Be nice to the dude sitting next to you, he could be a bouncer at your favorite bar

He sits next to you in class and you can’t remember why he looks so familiar. It’s because you drank until you blacked out last night. And also because he was your bouncer.

Ohio University located in beautiful Appalachian, Athens County, making it feel like it’s isolated from the rest of the world.

For the students lucky enough to have a car on campus most major cities are about an hour away. Unfortunately students who don’t have cars rely on GoBuses, a popular shuttle bus that goes between major cities, with a few detours in between which makes any trip longer.

So it’s no surprise when students pick the bars on Court Street as their main source of entertainment on any given night.

They’re the unrecognized heroes of the night, bouncers.

You see them every night, you just don’t recognize their faces. You don’t care about their names, unless being friendly will get you into the bar quicker.

Bouncers are the underappreciated heroes—or, pesky villains, depending on how bad your fake I.D. happens to be—of the night.

Three brave bouncers came forward and shared their experiences from their time on the job. This is what they had to say.
Photo of Julian with a friend inside a barJulian Pelfrey, formerly at Lucky’s Tavern

 It was the summer before senior year and I needed a job if I wanted to live in Athens over the summer instead of going home to work in a factory. I went to most of the bars on Court Street and applied.

It was something I always considered wanting to do when I started college. And I never regretted working there once.

If I wasn’t on a set career path I’d definitely do the job again. It was great while it lasted. You learn people and social skills because you must interact with nearly everyone that comes into the bar.

Every night you deal with at least one overly drunk person but they aren’t usually too bad to coerce out of the bar but it’s like at least once a month there’s someone trying to fight.

Once a patron threw a glass mug at the bartender. This was midday. Another time, a guy sucker punched one patron and ran out of the bar. Once someone even tried to fight the owner.

Every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we would see at least 10-15 fakes per bouncer. Each state has its own holograms to set them apart. Some people would have sailboats on their holograms which no state has.

Other people don’t understand that height makes a difference, one time a guy, around 5 feet 4 inches tall, tried to use an ID for someone that was 6 feet 9 inches tall—someone I personally knew played on the football team.

August Oberdick in hockey uniform on rink Gus Oberdick, formerly at Jackie O’s

I found out about the job from one of my mod mates who was working there as well. He said they were hiring so I went in with him and talked to the manager who eventually invited me back for an interview.

The job was weird honestly. I loved the atmosphere but I didn’t enjoy the “bar life.” It was a different kind of world, the people who work jobs like this live a backwards life. You go into work at 8 p.m. and get off around 4 a.m. I’m an engineering major and I couldn’t make it work with my schedule and eventually just quit Jackie O’s.

I did like the job because the people at Jackie O’s are great. There’s not a lot of annoying underclassmen, no obnoxious music, and everyone is generally in a good mood. It just wasn’t the job for me.

At Jackie O’s you turn people away every now and then, it’s an older person’s bar so there aren’t as many underage people trying to get in.

The most uncomfortable I’ve ever been was when I had to kick out one of my TA’s because he had gotten into a fight with another patron. It was weird having that authority over someone who has some kind of “authority” over you.

Benny Lam with a friend at a party smilingBenny Lam, currently at Jackie O’s

I’ve always wanted to work at a bar and I knew Jackie O’s was a pretty established one so I called when they were hiring and they told me to apply online. I didn’t get a response until three months later.

Working at Jackie O’s is better than I expected. It’s a laid-back environment and the people who work with me are honestly down to Earth. Jackie O’s has a certain aesthetic when it comes to who works there and the patrons which is why it works so well as a bar.

I’ve had a few people get rowdy but it’s never gotten out of hand.

We do get fake I.D.’s, but fortunately because we have a reputation of not serving underage people like some of the bars on Court Street, it’s not a lot. Their fakes get denied and then it’s up to whoever is working to decide whether they want to take their fake I.D.

Before getting the job I frequently went out but once I got the job I had to cut back immediately. Working closing shifts every Friday and Saturday took a toll on me in the beginning because I had to sacrifice going out with my friends.

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

When you’re broke and have no where to go, Court Street is the place to shop

Let’s face it, being a college student well sucks…especially when you’re in the middle of nowhere and the nearest “mall” has about three stores.

But WAIT!

I was only exaggerating.

Don’t lose hope just yet, Court Street has plenty of places to shop and it ranges from small novelty stores to stores where you can purchase certain items we weren’t allowed to film.

Uptown Costumes, the name says it all. You’ll be able to find a large variety of not only costumes but also sweaters and posters. If you’re lucky enough you might run into Charlie, the owner’s dog. Be gentle, he’s an old boy.

Import House is a split into two sections, one side where you can take your parents other side where your mom questions whether or not she actually believes you’re using the money she gave you last month for textbooks. (It’s okay, your parents did the same thing in college.)

Artifacts has a lot of novelty items along with dresses and t-shirts. You’ll be able to find left-handed mugs for your obnoxious left-handed friend (me) and other handmade knick-knacks.

“I usually shop on Court Street after I get breakfast to cure my hangover. It’s a nice way to spend whatever is left of my afternoon,” said a student on Court Street who didn’t want their name used in case their parents were to ever Google them.

Join me as I dragged my boyfriend and a close friend around Court Street to look at things I don’t have room for but will sooner or later end up buying.

Our parents may be hOUme but that doesn’t mean the parties will stop

Ohio University knows how to party so well parents don’t know if they should be mad or not. This weekend was filled with live music, dancing, and regrettable decisions for some.

  1. The Union sets the tone for this fun, music filled weekend.

Adam Remnant, Breakers, Smizmar

Friday, 23 September 2016 9:00 pm

@ The Union

Creator: The Union

 

Adam Remnant is a local folk artist on tour for his recently released EP, When I Was a Boy. He was the headline act for the show at The Union Bar & Grill. Breakers, and Smizmar shared the stage with Remnant Friday night. The show was an example of not only how good the music in Athens is, but also how there’s no typical “Athens band”.

2. Open Doors Casa Dance Party

The party is slayin' with DJ vampy kitty!!! @vampykitty @ouopendoors @casanuevaathens

A photo posted by Ohio University LGBT Center (@oulgbtcenter) on

Open Doors, an LGBT student group on campus hosted their first dance of the school year with a stoplight theme dance party. The dress code for the party was simple but interesting. Everyone was to wear stoplight colors but they each meant different things. If you wore green, you were single and ready to mingle for the night while red meant you were off the market or weren’t interested.

Saturday night was also DJ Vamptykitty’s first solo act.

3. Country Night Lights 

 

Hundreds of people gathered at The Venue of Athens this past weekend to enjoy two booze filled days of country music in their cowboy boots. Two days of up-and-coming musicians entertained this rowdy crowd. The bars weren’t going to pass up on an opportunity to offer a place to pregame before pregaming outside the venue.

4. Skeletonwitch returns to Athens

Athens, thank you for a killer, sold-out show last night. There is no better way to start a tour.

A photo posted by @skeletonwitch on

Skeletonwitch returns to Athens and play their show back at The Union Bar & Grill a year after it burned down. The Union was where former OU students began playing before gaining an international following in the metal scene. This show kicked off their five-week Curse of the Dead 2016 U.S. tour.

5. No matter what happened to you this weekend just be glad you didn’t end your weekend this way.

Everyone is told from day one to be very careful around the horse officers. After a night of drinking this man seems to have forgotten the sacred rule in Athens–always ask before petting a horse.

He took it a step further by actually mounting the horse when he saw there was no police around. Though no records have been found as of yet online his friends say he was arrested but is free and will have a trial on Monday.

 

You can be grateful you woke up this morning with just a simple headache.

Home for music and weirdos, I mean The Smiling Skull not my boyfriend’s house

Cheap beer, live music, and no ID requirements at the door. It’s basically what broke college student dreams are made of. While it may not be a gem to many the Smiling Skull Saloon is definitely a remarkable part of Athens.

Athens has a large music scene and The Skull is one of the many locations used as a venue to book shows for local and other up-and-coming musicians. Shows at the Skull tend to be more punk rock oriented with the occasional bluegrass band. This is only my second year at Ohio University but I’ve been able to see numerous bands at this small dive bar alone.

The crowds at shows tend to get very rowdy, especially after a night filled with drinking. Last year New York punk band, Bbig Pigg, was wrapping up the show for the night as last call approached. I was hoping to stay until the very end of show but during one of their songs a member of the audience stole the microphone from the vocalist. The microphone thief then smashed his beer bottle onto the ground. Shards of glass flew all over the place and I was so excited I didn’t realize some of the pieces cut my legs and were stuck to my clothing.

Love
Graffiti wall inside the women’s restroom

In”Smiling Skull Saloon a sanctuary for students and townies alike,” Emily Bohatch captures the essence of the bar. She said the usage of old license plates and photos hanging on the walls as decoration of bar “embodies a sense of tradition and home.”

The vintage posters and photos hung around the walls surrounded by graffiti are what make the Skull some kind of time machine for me. Even though the bar is only 16 years old the graffiti is a sobering reminder that I’m only going to be here for four years. I should enjoy it just like everyone else who left their mark somewhere in the bar.

The decorations are not the only thing that make the bar remarkable for me. It’s also the people I’ve met and stories I’ve learned. There’s always an interesting mix of patrons which make up of bikers, ‘townies’, and college students.

The most interesting to talk to have always been the older crowd of bikers and ‘townies’ because they always have a story to tell about “back in the day” and you can see how people’s eyes light up when reminiscing.

One of the most notable characters I’ve met has been Santa. A tall, older man with a beard that reaches his belly who sits by the door greeting people. There hasn’t been a night in which he isn’t filled with jokes and compliments.

Everyone in Athens has a bar that they prefer, and the Skull is definitely it for me. Many people I’ve met are usually not too excited about the idea of going to a dive bar at first but it’s an experience they end up enjoying. The Skull stands out and is unique, just like its patrons.

5 animals that will bless your day

 

We all love animals because they bring joy and love to our daily lives. I know seeing a dog is the highlight of my day and it turns to a blessing if I’m able to pet it. These next five are your blessings for today.

  1. This goat
Goat Mountain Trail, Peter Charbonnier

I know what you’re thinking, “There is no goat in this picture! What?! You lied! This isn’t a blessing!” but that’s where you’re wrong. This is a blessing in disguise. All we might see is a dog but isn’t every dog a blessing?

2. Her all seeing eyes

Cat with Elderly Hand
Cat with Elderly Hand, K Whiteford

Don’t be put off by her glowing eyes, she’s looking into your future and she sees nothing but good luck going your way. Trust her, look at the wise hands holding her and look at the determination in her face. This is not a chance meeting, wisdom and good luck are in your near future.

3. This smiling pig

Smiling pig

Look at this little guy, he’s all smug. He’s here to bring you smiles and whisper good words to you throughout your day. He doesn’t want you to doubt yourself, he believes in you. Don’t be afraid to smile today if you can help it. If not don’t worry, he’s got enough smiles to share with the world for you.

4. These two

Harry and Setlla
Harry and Stella, Wikimedia Commons

That’s not the flash that went off in the picture, it’s their innocence radiating off of them. They look like they were caught off guard but their friendship and love for each other is true and long-lasting, just like yours with your friends!

5. Sofia

She’s trying her best to eat all her breakfast for the day even though she’s a clumsy girl. She’s here to remind you it’s okay if you mess up as long as you keep trying. If she can do that, you can do anything today.

 

If you see them give them a flower and maybe pet their little heads. Don’t forget to get permission before you pet them.