Adventure at the Buckhorn Bar & Grill


Waiting to enter. Notice the seating. Foreshadowing what is to come!

I have to tell you about my trip to the Buck Horn in Goldsmith Texas.

My first real job, after college, was working for a Very Large International Oil company which owned one of the many natural gas processing plants near a burg called Goldsmith (which I wrote about here and here a few months ago).  On the main street, there is a rundown place called the Buck Horn Bar & Grill. Back in 1982, when I first worked in the area, the plant manager told me to never go in there, as “it is a bit rough” and that he would not go in himself. And he was a 6-4″ strapping guy. It’s not one of those old, quaint places filled with character. It’s a dive.

American Express not accepted

American Express not accepted

Fast forward 30 years, and I’m once again doing some work in the area, and drive by this place frequently. On weekends, it’s a popular place for bikers to hang out. Seriously, people will drive for miles and miles around to come here and drink beer on Saturdays.

Last week, I was with our company president and a new partner, giving a tour of our plant. One of them related a story about being in the Buck Horn. The owner, a woman called “Big Mama” was tending bar, and her child was running around the bar, wearing nothing but Pampers. When the screen door opened, the toddler would go outside and wander around. The town is very small, but the road street running through town is a state highway with constant heavy traffic – big trucks, service vehicles, trailers hauling drilling rigs. No one paid any attention. But, when the dog approached the door, the woman started yelling “Watch the dog! Don’t let my dog out!” I don’t know if this is a true story, but when you enter the place, you just KNOW it must be.

Where all the fun happens

Where all the fun happens

We had planned to go back into the city after our tour and have dinner and drinks. Eric stopped in front of the Buck Horn and announced they had the coldest beer around, and it was his treat. Four o’clock on a Wednesday, we enter the dark cave. photo 3

Two men, one in a summer straw, sat at the bar and did not turn around to look at us. A woman, who must have been Big Mama, sat behind the bar on a stool. A single waitress was leaning against it. All four were watching a movie featuring Kevin Costner. The waitress brought our order (three Bud Lights – and they were VERY cold), but other than that no one spoke or looked at us. It was dark, and as I peered into the back of the place, I couldn’t see any tables and chairs, or other places to congregate. There were two pool tables, one ready to use, and the other piled high with boxes and sacks. The rest of the place was a storage room, dark and forbidding. I think all the action takes place outside. I was too intimidated to walk around and explore.

Planning our world domination. We didn't fit in here

Planning our world domination. We didn’t fit in here

I was hoping no one noticed me taking their picture

I was hoping no one noticed me taking their picture

I have no idea. Really.

I have no idea. Really.

We had a conversation about our work day and plans for the week, but felt like we were intruding on some private ritual. Dark room, cold beer, TV, silence except for the pop of bottle caps and Kevin Costner’s muted voice. One beer, and we left.

I had been to the Buck Horn. Once. And only.

Imagine this place on a weekend, with 30-50 Harleys and their drivers and Motorcycle Mama, all drinking beer.

photo 1

Fine art, just like the wine bars have!

Fine art, just like the wine bars have! This was displayed above our table.

Categories: General Stuff!

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9 replies

  1. I figure they had to be watching The Postman.

  2. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    Your stories are too funny. I sincerely hope that was your goal….to be funny. Great post.

  3. This story is too funny and too true. I remember years ago when I was working in social services for a large charitable organization going into 2 or 3 places like this one while looking for someone . At one place, the “permanent bar-fly”…an acquaintance, got me by the arm, walking me through telling everyone, “get outta the way, she’s a lady.” I didn’t have sense enough to be scared. However, let me add that these “consumers” were great at giving cash donations to me for my organization.

    • I lived in Goldsmith from 1977-82. One day my friends and i were riding our bikes to the swimming pool and watched sheriff Gibb punch the daylights out of some trouble-maker just in front of the buckhorn.

  4. My family lived in Goldsmith in the early 50s, and the Buckhorn was our regular stomping grounds every Saturday night. As was everyone elses. There were no pool tables but my mom n d as d played many a game of shuffle board. In that old bar , we had dances, and fun Halloween parties there, on Sundays Ms. Gracie would make her chicken and homemade dumplings for everyone. Sweet childhood memories in those walls for me……miss th place!!

  5. Played pool and watched grandad have a beer when I was a kid at the buckhorn

  6. My first visit to The Buckhorn was in ’78. Roy and Martha Young were the proprietors and ran a smooth operation. It could get a little rowdy but was generally not too bad. The first night i went in there it was coming a gullywasher rain. I bought a beer and leaned against the wall where I was sitting. I immediately got a collarfull of water. It was explained to me that there was no point in repairing the roof since it seldom rained.
    At that time, some families from Illinois had been living in the area and seemed to get credit for all of the bad events that happened there. A few years later, I stopped in for a 6 pack and was invited to play a game of partners pool for $10 per player by a fellow needing a partner. So I stayed and played. We had 3 teams playing and my team had just lost. The roughnecks from Andrews then played the noncitizens and they too lost. They explained they did not have $10 each but they wanted to fight. They went outside and started yelling at the others to come out and fight. Eventually, the other group went outside and started shooting, then fighting. I watched one fellow get shot just above the heart with a .38 right in front of the front door. They continued shooting and I ran out the back door, jumped the little fence and my partner yelled “watch the clothes line, Jim.” I was not real brave. I lost interest in The Buckhorn after that and in gambling on pool games.

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