Thursday, July 2, 2009

Collet's Bar

Now, I would never frequent such a place, but I cannot write of Firth without mentioning Collet's Bar. It was owned by a man named Grant Collet and has been doing a fine business since (don't quote me on this) the 1930's. As a child I was always afraid of the bar. If my mother sent me to post office to retrieve the mail, I had to walk right in front of Collet's. If you looked in the windows it was always dark, smelled of stale tobacco, and wasn't very appealing to me at all. I was always afraid someone was going to come walking out of there, snatch me up, and I'd never be seen again. So as I passed this fine establishment, I kept my eyes straight ahead, walked quickly, and breathed a sigh of relief when past it.

Collet's may not have been appealing to me, but others must have found it to be there home away from home. There were always cars parked in front, and the neon "OPEN" sign was always prominently displayed. Grant Collet made a mean hamburger. Since the restaurant choices in Firth were nil, if you wanted "take-out"--Collet's was it. I have to admit the burgers were good. They were the biggest hamburgers I'd ever seen, had mustard, catsup, sweet relish, and were loaded with plenty of flavorful onion slices. There was one trick to eating the hamburgers, however. You had to get the napkin off the bun, and quickly. The napkins smelled (and tasted) of stale tobacco. If you left it on the hamburger for long--you had your own personally smoked bun! I've heard it said (although I cannot confirm this), that Grant tested the heat of his grill by spitting on it. Now this scientific method has been around for years and is proven to be fail-safe! This may be why the burgers were so flavorful--Grant gave them his own "personal" touch.

It was always fun to see "who" was at Collet's. A couple of "the boys" from the neighboring town of Basalt had their driving privileges removed (not sure why). However, in the state of Idaho you may drive a tractor without a license. So each Saturday night "the boys" drove their tractors into town, parked on the south end parking lot, and had themselves a great time. Occasionally a fight would break out at the old bar & grill. I remember watching one particular fight where there was lots of punching, yelling, and kicking. The inebriated customer fought one heck of a fight--with h.i.m.s.e.l.f. It went on for quite a while--not sure who won!

Many of the farmers arrive at Collet's early in the morning for their cup of coffee and lively conversation. They discuss politics, the price of potatoes, city business, the weather, and their neighbors. Although it was never for me, Collet's has been around for a long, long time--so they must be doing something right! They've filled a "nitch" in Firth that no one else ever has. So hop on that tractor, fire up that grill, and enjoy one of the best hamburgers Firth has to offer!