After the Oyster Bar closed I worked at a few different places until Jeff Lockheed offered me a job at his bar the Venice Cafe. He said he’d hire anyone that slept with Monica Reed.
I’d like to make a list of everyone that worked there because they were all talented but I’m afraid I’d leave someone out.
Jeff is a pretty original painter and the house was filled with art. I still have some of his Christmas cards. They were very funny, psychedelic, Pointillism drawings. There was a huge canvas that hung over the fireplace that depicted Christ on the cross with a cartoon word balloon that said, “This hurts!”
Jeff also lived in a boat at Portage Des Sioux. He pretty much gave up living at the house and opened it up as a coffee house. At first he kept it open until and a lot of under age college students came. That all changed when he got a liquor license.
Before I started working there I didn’t know his partner Paul Cuba. Paul was really the boss and Jeff seemed to be more of the P.R. man. Paul was also a painter. He mainly did huge Hyper-Realism pieces. He reminded me a lot of my boss at the Oyster Bar Dennis. He was a good guy. He died a few years ago. I’m not sure how.
A friend of mine named Meagan had 2 Harlequin Romance novels published that were hiding somewhere in the
Another friend, Wren, did my tattoos. They’re simple Mercury wings on my ankles. I wanted them to look like I’d gotten them in prison. The idea was that as a skydiving artist I was the winged messenger. Oh well, Wren is tattooing for Trader Bob now.
One year the
The following year Soulard had their
We were in Jeff’s art car. It had a stock propeller and you had to double clutch it like a truck. It was open to the air and we had a case of beer behind us in the back seat. It was so cold the beer actually got colder as we drank it. I ran into Ray years later and he said the only thing he really remembered was the painful coldness. I was dressed in a drum majors outfit in complete Mardi Gras drag. No one in the crowd recognized me even though I yelled at everyone. The car is pictured with Jeff.
It seemed like a lot of us scattered after marriage and kids. I’ll have a lot of stories about the Venice.