You're twenty-one years old, in your fourth year at the UW in Madison, and you walk into a bar called The 602 Club late one afternoon. It looks like a bar, smells like a bar, and has Hamm's beer on tap. It must be a bar...kind of.
You've been in bars before...even as a kid visiting your aunt's bar in Chicago...even before this bar, after you turned twenty-one. They all smelled the same, looked the same, felt the same. Except in this case, there was something a little different. The guy behind the bar. Even though you never met him before, you realized he knew you were there...in his bar.
It was comfortable enough to want to return again...and again. It almost felt like it could become a home...and it did, for everyone who walked in and spent a moment to feel the honesty of the place...the reality of the place. You could be yourself here. Whatever that was, you could be yourself. No pitchers, no jukebox, no obnoxious drunks, no bullshit...unless it was really good bullshit.
Places like this don't just happen. Someone has to make them. Dudley Howe made this place...and he made it real good...real good.
You're forty-six years old, you're in your third decade in this city, and you walk out of a bar called The 602 Club early one evening, for the last time. It looked like a bar, smelled like a bar, and it didn't have any more beer on tap. It must have been a bar...kind of.