Hit the light fantastic last night on Milwaukee Ave., where a bar called Cole’s had art pieces hung about, including two out-sized, stylized fish hooks by Jim Bowman Jr. — his first metal-sculpting in two years.  Nice stuff, stylized and stylish, I say, in which judgment I am a fairly reliable source, in habit of preserving at least scraps of integrity in the midst of pride in what-comes-from-offspring.

Cole’s is what I’d call a somewhat grungy place.  Grungy goes too far.  How’s “unadorned,” except for the objets d’art on the wall.  So not unadorned.  Not grungy except slightly, and I said somewhat, so let’s forget about it, OK?

And pay attention to this about Cole’s:

Current Draft [on tap]
Lagunitas IPA
Bell’s Oberon
North Coast Old # 38 Stout (Nitro tap)
Flying Dog Gonzo Porter
Two Bros Domaine Dupaige French Country Ale
Scrimshaw Pilsner

However, I will not backtrack from LOUD.  The front room — it’s a long, narrow place, with bar in front, plus pool table just inside the entrance off Milwaukee — was loud, from the crowd talking but also from the electronically amplified music, first cousin to Musak, which came from the rear, the venue room.

I entered 9 p.m. or so in search of #1 Son and friend and maybe to find also #2 Son and/or ## 1 and 3 Daughters, none of whom were to be found.  First I shouldered my way through the front (bar) room, quickly seeing that I was three times the age of almost all and probably double the age of all.  No child of mine in sight.

Kept going to back (venue) room, where I saw men and women in their 20s shoulder to shoulder ENJOYING THE MUSIC which I found PAINFUL.  Not the sound itself, that is, the lurching and pounding and blaring by the half dozen or so performers on the small stage, but THE VOLUME!

This is how they torture them at Guantanamo, I briefly considered, victimized temporarily by the left-wing mediums’ characterization of that holding place for terrorist suspects.  But torture nonetheless.  I had to turn and flee to the front room.  If my children had been there, I would have had to pull them out, as I would from a blazing fire.

Later, #1 Son and his friend and I sat as near the front door as we could, sometimes in the way of the pool shooters, nursing beers (mine a PBR, Pabst Blue Ribbon) and managing a half hour or so of steady, enjoyable conversation.  Yet later, we repaired to the sidewalk for fresh air, there to meet Mike and Chris and finally #2 Son.  20 minutes or more of chatting, and I was off (early by some standards) for my ride (in pounding rain) back to Oak Park.

Loved it.