Submitted for Haibun Thinking Week 10

haibun4plus21Welcome to Haibun Thinking. A weekly writing challenge to create verse, prose and haiku using prompts from all areas of art including – but not limited to – movies, songs, art, photography etc.  It is all explained at the link above.  There is a link tool to submit your haibun.  If you don’t know how to write the form haibun, there is information about it at the link above too.

This week is literature week and we are to choose between a provided literature quote or a photograph.  Although my story is more directly linked to the photograph, I think it also utilizes the meaning of the quote as well.

To have the sense of one’s intrinsic worth … is potentially to have everything
~ Joan Didion

© Patricia Ellis McCoy

© Patricia Ellis McCoy

For more than fifty-years George had been spending his nights and some of his days at the Anything Goes Saloon. Although his title changed from bartender to proprietor in 1975, to him the job was the same today as it was the day he walked in off the street and Old Man Jones gave him a chance.

Given an early chance

Love, respect for his mentor

A life of service

Old Man Jones, that’s what everyone called him but officially he was Joshua Aloysius Jones. Returning home after WWII with no real plan for his life, a war buddy talked him into moving to Pennsylvania and opening a bar with him. The rest is history but along the way, Joshua had a very successful life that included a lovely wife for fifty-years and some dabbling in local politics. His only regret was that he and his wife Carolyn were never blessed with children. With no children to take over the saloon, Old Man Jones looked to the next best thing. George was like a son to him, so naturally he took the helm when Old Man Jones moved to Florida when he retired in 1975 and full ownership upon his mentor’s death.

The war has ended

Start of a new postwar life

Successful love, work

Over the years, George was approached many times about selling the Anything Goes but his answer was always the same. Like his mentor before him, George was well known in town and his saloon was a place where everyone felt at home. For George, the Anything Goes Saloon was home. People always asked him about the lady clad in fishnet stockings hanging out the upstairs window. This answer was also always the same. “She was here when Old Man Jones bought the place in 1945 and he didn’t have the heart to ask her to leave.” Once a reporter asked George if he was a success in life. He looked around at all his patrons with smiling faces and knew the answer was yes.

Ones home is comfort

Where everyone knows your name

Their smiles, his success



4 responses

  1. Al says:

    A great way to use both prompts, and I like the history of the saloon. Brilliantly done 🙂


  2. A fascinating story Maryann, very much enjoyed this well done.