Kat’s buddy Barbara A. from Glacier, Airstream, and soon to be Amazon, turned us on to Creede, an old Colorado mining town rife with local color. Juneteenth, the day the slaves were freed in Texas (June 19, 1865), merits celebration. Kat and I also worked in Texas – if on more voluntary terms – so we celebrated liberation with a drive to Creede. It’s a town of 400 which swells to nearly 2,000 on a good summer weekend with tourists. There were a lot of Texas plates, which only made the Juneteenth thing all the more apropos.
After a quick drive through town we parked the Red Sled in the free Municipal Lot, capacity 35. We began a walking tour of the old town and were rewarded with the Quiller Studio. Kat learned the hearing aid trade from a cat name of Rocky Quiller, way back in Raleigh. Since he’s from Colorado and there ain’t many Quillers around, we had to drop in. Nobody knew of the Rock, but the speculation was that he was descended from the other brother and perhaps is some kind of cousin. They let Kat take photos, and this Quiller is a dang good artiste. See for yourself.
From there we stopped in at the TommyKnockers Saloon for a spot of lunch and a wee pint. The joint isn’t named for a fat guy who should not go out without a manzier (or is it a ‘bro’?); ‘Tommyknocker’ is a mining term for friendly but mischievous ghosts. Our excellent lunch was the Okey Pokey Sandwich (smoked pulled pork with onions and coleslaw on a Kaiser roll) plus a side of jalapeno bacon beans. Kat had an Alamosa Ale; I stuck with Blue Moon. Jeff, the bartender, has been in Creede since 1997. He is handy at construction, and worked for a while in New Orleans. He also depends on Texans to keep his business afloat, and honestly if inelegantly explained “It’s not that bad a drive for ‘em, and jeez, there’s nothing to see or do in Texas but sweat.” We walked in to the sound of Aaron Neville and walked out with Sam Cooke. It’s a fine place.
Then we spotted a white dog walking out of the local bank. That’s Jasmine, the Town Dog! John, who hangs drywall among other things, told us Jas was house-broken by his older dog, and that people never had to play any part. Also, Jasmine the Town Dog is in the habit of walking up to the front door of every business on Main Street each morning, and barking until they offer her a dog biscuit, or if it’s a café, something better.
On the way out we stopped in at Kentucky Belle Grocery for camera batteries and happened upon ground elk and some good-looking bone-in (the best kind) pork chops for near Wal-Mart prices.
What a cool little burg!