Windber Coffeehouse Nights, September 13, 2018

With the Grand Midway’s owner Blair Murphy out of town, your truly opened and ran the weekly coffeehouse at Windber’s fabled haunted hotel. We had a nice turnout from 6 till 9, then things slowed considerably for the last 2 hours. The turnout was mostly, but not entirely of regular attendees. A full-sized coffin, recently acquired and destined for service in the hotel’s Halloween celebrations, greeted the evening’s arrivals. This generated much positive comment (predictable, considering the place’s typical clientele). We’re doing no full building tours for the next few weeks due to several upstairs rooms being renovated/redecorated for Dracula Con (October 13, this year). But interested parties were, as always, free to explore the first floor rooms adjacent to the bar area. Overall, we had a very decent night.

Variations on the Frankenstein story dominated the night’s video choices, beginning with Tim Burton’s fun and funky animated takeoff:


Given the theme, I guess it was inevitable that one of our regulars started talking about the loss of a series of pets her family has suffered. Others commiserated with her regarding these losses (it’s a somewhat playfully ghoulish crowd, yet most of us are animal lovers).

Several people made use of the free Wi-Fi at various times. I checked my email and even did a couple online surveys during the inevitable momentary lulls in my duties. Our contingent of Supernatural fans compared photos and videos of their fave show, as well.

I talked with a semi-regular about the book he’s been working on and about the local writer’s group I’m part of.

It was noted that another new business has just opened in Windber. The 14th & Graham Bakery is just across the street from us, 2 doors up from Mimo’s Restaurant at the former site of Shaffer’s Drugstore (the Black Raven magic shop is nestled between). I haven’t been inside yet (as it only opened for business the previous day), but the setup is of a small cafe with several tables where one can enjoy their baked good and a beverage. Syn and I resolved to give it a try in the next few days. Their posted hours are in the morning and early afternoon, 6 days a week (closed Sundays), starting at 8 AM.

There was the typically varied items of small talk.

Syn’s brother Barron came by, a pair of distant cousins Syn had never met in tow. The latter were I believe the night’s only newcomers, and were definitely impressed. i showed off DVD copies of Blair’s 2 movies.

Although I started my night with a mug of orange spice tea, the Starbucks coffee was in considerable demand. Midway through the evening, I dispatched ever-dependable Amber to the Bi-Lo for a fresh bottle of the Hazelnut creamer. I also had to refill the sugar bowl twice and by evening’s end, all 3 creamer flavors we had on offer were on their last legs (including the newly purchased bottle). I had one mug of coffee later, followed at evening’s end by one of green tea.

The night’s 2nd movie was:

young frank

Always good for a laugh (or 20), right?

Mark the Plumber and Gloria (his lady friend) dropped by with a couple gifts for Blair. Syn did one crystal tarot card reading late in the evening. And the last Frankenstein variant of the evening was


The doctor (Sting) intends his 2nd creation as a hot and feisty love interest (Jennifer Beals) for Victor (the name his 1st creation takes here). Spoiler: It doesn’t work out as planned.

Anyway, our intrepid leader being still on the road, Syn and I closed things up a bit past 11 PM. I totaled up the evening’s modest yet welcome earnings. We turned out the lights; put assorted items away; washed the used mugs, spoons and plates. Syn retired to her apartment; I locked up before walking home; and that was it for another week.



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