Attention, Yellowknife! In particular those parts of Yellowknife with a vested interest in the survival (or otherwise) of the most infamous dive bar in the North! In furtherance of Week Five of my Infinite Week Plan, and because we don’t have much time left, we present: The inaugural Tweetup at the Range!
So, you may have heard (in fact, you almost certainly heard it, and well before me, in fact) that the future of the Strange Range is in doubt.
- It may cease to exist.
- It may get a moderate upgrade and a handout and stagger on as before.
- It make get a facelift and some lipo and run around trying to pass itself off as a thirtysomething hookah lounge. God only knows, really. Once they start with a nip and tuck, there’s no telling where they’ll end up.
Sooooo, I got to thinking. I’ve only been there once, but it seems to me that Yellowknife without a dive bar (and a famous one at that: it has a Wikipedia page! Can the same be said of any of the people wanting to close it down?) isn’t quite as…Yellowknifey, if you know what I mean. When Devin and the others from Kellett took me there in the Springtime, whispering blood-curdling warnings all the way, the tense atmosphere lasted exactly long enough for my eyes to focus in the gloaming and me to realize it was WAY UPSCALE from what I was used to on the Downtown Eastside. Not even any glass shard embedded on the tables!
And then an Elder walked over and said, “I just want to thank you young people for coming in. It’s good to see you here” and that was it, I melted. And then I told everybody about the time I went for coffee with Willy Pickton, just to restore the goosebump factor.
Which is neither here nor there. So here:
Who? You, me, and whoever else dares!
What? A Tweetup: meaning a casual gathering around a loose purpose, in this case to discuss/experience the Strange Range for what might be the last time. Tweetups are called via social media, that’s where they get their name, but you don’t have to be geeky to attend. Pay your own bill, order what you like. What, you think I’m your liver doctor?
When? 6pm Thursday, August 18th, 2011.
Where? The Gold Range Tavern. Don’t worry, you’ll recognize me. I’ll be the chubby, short blonde one with the black laptop with the sticker that says “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER“.
Why? To tell stories, to hear stories, to become part of the legend of the Strange Range before it’s too late.
Yea though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I shall fear no evil.
For I’m the meanest Sonofabitch in the Valley.
Wish I could be there, it sounds like fun.
I’m looking forward to hearing all the stories. I hope my battery lasts long enough to get them all typed up!
I couldn’t get out of work in time to make it! Any chance I could get a copy of what you typed up?
I’ll be posting about it soon, but I didn’t actually GET any stories, because nobody who showed up knew any. You couldn’t get better proof this town needs a Laureate because there must be hundreds of amazing stories floating around, and we need to get them down before the whole thing goes away.
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I’m from the north and pretty well grew up with a million “Strange Range’ stories… My parents met there, every person in my family and friends circle have been there, that picture you have there- well my cousin is in it!
I remember my boyfriend (back in the day) getting his cheque cashed at the bar after bank hours… Sam pulled out a cardboard beer holder (the ones that hold four 6packs) and pulled out a wad of cash, counted out the money and handed it over. When Sam put the rest of the money back it didn’t even make a dent in the cash pile~ amazing!
I think it’s a shame that they are thinking of pulling it down, maybe they should rebuild keeping all the same floor plans just update the pipes/ electrical/ fire sprinkler system. Yeah it may come off as a cheap tawdry cougar in lipstick but maybe re-name it “THE LEGEND” to give it a little more street cred!
Thanks, that’s so cool! Finally some stories. Thank you for sharing that.
I’m hoping to do a Blogger in Residence stint there, to collect even more stories. Wish me luck.
I heard they were scheduled for a public debate, but just didn’t say anything in public and did the vote in private. Doesn’t sound like the kind of thing City Hall should be doing, does it now?