Sitges, Kentucky Bar n’at

Cpt. Hog 1970


In answer to MadDog’s query to Hog re Last Chance fire: Hog says he was in Spain? Does he remember Nancy and Moppy at the Kentucky Bar there? Here’s what Hog has to say:

Dee, Dog, et al,

Many stories generated from The Kentucky Bar in Sitges (too many for my poor typing skills to here relate).

I sorta recall a nice young lady (Nancy?) handing me a tonic after I’d been passed out at the bar for a short time.

Mostly I was connected to a crazy scot named Alan Smith. We traveled quite a bit after I got out, Sitges to Oktoberfest (in an old vw bus with no windshield wipers, stuffed with six $20/head fellow travellers. Alan had bought the van from a drunken departing GI in Germany for $50, I’d supplied GI plates negotiated from another departing GI in BA. The full story of that epic trip would be worthy of Homer, but I think he’s booked) and afterwards up to Amsterdam where the Dutch put ‘mayonnaise’ on french fries and drink beer from tiny glasses.

Also there was an American names Frank Panzer and his wife Donna. I later hooked up with them in San Francisco where Frank was working service bar at The Great American Music Hall.

One night (in SF) Alan and a pal blew into town fresh off two seasons working the North Sea Oil Rigs. They contacted Frank who alerted me.

Alan and his Ragin’ Cajun buddy had flown into New Orleans (they were bursting with cash at the time), paid cash for a green Lotus Europa and driven out to San Francisco.

Great fun packing three large men into the tiny Lotus (I think we filled any loose spaces with bottles of Heineken) then embarking on a wild (drunken) drive through the twisting Streets of San Francisco (Karl Malden/Michael Douglas eat your hearts out!) with a screaming Scot at the wheel.

We ended up at the GAMH, Frank got us in for a fabulous Etta James show attended by lotsa gay guys. Quite the culture shock for the North Sea boys who couldn’t believe there were that many fags in the WHOLE WORLD!

That would have been about 1976. I haven’t heard from any of those folks for thirty years, but that’s how we rolled back then. They don’t call ’em the Good Old Days for nothin’!!

BTW: No memory of any Moppy nor Floppy nor Cotton Tail. But you must understand, I was mucho borracho (?) most of the time in Sitges (well, only when I was either awake or passed out).

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9 Responses to “Sitges, Kentucky Bar n’at”

  1. Tom Wood Says:

    Hello. In regards to the note written about your travels with Frank and Donna Panzer in Europe and San Francisco, I would love to hear more. Donna was my aunt. My favorite aunt to be certain. Sadly,she passed about five years ago. Frank was one of my favorites,too. I haven’t seen Frank in many years as he and Donna were divorced.He’s been missed by all his nieces and nephews mostly because he was a really cool guy. We were all still kids then and never, ever, an unkind word from either of them. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God bless.

  2. FOOL Says:

    Let me know where Frank lived last and I will try to locate him.


  3. Bill Burdin Says:

    Wow, I just did a search for kentucky bar sitges and came across your post. It knocked me over because I actually worked in the Kentucky Bar in 68 or maybe 69 at the age of 18. I had hitch hiked from the UK with a friend of mine Brian and the owner of the bar Casamiro Santos gave me a job in the bar, He also had a hotel Dalsan in Sitges where he gave a job to Brian.

    We worked the whole summer and had an absolute ball.

    I worked the bar from 5 pm to the early hours then spent a couple of hours in a coffee shop rolling into bed at daybreak. Slept till noon, spent the afternoon on the beach with the girls and GI’s on leave from Germany.

    Brian and I also moved on to Bad Aibling with a group of GI’s who were travelling in VW’s. Those guys took us to Munich and put us up in the barracks on their base.

    They were great guys and unfortunately I can only remember one name Dixon from Texas.

    But boy, Sitges was great in those days and the time I spent at the Kentuck Bar provided me with some of my lifes fondest memories.

    • BD Says:

      Just came across your mention of Sitges and I to stayed in the Pension Dalsan while working for Caas in the Tennesse Club he owned. I handed out the free tickets to get the woman in from about 23.00 till the early hours – then I spent the rest of the time in the club drinking free drinks at the bar! I also worked as a chef on the seafront – this was in 1981.

      • Bill Says:

        BD, I hope you had as good a time as I did, Cas was a great guy and is mum was a fine women and a great cook, she looked down on us rolling in at daybreak. Interesting to hear he opened the Tennesse Club, he certainly targetted the club names to the US market.

    • Jim Gallomore Says:

      I remember Cass from 1967, my buddy, gal pal & I stayed there, went to that bar, while on our “road trip” after He & I had gotten out of the USAF. What a trip, I would see your post! Jim G.

  4. Bill Says:

    Sitges! Oh yeah, I remember Sitges!

    You might remember, Hog, that I first went to Sitges with you and Silent Sipper in 1970 and stayed in a seedy pension for a night or two until I decided to part company with you guys (primarily due to your constant efforts to sabotage my efforts to hook up with members of the female persuasion… no offense, Hog). I ended up at the Pension Terminas on Caille de las Flores near the train station where I stayed for a few subsequent years. After I got my European out, I stayed there for a few weeks en route to Morocco. Mostly hung out at La Taverna a couple blocks from the Kentuky.

    A couple years later (’76), after college, Susan and I spent a year in Europe in an old VW bus that we bought in Amsterdam and stayed there again for another week or two, again headed for Morocco for the winter. This was at the time that Franco died and things were really topsy turvy. We went to La Taverna most of the time. They were having a darts competition one night and a drunken barmaid (actually Harold, the owner’s wife) decided to do a William Tell routine and put an apple on her head in front of the dart board. She took a dart in the forehead where it stuck fast! She just laughed (?). I also went sailing around the harbor with Marcel (the owner of Pension Terminas) and while out there he waved his hand and said to take a good look because big time developers were going to build high-rise hotels like Toremolinos and it would change forever. It made me really sad.

    Fast forward to around 1997, my daughter Meg was 15 and we took on a trip down Memory Lane to Spain to visit a friend and then went on to Barcelona. I’d heard that Sitges had become a gay resort but we went there anyway. It turns out that that the hotels never happened and it was hetero-friendly…just as wonderful as ever! Kentucky Bar was still there relatively unchanged and so was La Taverna. By this time the suppression of the Franco years had completely gone and much to my surprise, the beach was filled with topless Spanish and Scandanavian women… wow! The sunglasses really came in handy but they didn’t fool Megan. Probably just as well.

    So, for any of you who have fond memories of Sitges, be advised that it’s probably still worth the stop. It might still live up to your memories.


  5. Tom Says:

    I visited there the winters of 69-70, 70-71 and again in May 71. The first two times, we stayed in an inn along one of the little streets near the beach, and the last time we stayed in our VWs at a campsite.

    The names of the places escape me now. The inn had rooms upstairs and a small restaurant and bar downstairs. The young guy who owned/operated the place would fix these great experimental meals for us. (One was a chicken cooked in a block of salt. It was very moist, but a little salty…) In return we drank a lot in his bar. A lot. I had my first sangria there, and second, and so on… I learned when I fell of the bar stool that they put vodka and gin in the fruity punch drink. We also spent a lot of time at a bar that served a surprisingly potent Yahoo (chocolate soda) called a Lumumba, most likely after the former Congo leader. I wonder why I can’t remember the names of places, only the food and drinks.

    The pictures at this link are from the visit to Sitges in May 71. The first picture is of Ron Davis (and a friend from C/A school at Ft. Devens who spent his ASA time in Nam and came to Europe to travel with me after we both got out) in front of our vans at the campsite where we stayed. The other pictures are of the annual Spring festival in Sitges for which the locals decorate the streets with flowers and plants and people walk up and down the sidewalks looking at the art work. Sorta like the Rose Bowl Parade in reverse – the “floats” are stationary and the people walk by to see them.

    Good times.

  6. Dan Folk Says:

    Who knows why I searched on “Kentucky Bar Sitges” today? Haven’t though about the place in years.

    I was there in the summer of 1970. I remember Frank, although I never knew his last name. And I certainly remember Moppy. She helped me into the ladies’ room one night when the gents was taken and I was rendered hors de combat.

    I also remember Esmond, a South African, as bartender. Probably my best friend there.

    I was back in the early 90s and met a UK expat, name escapes me, who had been there when I had. He said Esmond was tending bar at the Chateau Lac Louis last he knew.

    Now those were the days…. Rescuing two insanely beautiful Swiss girls from the drunk US Navy guys at the Dubliner. Trying, unsuccessfully, to talk my way out of getting the snot kick out of me by said Navy guys. Getting rescued simultaeously by Esmond and the Guardia Civil.

    That was living…

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