Sometimes I don’t think we stop to consider how fortunate we are to live in this Baldwin County paradise we call home…never more than a stone’s throw from open water or an abundant corn field… where, if it weren’t so convenient to just go down the street to your favorite restaurant – you could literally live off the land. From the moss-draped oaks to the freakish jubilees, stunning sunsets and the memories of things that you really “had to be there” to fully understand, it’s all part of what makes us who we are.
Judge Roy Bean’s is one of those memories. Cobbled together from Corte hay barns, chicken coops and happenstance in Nov. of ’77 – it was born of the imaginings of Jack West from what was the recently closed Embassy Lounge. Those of us who were fortunate enough to spend time there were the lucky recipients of his vision. With the help of Dan Sweet, Jack transformed a non-descript block building into an old West
saloon complete with saddles for barstools and wagon wheels for tables. Between he and his friend and manager of the bar, Phillip Calametti, Judge Roy Bean’s became a place of timeless camaraderie and great music.
Nationally renowned artists like POCO, America, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Prine, Alabama, Stephen Stills, Keth Sykes, Karla Bonoff and Delbert McClinton took the stage. Wet Willie kept us smilin’ and George Thorogood was bad to the bone. Richie Havens of Woodstock fame, Emmy Lou Harris, Scott Boyer, Spencer Bohren, Tommy Talton, J.D. Souther, Mac MacAnally and Leon Russell were there as well. And of course, Jimmy Buffett would show up from time to time for an impromptu concert. Whenever Jimmy would start playing, Jack would immediately lock the doors – you could only hope to be on the right side of them when that happened.
The bar burned down in 2005 but Jack and Phillip had long moved on to other ventures but the memories remained. In May of 2016, Jack was diagnosed with AML Leukemia. Soon after, Phillip was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. They both passed away last year and we are remembering them for their rich contributions to our lives.
Pilots for Christ flew Jack to and from MD Anderson whenever he needed them to. They most assuredly helped to keep him here with us for as long as was humanly possible through their generous ability to get him to treatments in a timely fashion. The doctors left no stone unturned in their efforts to cure him. He contacted me several months before he passed to help organizing an estate sale to raise money for Pilots for Christ in return of the favor. And here we are. Harry Johnson, the “original” Bean bartender, and others have put countless hours into the organization of this event and we’d like to thank the City of Daphne for their support.
Please join us June 9th at Daphne City Hall for the Judge Roy Bean Reunion to benefit Pilots for Christ and Anchor Cross Foundation. Locust Fork, who played some great gigs at the Bean over the years will be here from Birmingham as well as The Red Clay Strays. Robert Sully who played the Bean over 600 times will be here and will be joined by Butler Sheldon, long time manager of the Bean. Buzz Carpenter is back in town and Ryan Balthrop and Molly Thomas who played the Bean as Slow Moses will be performing as well.
There will be beer and wine and a cash bar. Food will be offered by Jeremiah Matthews of Southwood Kitchen, Romie Perez and The Bacon My Day food truck, Ted Perkins will be serving up the original Bean Burger and the Dew Drop Inn will be represented to raise money for Pulmonary Fibrosis research to remember Phillip Calametti. Don’t forget the extra pickles.
There will be a silent auction featuring original JRB memorabilia as well as some great local artists works like Bruce Larsen and Jean McKee and local businesses like Bay Candle Company, Little Point Clear and Steelwood who have chipped in. More is coming in all the time. JRB T-shirts and huggers will be for sale also.
Tickets are limited and are $50 and are available online or in Daphne at Bryant Bank, The Mellow Mushroom, Southern Cancer Center & Manci’s. In Mobile at Smith, Dukes & Buckalew. Price includes (4) beverage coupons. Go to Facebook JRB REUNION or JRBREUNION.COM for more info – there are more surprises in store.
Please join us to remember two great guys for two great causes!
– Mark Calametti