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Ogden's Two-Bit Street



Great paper you have! I read it whenever I can drag my ass down to the Smith's in Farmington to pick one up. In your editorial about clubs in Salt Lake City you mentioned that Ogden’s historic 25th street has “a score of clubs, bars and restaurants serving alcohol on both sides of the street” [“Close My Eyes,” Private Eye, March 26, City Weekly].

You must be talking about ancient history! A score is 20, and there ain’t 20 bars on Two-Bit Street that serve liquor. In fact, the little jerk Mayor Matthew Godfrey has been quite successful in eliminating some liquor establishments there and has shut the door on any more going in. There was recently a motion before the Council to broaden the current two bars per block and allow more. It was shot down big time. In Ogden, the two per block includes both sides of the street, unlike Salt Lake City which, apparently, limits them to two per block face, or four per block.

The Li’l Lord Mayor of Ogden has also killed a very successful street festival on 25th because of the horrors of little kids seeing adults drink beer in public. At first, he tried to have beer only in a fenced corral, which required a wristband to enter. That didn’t go over with the beer drinkers and the pursuing brouhaha ended up killing the festival altogether. A sad loss for Ogden.

When I was a 10-year-old kid in 1952, my first job was selling the Ogden Standard Examiner on the streets. I would grab my papers and hustle over to the old 25th Street that still had wall-to-wall joints, and work them bars and whorehouses. Those old drunks and whores tipped real good, and I worked less and made more than any of the other kids peddling papers on the street. My good Mormon mom woulda shit down both legs had she known what I was doing! It isn’t our grandpa’s Ogden anymore!

Tom Owens