For those who do not live in Wichita, but may have seen my earlier blogs describing my city as an open sewer, a magnet for religious and political crackpots, a home of idiotic ideas and backwards thinking, today was a real loss for those who do not fall in that category..
There has always been a pin prick of a sanctuary at a small bar called Kirby's. I've gone there every Friday afternoon now for several years. Today it was closed as the owner, Steve Schroeder died last night. I knew him as all the people there did. Kirby's was no ordinary bar. The website for the bar gives the history:
"Kirby's Beer Store was established in 1972 by Jim Kirby, was established in 1972 by Jim Kirby, who set out to develop an entity that to this day has endured and evolved into one of the most collective gatherings of Musicians, Artists, Hipsters, Heads, Thinkers, Freaks, etc. Please take the time to look over some of the memories taken from within."
It is closed right now. We hope his closest living relative will be able to get the place up and running as soon as possible. Of the many head bars of the late 1970s, Kirby's is the last. While it's not a gay bar, it is gay friendly so gay couples never needed to fear harassment while they were there. Such great bands as the Futants have played there and there has often been a Disco Macob night or goth night.
Those of us who knew Steve will miss him. I've had some great conversations with him. He's not much older than I.
So long Steve and I hope we get Kirby's back.