Windber Coffeehouse Nights: 21 June 2018

Another Thursday passed; another night at the coffeehouse at The Grand Midway, Windber’s historic haunted hotel, to report about. Decent-sized crowd tonight, as ever a mix of regulars, less-regular but familiar faces and a few newcomers. There was much talk about last Sunday’s attempt to set another world record, this for Most People Dressed as a Wizard. The total we got was 259, which should set a new mark—as long as the Guinness people feel their strict standards have been met. One possible hang-up: When the (required) group photo was taken, some of the little kids in the crowd had partially removed their wizard robes (it was hot!). Given what stickler’s Guinness tend to be, they might just disallow it on that basis. SIGH.

Anyway, courtesy our local paper (The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat) here’s a look:

midway record


They ran a single movie on DVD twice tonight at our lovely barista’s discretion, apparently so late-comers could see what they’d missed of the 1987 blend of sharp humor, sexy situations, magical doings and (some playful) scares known, of course, as….


A fun movie, so no objections from me to seeing it back-to-back. I did have a mildly embarrassing moment chatting with others about it, when I briefly got writer John Updyke confused with John (The World According to Garp) Irving. A New England author thing, I suppose.

We only had a single attendee in costume this time. She came as an elf (the earrings dangling from the pointed elf ears was a nice touch).

I again talked to Grand Midway owner Blair M about the local library’s big July 29 fundraiser and he pledged to allow use of his popcorn-making cart. He’s seriously considering offering one free night at the Midway’s increasingly popular upstairs AirBNB as an added addition to the basket raffle that evening.

I talked with a couple of newcomers from Elton, who were duly fascinated by the place. They will likely be back, very possibly with their fantasy-loving 4-year-old.

There was an extended discussion between a couple regulars comparing and contrasting the work schedules and management styles in the area’s McDonalds and Starbucks.

We had some live music. An occasional visitor grabbed his guitar, mounted the stage and performed two sets (mostly covers of assorted bands, many of them obscure to me–but what do I know?).

One of Windber’s eccentric “characters” wandered in, looking to sell an assortment of folding knives for $5 (beer money, no doubt). He found a soft-hearted mark in a certain regular, who paid up then tried to give them away to anyone interested. A short discussion of various types of such devices ensued.

Barista Holly H’s Colorado roadtrip is on the horizon, but she says she’ll only be gone a week or so.

Overall, it was a nice evening’s diversion from an unexpected (and certainly unwelcome) personal expense I’d just found about.



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