Video: Dressy Bessy – “Fearless”
From Fast Faster Disaster, due June 14 on Yep Roc.
There was a cinder block cube of a bar on the west side of Grand Rapids called Putt Putt’s. My uncle tells me that when I was little he used to take me there and set me up on the ice machine while he played pool. He bought me Shirley Temples and taught me to make noise when the other guy was about to shoot. You can’t get mad at a little kid for wrecking your shot, right? This was the 70s, so who knows?
My other childhood story of Putt Putt’s involves my dad getting arrested there after getting into a bar fight. I’m not sure whether this is an actual memory or that the story is so vivid that my brain concocted a visualization, but I can picture myself looking through the back window of a car as my dad is hauled out of the bar in handcuffs, struggling, and the cops macing him in the face before they shoved him into a patrol car. The unfairness of getting maced while cuffed still infuriates me, forty year later.
Why was I there? Who’s car was I in? My mom’s? Did somebody call her from a payphone to come pick him up? No idea.
But since then I’ve never really hung out in pool halls. Dressy Bessy makes it look like a lot of fun though!
Putt Putt’s is still there, by the way, but it’s been overhauled. It now has windows and food and outdoor seating. It looks respectable. Their burgers get good reviews online.
But I’m never going there. I know there are ghosts.