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The saloon and the paddlewheeler

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  • Helen Fedor
    On another occasion, Frank armwrestled and defeated 9 men, one after another. Once a young Czech workman was brought in. He weighed 218 lbs. to Frank s 168
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 28, 2008
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      On another occasion, Frank armwrestled and defeated 9 men, one after another. Once a young Czech workman was brought in. He weighed 218 lbs. to Frank's 168 lbs; when Frank stood next to him, Frank looked like a boy. His arms above the elbow were as thick as Frank's legs, and Frank was afraid to armwrestle the man. Wise told him to go ahead, that if he lost, the 40 glasses of beer were no big deal, that he'd already won more than that. So the bet was for 40 glasses of beer, to whoever won in 5 minutes. Both men struggled but held fast, both turned red, and the drinkers started betting money. After 5 minutes it was a draw. Wise gave Frank a good cigar and said that Slovaks are also strong men and he was amazed at where Frank got his strength. There was a round of hurrahs from the customers and Frank himself was amazed at where he'd found the strength.

      Frank says that he worked for Wise for more than a year, but was only ever drunk once and that was when 8 Slovaks came from San Francisco and came to the saloon. In a separate room, Frank and the Slovaks treated one another to drinks, sang Slovak songs, and "jumped a Hungarian c~ardas~". Wise joined them after midnight and they all kept it up until morning. Wise got drunk then too. Frank had drunk reasonably until that time, because he always needed a clear head.

      Frank backtracks in his story now. When the American bought the saloon, Frank left to work on the paddlewheeler. The waiter/bartender the American had brought in stole from the owner, so he was fired. The American came to Frank on the ship and offered him the job. They haggled and the next day Frank left the paddlewheeler and went back to the saloon. In 1888, Frank again went to work in a large saloon. After a while, Frank went back to work on the ship, where he worked 5 months straight.

      George Patzka returned from working on the railroad (he'd been there more than 1.5 years). He rested up in Portland for 4 weeks and then left for another little town, at which point Frank went back to work on the paddlewheeler.

      H
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