Tales from the Dew Drop Inne by Kenneth Weene
All things That Matter Press 2012
Kenneth Weene writes a collection of tales being told or taking place in a bar where men and women who have little left of their lives can feel at home and pretend that they do. He paints a vivid picture of a group of people from all walks of life who form a family-type bond through shared misery—and it makes them come alive.
The narrator of these tales is Cal, who shares a boarding home with Ephraim, whose mother ran off with a Mennonite. After leaving home at sixteen, his father declares him dead. He plays sad songs on his guitar. Sal owns the bar, doesn’t talk much and isn’t too bright, but he cares for his patrons. Angelica, dresses like a whore, hits on Tom, one of the regulars—who suddenly disappears and hangs out at other bar. It seems Angelica was a guy. Sharon, queen of the Dew Drop Inne, lost her job as a cigarette girl at another bar and joined this group. She’s missing teeth, a hard drinker and resents the competition from a new girl, Monica. Monica turns out to be a feminist reporter who writes a story about dumb and gullible men at the Dew Drop Inne.
All types of characters find their way to the Dew Drop, each with a story unique to them. Each one is accepted and respected as they gather around to hear a new story or an old one, retold. Some excitement comes into their lives of the regulars at the bar. The beer distributor talks Sal into joining in a local baseball tournament with some of the other bars. This breathes new life into them as they plan and practice—the women acting as cheerleaders—not a pretty sight. Hope is a wonderful thing and they, working together, really get into the idea that they might, if not win, at least not look foolish.
Ken Weene captures a segment of the population that most people never meet, or if they do, they ignore them. Their sad sagas humanize them, giving them what they need most—recognition as part of society. This colorful, well-written slice of life will leave its readers with something to think about, hopeful that they never end up hanging out at The Dew Drop Inne.
Kenneth Weene is the author of the widely received, “Widow’s Walk,” and “Tales From the asylum.” His versatility has made him a favorite with his readers.
Micki Peluso, writer, journalist and author of, And the Whippoorwill Sang.