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The Jukebox at the Folsom Hotel Saloon
An Original Composition
© By Drew A. Blanc - JKP
It’s around 7:30 AM August nineteenth, 2010. I live on the second floor in the back, room eleven. I have my window open to gather an Eastern breeze. I lift a mug of gourmet coffee (the one perk I allow myself) to my lips and sip the hearty brew.
The jukebox downstairs, in the saloon, with no indication and without warning, introduces itself to a small amount of downtown Folsom residents with a cry, competing with the sing song of the demanding indigenous birds of Folsom.
I remember thinking, “that’s a little strange.” I know for a fact, no employee would be in the saloon at this AM hour. The bartenders and bar backs are like vampires and are all asleep in the morning hours.
Ray P. (a long time resident of the “Folsom Hotel Saloon”) was just exiting from the second floor bathroom (which is in the back) when I opened my door to room eleven.
“Are you hearing that Ray, I inquired,” lighting a cheap cigarette? “Yea he replied, turning to me still damp from his shower.” “Do you know what song that is, I asked?” I knew the tune’s title, but wanted some kind of assurance that it was indeed that song and I was actually hearing it. “Yep he responded that’s, “Hotel California.” Yes it certainly was.
We were listening to the original Eagle song that has been dressed in scores of diverse variations, played by radio jocks and musicians all over the globe. At the same time, countless musical enthusiasts have listen to this song thousands and thousands of times, since its first release in 1976.
The song itself has been described as (according to Wikipedia) a song that is an allegory about hedonism and self-destruction in the Southern California music industry of the late 1970s. And of course, there is that iniquitous line, "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave," which in reality is quite the opposite at the “Folsom Hotel Saloon.” Many former residents have ventured beyond the boundaries of the Hotel never to return.
Although, now and then, some ex-residents drop by for a drink or two and enjoy a little chitchat with their missed friends.
The “Folsom Hotel Saloon” was originally built in 1875 and was known as the “New Western Hotel.” The original was built on a slow running gulch and subsequently, rebuilt again, on the same plot of land, 10 years later in 1885 as the previous accommodation had burnt to the ground. Charles Zimmerman was now the proprietor and called the new reconstructed hotel the “German Hotel.”
There has been many a speculation that ghosts haunt and frequently visit the “Folsom Hotel Saloon.” The old timey gold rushers, lumberjacks and brothel prostitutes are the supposed haunters and apparitions.
I dunno about that - or do I?
Ambiguous as it is, numerous patrons, employees, residents and proprietors have alleged over the years that their experiences with the parallel netherworld of paranormal activities are real. So they say and truly believe.
Is it just a spooky place? Maybe -
Fast forward to a month and a few days later.
September twenty second 2010 featured a full moon. In the evening this moon ascended and appeared in the Eastern skies. The Autumn Fall Equinox fell upon us. Both of these events haven’t coincided since 1991.
I’ve always been an early morning riser and on the day after, as usual, I’m enjoying my cup of coffee and smoke on the second floor balcony out back.
At 7:07 am (I had just looked at my watch) as before, without notification, the box of music sprang to life. This time it was a country tune. Something about God is good, beer is great and people are crazy. I later found out who that artist was. A talented musician by the name of, “Billy Currington.”
After about a minute or so of reflection on the aforementioned lyrics, the South second floor back door opened. The current owner of the “Folsom Hotel Saloon” emerged.
“What is going on, she asked, with keys and cell phone in hand, framing her statement somewhat rhetorically?”
I replied, “didn’t ya know, this happens all the time?” Or at least one time before on my watch, I thought to myself. Hey, “let’s go check it out,” turning towards the stairs.
We made our way to the ground floor and to the back door of the saloon. Fumbling with her overabundance of keys we finally enter the non-threatening room.
Of course there were no intruders, all the doors were still locked, and all lights as well as the illuminated signage were extinguished.
She entered the security code for the alarm and then made her way over to the musical box. Apparently the remote control indicated that it was in the state of pause. I shrugged and she grimaced, subtlety projecting her annoyance.
I have a logical working theory on how this occurrence could have happened, but I’ve kept it to myself. There is one thing that does bother me though. Why would the volume be so loud on both mornings when I know the bartenders always leave the saloon with it turned to a lower decibel?
As you can imagine, speculation and controversy continue to abound surrounding this topic.
So why not drop by sometime when you are in the neighborhood. Enjoy the ambiance and a slice of times past at the old Historical “Folsom Hotel Saloon.”
Who knows, you just might experience something ethereal yourself!