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The Lariat Motel: Audio Version
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The Lariat Motel: Audio Version

I saw the sign moving in the dark - the neon cowboy endlessly throwing his lasso - and I could not resist.
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*Our paying subscribers can now listen to full audio versions of some of Juke’s most-loved essays. Last time, we heard To Alex, on my Birthday which was published in May. This month, we’re listening to The Lariat Motel, which was published in June. Free subscribers and everyone else can hit play for a short preview. Then check out the original piece, linked below, if you haven’t read it before… TM*

photo by Paul Vlachos

“I developed a fascination with the place. I would plan trips around whether or not I could stay in Fallon at the Lariat. My traveling partner in the 1990s, Peggy, also loved this place. We invented a personal mythology about the old man and lived for the short conversations we had with him every time we stayed there. We learned a little more each time. 

He said he was Lithuanian. We knew he was old. Peggy would speculate out loud and one day she turned to me as we were driving across the salt flats west of town. She said, ‘Maybe he’s a vampire and he flies around the desert at night.’ The next morning, we saw him furtively carry a bundle of laundry from a room in the predawn light.

We got to know him in bits and pieces. His car was always out front - a gold Buick Electra 225 from the mid 1960s. He told us how, when he bought the place, the parking lot was gravel. There was a lawn and no pool. He pulled out an old postcard in a plastic cover. It was his only copy. It showed how the place looked when he bought it. I admired his car. ‘It runs perfect,’ he said, although I never saw him actually driving it.

This patch of desert was his whole life…”


Read the full piece here…


*Reminder: watch the film Koppmoll before 9pm ET tonight (the 26th)! The week passed quickly!


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