Sunday, January 22, 2012
(Click on cartoon to enlarge.)
It's time for some more info about Saloons of the Old West. My progress has not been very fast reading this book by Richard Erdoes, but haven't had the time for much reading.
Chapter 11 covered the gambling that took place in the saloons and parlors; the most well-known gamblers like Doc Holliday; the games played, e.g., poker and faro the most popular, and monte, roulette, 21, etc.; the largest and smallest pots; and the demise of public gambling.
Chapter 12 delineates the use of the saloons as places of grand entertainment to draw in the customers. They tried about everything in the way of shows, like dogs vs. dogs, dogs vs. rats, bull vs. bear, etc., to draw a crowd. Then someone got the idea of building theaters and opera houses as annexes to the saloons to show that the West had culture. These people brought in the likes of Sarah Bernhard, Adah Menken, Lola Montez, and even Helen Modjeska to dance and warble there way into the hearts of the cowboys, miners, ranchers, gamblers and what have you. I like the opera, but can't stand all the interruptions for singing.
Chapter 13 - Women in the Saloons. There were the hurdy gurdy's, pretty waiter saloons, honky tonks, concert saloons, fandango saloons and no matter what it was called, it was a place where women workers sold drinks at high prices and the cowboys, miners, and etc., spent their payday money on drinks for the girls and themselves.
There are a few more chapters not read yet, but it is getting toward the end. What am I going to use for emergencies after that when I come up short and need a blog subject? Darn, (he says) another problem to add to my list, but I have just the tome for this, Entrepreneurs of the Old West, by David Dary. Now that sounds like it may just fit the bill.