No Rest for the Wicked…

This time, I put on the heavy work gloves. Save a knuckle, have a chuckle. Granted, it seems less like work when it has to do with a keg o’ beer.

Those heavy-duty lines that the Boulevard Wheat runs through are an exceptionally tight fit around the nozzle and it only took a second or two of straining to recognize the potential for knuckle-busting. That was one of today’s projects – replacing the line from the keg to the spout. Clean and new. The way it ought to be.


Project completed without incident. I like the day-off chores a lot better when they go smoothly.

Like the ladder climbing.

When it doesn’t go as planned, and you’re halfway up a tall ladder, bad things can be the end result. I can’t climb a ladder in the shop without thinking of dear old granddad, who – in the middle of one of HIS projects – was suddenly not high up on the ladder anymore.

That was when my father was called into service pulling the beer handle at the Palace, my grandfather’s place in Parsons, Kansas. I have a picture of my father wiping down the counter as the beer-tender while granddad was on the mend. The similarities between our Rose District shop and my grandfather’s place is remarkable. I may have a few more bookshelves, but he has me beat handily with the pinball machines and the lovely wooden wall-sized mirrored bar back. I’ll show you a picture next time you’re in. (And one of these days I’ll post it on the website…)


Needless to say, I was thinking of G-pa Ray when I was leaning out over the edge of the ladder, trying to drill a mounting hole in the front column. Beyond the matter of keeping my balance, I always feel a little out of sorts putting a drill bit to the beautiful interior of the bookshop. (I can describe it that way, because I’m not responsible for the way the interior renovation turned out. That was the work of Mr John Skaggs, a gentleman and artist-with-wood.)

I always offer a silent apology when I drive a nail. It goes something like: Sorry, Mr Skaggs. Hate to put a nail in your beautiful wall, but I hope to have this picture here for a long, long time. It wasn’t a picture this afternoon, but an old-fashioned hanging sign that will help promote the fact that Dustin and I are now serving beer along with the other beverages at lunchtime. (I’ve had folks come in, then apologize before leaving for the MST across the street, explaining that they wanted to enjoy a beer with their meal.)

Hammer in hand: Sorry, Mr Skaggs. But it’s an attractive sign and should be hanging right where I ran in the screws, for a long, long time.


Although we had mixed feelings about the antique-y looking Pabst Blue Ribbon wall sconce (PBR, as Dustin calls it), a Friday lunch guest made a fuss over it and what a “classic” wall light it was. Go figure! The old bookcase already had a nail right where the lamp needed to be, so no apologies were required.

We’ve had such a great response to Dustin’s lunchtime Chalkboard Specials that one of our semi-regulars popped in and wanted to see the “new menu.” Right now, it’s still my trusty regular menu, with Chef-D’s daily specials written on the sidewalk chalkboard each morning. I’m hoping to convince him to add a couple of the items as a regular menu item. (They are that tasty!)

Dustin has been posting the daily special on the new Facebook page he created, and he’d want me to mention you can “Like” the page to get the daily update. As you are certainly aware by now, my days of keeping up with technology are less-impressive than they once were. As one of the earliest in Oklahoma to own a VCR (I’m embarrassed today to recall what I paid for that thing!), I have surely dropped the technology-ball where the “Likes” are concerned.

Like it or not, I suppose.

So now, I’m down from the ladder with knuckles intact and no broken bones from those gravity-surges that seem to occur while atop a ladder. Enough with the day-off projects. It’s time for some relaxation.

And laundry.

We’re open Monday in the Rose District, so…

Come visit!


Booksellers & Irish Bistro
Rose District, 122 South Main St. Broken Arrow OK!

How close, the fame…

When the three young Dr Who fans squealed, I figured we were about to teleport through time and space.

That wasn’t it, exactly.

They had been browsing the store for some time. Exploring, one of them explained. Finally, they made their way back to the front of the shop. Their eyes went wide, all at once. Then, the squeals.

“Do you know who Kristin Chenoweth is?” one of them whispered. Loudly.

“Sure,” I answered, and was beginning to share my vast knowledge of the KC biography when one of the other young women interrupted.

“She is RIGHT outside your store!”


Sure enough. Crossing in front of the plate glass was the Broadway star, heading down Main toward Broadway. Dangling in front of her was one of those giant fuzzy microphones at the end of a long pole carried by a fellow walking backwards. Another backward-walker had a camera on his shoulder recording the animated hand gestures of Ms Chenoweth.


That was me thinking that I should take a picture to serve as physical evidence of her visit, and – of course – she was already well past the store when the idea finally hit me. That’s the reason I’ve been forced to include a red circle and arrow on the image. She has a big voice, but she is pretty small in the picture. In fact, you’ll have to click on it to enlarge it enough to spot her in the distance. (To spot her back, I mean. She’s in the purple dress.)


Since she did not clear her itinerary with me, I have no idea what it was she was recording or promoting. But it’s nice to have a movie star in the Rose District walking amongst us mere mortals.

Reminded me of the time Alicia and I were introduced to Ron Howard, the movie director still best known to me as Opie on the Andy Griffith show. We were at the airport in New York City and a general hubbub arose around us. It wasn’t a formal introduction. More of a close encounter.

“It’s Opie!” someone whispered. Loudly.

I turned to the side and saw a rear end. It belonged to Ron Howard, who was bent over, waaaay over, attending to his suitcase. I wondered why he was in line with the common folk. It was just about that very moment that he began to straighten up and a uniformed airline employee began calling, “Mr. Howard! Mr. Howard!” As he turned, I recognized the rear end as being attached to Opie, although fully grown. (The man, not the rear end.)

She directed him toward the counter, away from the gawking, shuffling crowd that we were, to a place that was calm and serene and first class, no doubt. And thus ended our introduction to Mr Howard, movie director extraordinaire.

It is only now that I realize how the back sides of famous people are drawn to me. Go figure.

Maybe you’ll encounter a star yourself, when you

Come visit!


Booksellers & Irish Bistro
Rose District
122 South Main St. Broken Arrow OK!

White Linen Night and I was in Cotton.

High Cotton, and white linen undies.

You don’t really believe that, do you?

The white linen is under the belt. Sauntering the streets in August, Rose District style. We certainly had the warm evening for wearing linen, even if there were a lot of cotton tees on display. Comfort, first of all.


It was a night for the extended McHuston clan to gather, from Great-grandmother to that happiest grand-daughter o’ mine – and everyone in between. Thanks to daughter Kristen and son Dustin for manning the lines, both on the sidewalk and in the kitchen.

The new beer dispenser got its first real workout and came through with flying colors. Boulevard Wheat on draft. It’s a tasty brew even when it isn’t a hot August night. Which it was.

For the first go-round, White Linen Night in the Rose District will be recorded as a success for McHuston Booksellers & Irish Bistro. Sampled some Bangers & Mash in an unorthodox fashion – on a whitebread roll. Sliced the bread, laid in the sausage link all hot dog fashion, then topped it with creamy, handmade mashed potatoes and a little of our special Irish Stew gravy. Maybe a tad messy, but delicious! A thanks to Rachel for the idea and to all who tried one Saturday evening.

After seeing the photograph that the Tulsa World selected to showcase our little operation, I am reassured that the decision to have Kristen at the cash register was a good one. I’d have rather had her picture on the TW website, but I’ll settle for the brother and sister image I’ve attached.


Next year, we might make some posters. Maybe a few handbills to pass out in the shopping bags. Try to get an article or two in the news, before the event. (I know there were some, because I read a couple. But a couple more might have helped attendance.) As with any new project, there is a learning curve.

But – truth to tell, it was a success for us.

Anytime we can get together as a family and meet new friends wandering the Rose District – it’s a hit. Cotton, Linen, or Commando.

Here’s to bigger and better next year!

Come visit!


Booksellers & Irish Bistro
Rose District
122 South Main St. Broken Arrow OK!