February 23 was the last Saturday at the Coalmont Hotel. Well, actually we don’t know the future of that venerable old establishment, but it was the last weekend of Michelle’s illustrious tenure. She will be moving on, and Saturday night was a grand party to celebrate the unknown.
I arrived a little after 7pm and there was already a nice mix of local people, friends from Princeton and Tulameen, and of course, a bunch of guys from the mine. The beer and shooters were flowing and some people were already very drunk. It was a loud atmosphere and the kind that the Coalmont is famous for. Nevertheless, I managed to have a pleasant conversation with a few folks whom I don’t see around every day.
More guests arrived, and everyone was talking at the top of their lungs. In fact the jukebox, which is really quite loud, was effectively drowned out. More beer and shooters, and it started to be as funny as it was absurd. With tempers running pretty high due to an unusual number of private sub-plots which had been brewing in the week running up to this, there were numerous people who were looking to express themselves.
Indeed, the acting out was stellar. Little scenes involving yelling and screaming were performed by various players with the participation of those closest to them, but were not particularly noticeable if you were on the other side of the room. This, due to the incredible cacophony that comes with there being more conversations going on than the actual number of people present. Some were paying attention though, and jumped up to play the peace maker whenever shoving and fisticuffs came into play. And yes, before I left around 11pm, there were already several fights, inside and out, which needed to be broken up.
From what I heard the next day, there were more fights and some bloody noses after I left. In fact the police had been called, and there was much more drama. Several people didn’t show up for work the next day, and quite a few of those who didn’t have to get up early, found that the incredible noise of the previous evening had followed them home and was now pounding in their heads. A great time was had by all. ~ Ole Juul