Friday, June 11, 2010

Cheers Charles

Cheers Charles

Good news on the art front. Cheers Charles was accepted to the 2nd Annual Awards Show of What Texas Means to Me, a group show at Austin Artspace. The exhibition runs from July 2nd-August 28th. I thought I’d take a little time to tell you about Charles Elliott, the man in the painting.

Tarleton State University was one of the only schools that was willing to take me and my mediocre grades. The campus is located in Stephenville, TX just about an hours drive from my hometown of Fort Worth. Being an art student in a predominately agricultural school made for an interesting and sometimes brutal experience.

Stephenville was a dry county at the time. If you were in need of a libation and didn’t want to make the 45 min. trek to the nearest liquor store, then you would frequent one of the three bars that Stephenville had to offer. It was in one of these watering holes that I met Charles Elliott. He was the proprietor of The Royal Manor Pub. I began working at Charles’ establishment during my freshman year.

My first meeting with Charles went something like this…

First shift. Nervous as hell. Pokey, the manager, walked me down the bar introducing me to the regulars. “This is Boucher, Skip, Johnny Jones, The Judge”….etc. I come to the end of the line, “This is Charles. He’s the owner”.

Charles extends his hand to me and immediately falls off of his barstool. He crashes to the floor taking the rack of pork rinds and his glass of Wild Turkey and water with him. Wow. He climbs back onto the barstool and demands another Turkey and water from me. What do you do in this situation? You get that man another Turkey and water stat!

Now Charles drank Coors original, Yellowbellies, most of the time but I quickly learned that when he was on the “Turkey” more than likely all hell would break lose in some form or fashion. Hell, I watched that man pull his own damn tooth with a pair of pliers while on the Turkey.

Had some great times at The Pub. After hours we would drink White Russians out of mason jars. And since we were in Erath County, one of the top dairy counties in all of the nation, we used nothing but the best fresh whole milk. Pub motto: No He’n and She’n on the clock. We didn’t serve lunch, we served dinner and we didn’t serve dinner, we served supper. But the most memorable aspect of The Pub was the people. Rest in peace Charles.


  1. do we need to bring that painting to austin? r.i.p. charles. from the sounds of it, you were one hell-of-a man.

  2. I just LOVE Charles...Hell of a guy to work for! It was a great place to work and hang out while I was in college. I will never forget the memories I made there with the "regulars" and all of the friends I made working behind the bar...including you Layla! Thanks for the memories! Love this piece of art!! Cristi