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“a woman walks into a bar…” with a new friend and a courageous story

on 11/06/14 at 10:35 am

a woman walks into a bar..., Booze News

woman-barfinal2Finishing up LearnAboutWine‘s kickass Napa vs Bordeaux wine tasting at Josie’s…18 wines in all, I needed a beer and The Daily Pint was just down the block. Who can resist The Daily Pint? What? You haven’t been? Do you like whiskey? Single malts? They have about a thousand. For real. And always terrific beer. And other stuff. But I digress.

Walking the block to The Daily Pint, a couple from the wine tasting have the same idea, so we amble to the bar, grab some chairs  and order up. I have the Sierra Nevada Snow Wit Cask **Cask** which, truth be told, was pretty bland so I switched to Ballast Point Pale Ale which was a couple of steps up but didn’t change my life. No matter, after swilling 18 wines, beer is a welcome antidote. Aimée, my new friend, goes in a different direction ordering Angel’s Envy Bourbon. It’s a beautiful bourbon. We soon fall into deep conversation getting to know one another when, all of a sudden, a woman in a cool orange Dickies jump suit distracts us with her pretty little Italian greyhound, Fifi. “I’m on my way to the 99c store to get stuff and thought I’d see what was going on in here…” We’re drinking. That’s what’s going on. She’s smiles and continues on her way.

Back to our biographies when Aimée, who is originally from Alaska, casually continues, “My father was a child molester.”

Taking a deep breath, I ask if she had been molested. Aimée: “I don’t remember…or choose to not remember.” This is a serious story. Her father is dead but, in life, he was a 32rd degree Mason. Upstanding, right? “I hadn’t seen my father in 26 years but when he died, I was the only one who went to his funeral. There was no service but I arranged a viewing,  just for me. I had to see him one more time before I signed the cremation order.” 

Aimée was very open about her story, told with amazing aplomb, not hiding the sorrow and not owning the damage. She makes it easy to ask more questions. She says her father was super smart, a genius, who gravitated to the oil fields. He was from Georgia and met Aimée’s mother in Florida. Her mother already had four children…two boys and two girls. Her father had three children, two girls and one boy and her father had another son with his next wife after her mom. So, all in all, she has four half-sisters and four half-brothers. Aimée was the only one they had together. “Did he molest the boys?” “No, he just beat the boys. And loved the girls. He would take his daughter to card games so men could touch her.”

I need to take another deep breath.

Between the ages of eight and ten, Aimée went fishing with her dad but has no memory of anything other than he called her Princess. There’s value in not remembering. But for others, namely Jane, the daughter who was taken to the card games, the memories and the damage has left a wreckage of seven marriages and a lifetime of trying to forget.

The family eventually moved from Florida to Alaska, her mother driving all the way with four kids and her pressure cooker. I understand about the pressure cooker. My mum moved everywhere with hers, too. They settled in rural Alaska where Aimée sang in the Militia Baptist Church. ‘Militia Baptist’ is the name she made up to try to explain the environment. It wasn’t just your normal Baptist church. Militia members complete with camouflage clothing and guns came to the little church and told the congregation not to get driver’s licenses or Social Security cards because they believed that was the “mark of the beast”. There was a lot of fear around “big brother”. And the “end times” were always just around the corner. They were encouraged to have a ‘bunker’ stocked with food, etc. which was, as you can imagine, very frightening stuff for a young child. These people are now terrorizing a nation. Or trying to.

But that little church packed even more of an emotional wallop as a self-proclaimed exorcist would come to the little church at least twice or three times a year and performed exorcisms ‘as needed'(?). He would hold bonfires where kids would have to burn their rock and roll albums. Satan was everywhere and always out to get you. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Eventually, Aimée left Alaska, Satan and exorcists and made her way to L.A. where she is a singer songwriter…with plenty to write about. Airports feel like home for her, the bustle of people traveling, going places, always on the move. And bars are also a refuge where everyone has a story and you are not alone.

Thank you, Aimée, for entrusting me with your story. I can’t wait to hear some of your songs and to share more time at the bar.

2310 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 450-7631

Lady in cool orange Dickies jumpsuit with Fifi

Lady in cool orange Dickies jumpsuit with Fifi