I wrote about my drunken accountant a while back. “GK, My Accountant With A Drinking Problem”.
GK may have been an old drunk, but I had a real fondness for him.
Following is a story about the evening goings on for the crew when we were up building a 24” water line in Stephens County.
Our office for the Stephens County project was in a small town of Ivan. Actually Ivan wasn’t a town. It was a beer joint and then our little office building. We were on a party line with the Kate’s Place.
Ms. Kate was like our answering service. If she heard our ring and didn’t see us across the street she’d answer and take a message.
G.K. was in hog heaven, being an alcoholic and practically being able to live and work at a beer joint. I knew him over 20 years and never saw him drink anything other than beer. I never saw him drink any beer except clear bottles of Miller Highlife. No cans. No other brand.
Being a fairly rough bunch, almost all of the Lewis hands spent every day and night after work with Ms. Kate and the local patrons.
I seldom went there and if I did it wasn’t to set and drink. That was a period in my life where I had vowed to not drink. That for the most part was a ten year test but has lasted a lifetime for the most part. Spending time with G.K. helped reinforce in me the need to not become a drunk.
G.K. had his own table in the corner were he held court. Some of the guys would sit and listen for awhile but mostly it was the old locals that would be there hearing all the tales.
The popular thing in that day was the Polaroid Camera and I had one. Those were the ones that when you snapped a picture it shot out the front and developed right before your eyes. Even back then it cost almost a dollar a picture. One night, after consuming a bunch of Miller Highlife’s, G.K. declared to his table full of listeners that he wasn’t sure we were going to make a cent on that project.
Of course my head mechanic, Paul, hearing that drew closer to see what may be looming in the companies future. “That damn boss of mine is about to break this company. He is buying that Polaroid film by the case and I’m not sure we will be able to sustain those expenses”.
Isn’t it amazing how well a drunks brain functions after sitting in a beer joint for hours.
Another time he and Paul, along with several locals were sitting there drinking when he got on the story about how he and I had walked in to that big bank in town and made that loan. That day Bill Craig had called him and ask him how things were going out on the job and was he happy with the progress? G.K. said “I told him all about the job and I thought everything was going real good. About that time Ol Bill leaned back in his chair and took a big draw off that cigar and said he was real proud of the way things were going”.
About then Paul said “G.K., I thought you were talking to him on the phone, how do you know he leaned back and took a big draw off of his cigar” ?
Without missing a beat he said “well hell boy I know that’s what happened. Ol Bill always does that when he’s taking to you on the phone”.
That was a typical night at Ms. Kate’s Place.
There was an elderly fellow, a rancher for the area by the name of Claude Kennedy that did wood turning. He was in his late 70s. Claude, his wife and his mother in law would be there every night. The mother in law was quite old
Mr. Kennedy made this set of candle holders out of mesquite from that area for my wife and me.
I have treasured them for over 45 years.