When I was a little girl, my parents didn't read me the typical princess fairytale bedtime stories - I was a Sourdough; an Alaskan. Poems and ballads of Robert Service were spun to life as I was nestled into a swirl of downy rest. 'The Cremation of Sam McGee' was a favorite... a tale of sled dogs and friendships only the Yukon could build. But the story I always wanted to hear was 'The Shooting of Dan McGrew'... a cold blooded murder, a dusty piano, and a Lady that's known as Lou. The setting: The Malemute Saloon.
Most childhood bedtime stories are set in fictional places with fictional characters. The Malemute Saloon was not only a real place, but a place that I knew and loved. My father, the bartender; my mother, the honky-tonk piano player. This place is legit. Sawdust floor, swinging doors, bar stools worn with years. The memories (now 20 years old) still fresh as new fallen snow. Huskies howling at the Northern Lights and the crunch of peanut shells under mud-caked boots. I couldn't think of a place more suited to raise a child. And, mark my words, the best custard you'll ever eat.