We had mom’s old antique shop building across the tracks. The building was the old Tate Brothers Commissary. Brother thought it would be a great beer joint.
Tate county was dry and the Junior collage was about 30 miles away. We were opening September 20th, the first Saturday after school started.
We had a spy too. Brother Chad was in school over there and he and his friends were giving out fliers for free beer. Opening night we were jam packed, with cousins Dooglefish and John Tait as waiters and bouncers it was almost more than they could handle.
Business was good all summer and the new semester brought more thirsty people. One day Cousin Baby Gayle came up and talked to brother Bard about buying him out. Our dad had passed away and that January and Bard was going back to school. That was just right, so he kept the name “The Hollywood” and had live bands. On weekend’s business was great, food was added and that helped out too.
Baby needed a cook. I (Tait Tate) applied at 16, ran the kitchen and bought supplies. One afternoon a girl asked could I fry a pickle for her. I said, “Sure, how?”
Just quarter it, roll it in flour and fry in hot grease.
I did and that started the main attraction at the Hollywood; Fried Pickles. This was new and different and with the batter fried onion rings, it started the fried food paradise. Everyone that came ate lots of both and good steaks and catfish too. What a place.
It wasn’t long before Bob Hall came up talked to Baby about a partner. That went over great, you see Bob Hall was a singer, and a paint contractor, and he was the Delta Crooner. He could really spread it on thick. The women loved him, the food was great, and buses loaded with Memphians would come down for the night. They would all sing with Muriel at the piano
Eat a good steak or Catfish and get on the bus back home to Memphis..
I courted my wife there dancing to Tie A Yellow Ribbon, Darkness On The Delta and more with Muriel at the piano, Bob singing and added The Turn Row Cowboy. We rocked on for about 10 years until one night after closing there was a grease and fire The Hollywood went up in smoke.
Keep your line wet.