but I hope it does for as long as I'm around. I certainly can't name anywhere else where I can order a single shot of Ouzo and have it kept continuously overflowing until midnight, that being the cutoff for free Ouzo as the sweater-vested Greek behind the bar says after that things get dangerous. He's more than happy to serve up huge, delicious donuts and though we're not allowed to play cards, he doesn't seem to care if I get up and dance when "Let's Twist Again" comes on the jukebox.
Who doesn't love the American west? Not much of a cowgirl, this one, but I do love a good rodeo show. We'll definitely be back next year and so should you. I think its generally around the same time each year, but you can check with the Grand National Rodeo or the Cow Palace to be sure. The 7 Mile House is just down from the Cow Palace on Bayshore at Geneva and it appears they even have a website. Don't know why that should surprise me so much, if I'm finally on this thing everybody else must be too. As for the Silvercrest, it too sits on Bayshore, though closer up by Cesar Chavez. You can enter the diner from the street, though I never have and judging from the price of that ham and egg sandwich, probably never will, but if its drinks you want, the bar's in the back and there's a door that leads from the parking lot. Its shady and I love it, so just don't tell anyone else, right?