So, today, away goes the Alaskan Tavern, in Hillyard.
Ironically, this week I have been discussing allowing use rights for a number of Hillyard night scenes, including the one of the Alaskan. That image was a combo of layers, with a desaturated layer at the front, and color images lined up behind it. Regardless, that image is representative of what "used to be there."
I have mixed feelings about the departure of the Alaskan. The first arrest I ever made when I was working by myself, was of a drunk from the Alaskan. He crashed an empty beer pitcher over someones head, and I was just a few blocks away when I got the call. In subsequent years, there were inumerable calls for service from the Alaskan, and another Tavern south of it (no longer here). One brawl with our officers occurred as the Alaskan closed one night, and fights broke out in the streets. I remember going to a 99 call (officer needs help urgently) and every officer in the county headed to the scene. 16 arrests later, order was restored. So, I hate to see old buildings close (or worse), but this one has mixed feelings from me.
It is places like this though, that I am glad I was able to document, prior to a demise. I suppose some people actually enjoyed their times at the Alaskan, so for them this has some emotional meaning and perhaps a sense of loss.
One other location that I shot was also a location that will be missed. Ella's downtown on West First was also a location of note, in an area I spent a lot of my former life in policing at. Ella's was the answer to many police problems in the area, and a great place to "take back the neighborhood," from the crooks that seemed to appear from every crack in the sidewalks." Ella's has also been missed by many, and I legitimately miss that place, as opposed to the other one I spoke of above. I recorded Ella's Supper Club, at:
I hate to see Spokane Night Scenes disappear, but I'll keep shooting them. That way we can at least look back. I'm not sure what memories like these are worth to some folks, but personally I am glad I documented them before they disappeared.
John D. Moore, CPP
Spokane Night Scenes