Feels like the first time

My first time almost going to a club was around 1985 or 1986, I think. I had tossed my bicycle in the back of my truck and rode out to Clackamas Town Center, where there was a bike trail that ran along I-205. I had just parked the truck when I saw a cute brunette girl in a red t-shirt walking towards me from the direction of the freeway off ramp. She asked me to help her; she was on her way to work and had a flat tire. Being the chivalrous type, of course I helped her! Unfortunately she had no tools to remove the spare tire from underneath her car, so I offered to give her a ride to work; she was already getting upset because she was late. She agreed.

When we got in my truck, I asked her where she was going and she told me that she worked at the Acropolis. “Do you know where that is?”

Duh. The Acropolis is one of the more famous Portland landmarks, a strip club with four stages, impeccable hiring practices, and the best steaks in town – the owner has a ranch and grows his own beef. I’d seen that blue-and-white striped building for as long as I had grown up in Milwaukie (a suburb of Portland).

I answered her in the affirmative, but when she’d asked if I’ve ever been in there, I had to say no. On the drive there, I asked her if she was a waitress, or… and let that question hang. She said she was a waitress.

I let her out in the parking lot, and she told me that if I came back the next night, she’d be able to pay me for my gas.

“No problem!” I said (stupidly), “consider it a favor!”

She went inside, and I drove off. I don’t remember her name. I wouldn’t actually go inside that building for another year or so. Details are fuzzy after all this time. Bear with me.

Now, two decades later, I live a half-mile from the Acropolis, and I’m known there by face, name and hat. And I’ve been to a lot, but not all, of the clubs in the Portland area. My current favorite club is Devil’s Point, but I still hang out at the Acrop just because I don’t have to drive home.

I’ve got a lot of strip club stories to tell… And I very much respect the entertainers and staff that make it all happen. If I won the lottery, I’d open a strip club of my own, and make it a progressive place to work…

But that’s a story for another time.