Sunday, February 17, 2008

Home Again...For a Night


Last night, in honor of the late Mike Mihalik ("Old Mike" in Little Chapel), a group of us gathered privately at the chapel to toast his life.

Around 10 p.m., we stood just outside the bar where he made us all laugh with his booming voice and wide grin, and with Ed Preusser leading the way, hoisted cans of Coors Light -- Mike's drink of choice once Schaefer wasn't available -- to our friend's memory and his family.

Guinan's is nearly empty of product now; the once-overflowing candy counter barren and the Coca-Cola beer cooler down to the final few bottles. There's an echo when you speak in the store. But there was nothing forlorn about last night. With the fire glowing, Margaret's cooking in the oven, Kelly's laugh and two dogs scurrying underfoot, we were transported home again, if for a brief while.

Things will change soon. But last night it seemed clear that Guinan's can be immortal so long as we never forget the people like Mike Mihalik who found solace inside her walls.

Photos by Kelly Guinan.

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