Where’d He Go?

Huether

View of the North-East corner, across King Street, the main drag.

Some people come here to shit and stink
And scratch their itchy balls
But I come here to sit and think
And write upon the walls

Do pay toilets even exist anymore? The last one I was in, the graffiti read

Here I sit, broken-hearted
Paid to shit, but only farted
Yesterday, I took a chance
Saved a dime, but shit my pants.

One day, when the grandson was in 7th Grade, he put up his hand. The teacher knew what he wanted, but what he said was, “I have to go cogitate.” Now, ‘cogitate’ is not a word which often falls from the mouths of 7th Graders. She thought that he said he was constipated, and sent a note home for the daughter to check his digestion.

Where do I do my thinking? Well, I do most of it at home, some of it even in the bathroom. Once a month though, I save a dime (because it’s free) and do my thinking at a Sunday brunch meeting of the local Free Thinkers.

The meetings are normally held up in our twin city, Waterloo, Ontario, in the Huether Hotel, two feet below the basement level, in the old malt room, which once held a large vat for beer brewing. Click above, if you’d like more details, or enter ‘image Huether Hotel’ into the Bing search engine. It’s historically famous enough to have its own Wikipedia page. She’s a utilitarian old queen, built to provide food, drink and lodging to horse-drawn travellers, long before hipsters needed pretty and comfortable.

The Wiki article doesn’t include the information that further, recent excavations for our new street railroad, found a tunnel which completely crossed under the main street, to surface in what used to be a saddlery and buggy rental building. It is thought that Al Capone’s boys quietly loaded beer out its back door during Prohibition, un-noticed by local police at the micro-brewery across the street.

Huether 2

Management makes a somewhat specious claim, with the very existence of their 1842 Café, even though the place wasn’t built until 1855, as evidenced by the inscribed lintel stone in the malt room doorway.

Huether 1881 Parsell

View of the South-East corner across King St., from an 1881 print. The plain brewery section at the rear has been demolished, and replaced by a bowling alley.

Much work has been done in recent years, to bring the building up to modern safety codes. The old mixes very nicely with the new. A quarter of the old malt room is now taken up by an enclosed stairway, to provide a second exit from the basement, in case of fire.

Huether 3

A print of a slightly newer, and safer, version. Fire escapes have been added.

Your resident nosy old coot had a look at the landing at the bottom of the stairs, and found a table with a dozen 1972 Presbyterian Book Of Praise. I guess if they host the atheistic Free Thinkers, it’s only fair that they allow an occasional Christian prayer meeting.

Huether 6

Like me, they celebrate their antique status, using it for marketing ambience. I’ve got another plate of leftover lasagna, as a prize for any of my fellow hayseed hicks who can identify all of these old tools, most of which are still in use by nearby Mennonites.

Huether 4

I don’t give a shit. I think that I’ll keep attending these meetings. I hope that you enjoyed the tour. Seeya again, soon. 😀

Huether 5

A cabinet full of Heuther trivia and memorabilia, built into a hole in the stone wall, where the big malt tank used to be drained to the brew tanks.

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Enthusiasm

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Since there’s never enough blog awards to go around, one of our number has graciously created yet another one to be shared.  Cordelia’s Mom felt that there should be a badge to acknowledge visits and comments (to her site), so she produced the Enthusiasm Award.  Only posting for about six months, she’s obviously more computer-savvy than me.  I only things I’ve created are chaos and confusion.

She and I both use a “That’s Life” tag regularly.  Whenever I check WordPress to “See what others are writing about,” I often find the most recent of her cute posts.  If you’ve still got a bit of free time, and don’t mind explaining to the nice officer what you’re doing, peering over the blog-fence, click on the link above and possibly be entranced and entertained.

Talk about no good deed going unpunished….  I would occasionally drop in and leave some erudite comments.  The next thing I know, she’s gone all Fatal Attraction on me and I’m on “A List!”  “Also known as – known to police – may be unarmed and dumber than advertised – known associates, Tickle Me Elmo and Bart Simpson.”

Her inspiration for this award was a comment she received on an early post, within five minutes of putting it up.  I’ve never had one that quickly.  I did get a response within fifteen minutes one night, from one of my semi-regulars.  While I am often up (and sometimes posting) at unreasonable hours, he is afflicted with a medical condition similar to the wife’s Fibromyalgia.  The only reason I got a quick response was because he couldn’t sleep.  After reading my stuff, he quickly dozed off.

About two years ago, I received the similar Readers Appreciation Award, for making too free with my opinions.  Taking inspiration from Cordelia’s Mom, I am not notifying any of my victims.  Those who show up here, find their name garishly displayed, and wish to partake of a tiny slice of the Fifteen Minutes of Fame – grab a copy, and go Do Unto Others.  Those who just took the blue pill and woke up here, are also welcome to indulge – don’t say I didn’t warn you.  It would be nice if you also linked back to her site, and told her what you’ve done.

Randomly listed, here are a few visitors who still take the time to make this site enjoyable.

BrainRants – Who has moved beyond the event horizon to use his intensive training in PowerPoint, to make the Free World safe.

John Erickson @ Windy City Wonderer – Now that I’ve bragged about you, come out of hibernation and take a bow.

BenzeKnees – With more ailments than even my wife, she still has time to tell me what she thinks.

Always a Redhead – How can you not respect a woman who loves guns and knives?

Ted @ SightsNBytes – Even busy getting (re)married, he wants me to row out to his Rock, for some cod tongues and screech.

1Jaded1 – Moved to Erickson’s Windy City, and is now living in Al Capone’s empty vault.

Jim Wheeler – If you want someone to explain what *erudite* means, Jim’s your man.

Notes to Ponder – Has to push her comments uphill, all the way from the Left Coast, but still regularly shows up.

White Lady in the Hood – Just a (Very!) honorable mention.  She’s a bit busy right now for posting or commenting, although, occasionally I feel a nice warm “Like.”

Let the niceness begin!