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The Goose is loose

Two shirts in a row, weeeeeeee, but in honor of the reopening of The Gallopin Goose (no apostrophe, please) in Coolidge, Arizona, I had to pull my Gallopin Goose t-shirt out of the closet.

The neon goose on the sign out front hasn't galloped in years, but there's life again inside the historic old bar at the south end of town.

The bar, once the hang out of country music star Waylon Jennings in the 1960s, has been closed for about four years. "It's just a local watering hole with some history," said Festus Eaton, one of the new owners of the Goose. Waylon Jennings sat in with a local band that played at the Goose in the early 1960s. When the band went on tour he joined them, but later took off on his own and made a name for himself at clubs in Phoenix. Jennings also worked as a radio disc jockey in Coolidge around 1959 at KCKY on Main Street. He was known as "Sky High Jennings" on the air, but it was his talent as a performer that later took him to the top of the country music industry.

Eaton said the star still stopped in to see his old friends at the Goose for years after he became a celebrity...

His business plan includes plenty of "hot popcorn, cheap beer, Happy Hour seven days a week from 3 to 7 p.m. and something on the TV."

And a professional tattoo artist decorates bar patrons for a reasonable fee, and without a wait.

Tattoos start at $35 and a number of the Goose's patrons sport his designs, including Eaton, who has a nicely healing ASU Sun Devil on one shoulder and an Arizona Cardinal on the other.

Eaton, who spent 17 years in construction as an electrician, said he is enjoying being in business for himself. Asked what country western song characterized his attitude about working for wages, he readily replied, "Take This Job and Shove It."

(Abstracted from The Coolidge Examiner, 26dec01)