Around the corner on Nebraska Ave just down the street from my house, there was a small neighborhood bar with an unremarkable name “The Pub.” After a while, there was a new owner who had a real name that no one could recall as he was known as Teddy after Theodore Roosevelt. He dressed as a Rough Rider complete with mustache, campaign hat, and decorated the five high-backed chair bar and the three tables and the walls with themes from 1898 and the Rough Riders as it was part of neighborhood lore that the Rough Riders had camped out there while waiting to invade Cuba. He wanted to call his establishment “Rough Riders” or “Teddy’s” but those names were already taken down in Yebor City so he chose “Teddy’s Place.”
In his way, he was also a patron of the arts, because aspiring artists could always work for tips in the main room. Actually, many groups were happy to appear there and perform for pocket change before they became famous or mostly went on to keep their day jobs. In the back there was a small dark room that was used for rehearsals because it was free. Teddy called it the “Fantasy Room” as the premise was try out your fantasy there and if you were good enough you could move to the front and work for tips. I would sometimes go over and rehearse my fantasies as well.
The back room itself was dark as no one, according to the neighborhood’s memory, had ever washed the small high-up and barred window. There was a dim ceiling light without a shade, a couple of wall outlets, a stool or two, sometimes some chairs, a small table, and a brick wall to hang up some sort of backdrop if you didn’t want to work in front of unpainted brick. If you had a buddy with some video and sound equipment, you could invite him over as well. One or the other of my girlfriends J, or E would occasionally listen as I rehearsed.