Thursday, April 17, 2014

University of Delaware acknowledges The Shutting Door written by one of their famous alumni and I acknowledge the location of much of my college years, The Deer Park

     Well, not really, but stuck in the middle of The Blue Hen Messenger, their quarterly or bi-annually (?) published alumni magazine is a mention of The Shutting Door in the section, Between the Covers, New Books by faculty and alumni. Here's the proof:

Blue Hen Messenger, Spring 2014

The Deer Park 1986
The fact of the matter is that I didn't major in writing at the University of Delaware, but rather Sociology. Mostly I studied The Deer Park Tavern and I studied every inch of it. Many of the connections from The Shutting Door and my daily drinking career were birthed there. The Deer Park was established in 1851 and as the story goes, Edgar Allan Poe slept there and definitely drank there once. Here's some of the rest of their history.

While I studied there, the DP was a comfortable, very crowded tavern with two bars. In the front bar, known as "the townie bar" lived the regulars and locals--mostly non-students. You had to earn your way to sit at that bar, which given my known status as a daily Deer Park drinker and local musician, I was allowed to. Also of note was Mug Night on Monday (buy a mug for ten dollars and refill it for a dollar for life, unless, of course, you broke or lost it) and one dollar Nacho Night that occurred on some other night of the week, which I don't remember

The main bar, a non air-conditioned larger room, housed tables and a music stage. It was where the shoulder to shoulder crowd stood to see shows. As a 17 year old with a fake ID, getting served  wasn't the problem. The real problem was making eye-contact or  brushing lightly against any of   Pagan's Motorcycle Club in passing. Eventually I would play music in that room with The Zippers, Maytags  later The Wake.

Maytags at The Deer Park, VD, Gager, Matt Parker, Eddie Hopkins (hidden)
The Wake outside on the Delaware/Maryland border, Keith Duffy, Dave Shaffer, Tim Gager, Rob Bird, Scott Winram
Zippers, Tommy Conwell, Timothy Gager, VD King

Delaware had a strange music scene. Note the opening of this video about the Deer Park. As a band, this was the type of music we "competed" with for jobs and popularity.

This  television show (below) was aired ten years after I lived in Delaware but the music is remarkably the same--blah. Also bands such as the one in the video below, filmed at The Deer Park were typical of most nights at The Deer Park:

No wonder I drank the way I did. The drunker I got, the better it all sounded. Anyway, enough of this tangent drunk-a-log....thank you Blue Hen Messenger for the mention of my book The Shutting Door, which ironically, (maybe not so), are poems, many based on my drinking and recovery. 

Go YoUDee

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