By Vern Holmquist
I have always considered a move an adventure and while my recent move from Mount Angel to Silverton did not take me into far away or strange territory, I have seen many new faces and wonderful places to check out.
One of those places looks like it has been there forever, at least no one had made the mistake of giving it a “modern look.”
It’s just one of those places people love exactly like it is. I am talking about Mac’s Place in downtown Silverton.
One evening I spied a sign outside of Mac’s Place advertising a crawfish feed for $13.95, indeed a new adventure for me to partake. This crawdad feed – I was told – is a once a year offering.
It was not the crawfish that garnered my attention. It was the lively crowd. The place was jam packed with customers but what really grabbed my interest was the speed these people were served.
It looked like every waitress was training for a marathon. I sat at the bar right in front of the bartender.
I have never seen a bartender pulling two or three draft handles at the same time, each filling a glass or pitcher with a different beer, hands moving so fast, reaching for one of their many brands of beverages and putting them back in the right spot for the next bartender to find.
These finely tuned skills were a joy to watch.
The servers I watched the most were Jessi, who has been working at Mac’s for six years, and Sarah, who has held her post for seven years.
Now in my life, I have watched a lot of bartenders, probably too many.
Some bartenders were fast, some slow and some half fast but the fastest, hardest working ones I have seen are Jessi and Sarah, who are quick with a smile as well.
As I was watching these champions, I was greeted by Mac’s owner, Glen Damewood, who agreed with my assessment of Jessi and Sarah and praised his two employees.
I had met Glen before, and remembered him as the man who came to the rescue of Wurstfest, his Wooden Nickel restaurant supplying the “theme sausage” for the event after another sausage vendor pulled out.
I am of the thought that it’s always good to support businesses who support their community.
Well, we are now in the midst of Oktoberfest and I trust all of you are having a great time listening to the music and enjoying the great food. I hope you all have a chance to enjoy Mount Angel’s new community building, the Festhalle, which is adding much to this year’s festival.
My 11 years attending the festival is a long way off from a record, but it still amazes me how this village can pull it off. Oktoberfest is truly a world-class event.
Another great experience for me is visiting the new Silverton Senior Center, a beautiful building class to The Oregon Garden. The Senior Center offers meals, exercise facilities, game rooms, meeting rooms, a building full of art, hospitality, friendship and activity.
Well, both Mount Angel and Silverton have their charm and livability, but for a young man like myself Silverton is a little more diverse – 32 churches, more activity and more liberal. As I’ve said before, being a liberal in a conservative town and a Lutheran in Catholic town is not an easy row to hoe.