I had a quiet, peaceful, and loving childhood. I was born and raised in the same small town on the Feather River. I lived at the same address with the same phone number with the same friends “down the street” with the same neighbors across the street and behind our backyard fence for 18 years. I attended the same church my entire existence in that small town. I graduated the same high school that my 2 parents, 7 aunts and 3 uncles had previously attended and graduated from. I left home at 19 years of age and never resided in that same small town again, visiting once or twice a year.
I hardly remember a thing from those days.
Every now and then I’ll have flashbacks, snapshots of sorts, come into my brain. And I’m always curious as to what is truth and what is imagination, since my memories are so random.
I’m pretty sure we didn’t, but isn’t it sad that I really don’t know whether we did or not?
If we didn’t have saloon doors, then I’m thinking we must have had shutter doors. I vaguely remember mom and dad putting up a door of some sort to close off the bedrooms and bathroom from the rest of the house.
And saloon doors really wouldn’t make sense if they were installed for that purpose. Right?
So that got me thinking, in my dream of course, about saloon doors in westerns. It’s to be believed that they did in fact exist in bars or saloons in “western days”, right?
What purpose would 2 pieces of wood that you can’t lock, that any sized human being can fit under, that really don’t “block” anything even the wind and most certainly insects of any kind – why would anyone think that was a good idea to have as a front door to a place of business?
Wasn’t liquor expensive, even in the 1800’s? Yes, they lived with unpaved roads and dust was everywhere, but didn’t they even want to try and keep flies out of certain places?
Maybe it made things “fun” to have a swinging door, regardless that it didn’t keep anything out, or in for that matter?
In order to get some answers to my wacky dream thoughts I decided to do a little investigating.
Behold: saloon door information!
“Saloon doors are known for creating desired partial separation between two spaces in a more tasteful and creative means than what a full-sized door offers.”
Um, OK, but, it doesn’t really answer my nagging question of “why were they in bars?”
And then I found it: Eureka!!
“There are several reasons why people might choose to install saloon doors. Obviously, these doors are not weather tight, but they do create a symbolic barrier which encourages people to stop before entering a building, room, or area. The clear view above the doors allows people on both sides to see what is going on, which can be extremely useful, and the swinging, handle-free design allows people to open saloon doors without their hands.
One might reasonably ask what the function of saloon doors in an actual saloon might have been, and the answer is actually a bit unclear. As Westerns seem to suggest, saloon doors are ideally designed for tossing people out, but it seems unlikely that early architects thought of this. These doors may have been installed primarily for the view, which allowed patrons to check on their horses and the situation in the street while they were in the saloon. The windows of saloons were often covered for privacy, so the view out the doors would have been the only unobstructed line of sight.”
So, even though I only have vague recollections of my childhood, (which I’m not worried about, so please don’t worry for me!), at least I can rest assure that even if mom and dad did install saloon doors inside the house, at least it was for a good reason.
They just wanted to keep an eye on my brother and I while enjoying dinner!