Wednesday, August 01, 2007
The Two Minnies
Just before the turn of the century, Fort Worth was a town built on the cattle trade. Cowboys riding a herd up the Goodnight Loving Trail and points northward would gather in a part of the town known as "Hell's Half Acre". Truth is a lot of cattle towns had their own Hades-inspired real estate. With money in their pockets, dust in their throats and in dire need of a bath and a shave, the men would hit the town in waves. Saloons, of course, were the destination of choice. Mind you the real cowboy of this era was not the noble Hollywood type. More likely to be a hoodlum or an unsavory character with bad teeth, bad manners, and less-than-stellar intelligence.
Several of the local establishments were a much more elaborate than others. One such saloon was called The Two Minnies. Fine cushioned chairs, red velvet draperies and other gildery adorned the place. Seldom did a cowboy off the street and uneducated in the offerings of the Two Minnies ever get more than the first drink down their gullet before discovering another more enticing pasttime.
When they tossed that shotglass full of whiskey back against a trail-parched throat, their eyes would lock upon the glass ceiling that separated the first and second floors. At least 40 girls would be walking around upstairs, "nakid as a jaybird" and playing ten pins - a type of bowling game.
All goes to prove that the wages of sin are sometimes a damned sight better than the wages of virtue.