It was a long time ago but thinking about it now, it seems like only yesterday.
After moving from New Jersey to Utah, we lived in a three-bedroom apartment above a bar in Salt Lake City. Dad owned the only bar in town. Most days and some nights Mom and I spent our time surviving the noise of the drunks below.
Having been the only Jewish family in the mostly black neighborhood of East Orange, New Jersey for my first 12 years such a minority status somehow just seemed normal to me. For me the only weirdness was the popularity the bar achieved in such a short time.
The location was down on Temple Street in a town founded by the leaders of the westerly migration of Mormons. I guess there are a lot more Jack Mormons than I had ever been led to believe. In a previous incarnation the place had been some sort of what the locals called a dive bar and was closed for some pretty sketchy reasons.
I was never able to figure out why Dad called the bar the Dead Sheep Saloon. Maybe it was some obscure reference to the story of Abraham and Isaac.
Sadly now, with both Mom and Dad gone, the Dead Sheep is dead again, too. Being neither a Jack Mormon nor a drinker of any sort and no interest in being a business owner, I called an attorney who helped me liquidate and close the place forever.
I’m now in the process of taking a deeply deserved but poorly planned vacation. When I buy my ticket to Amsterdam, maybe things will finally start to look up again.