Hunter, Kan. -- One of my favorite places in Kansas was Vera’s Bar in Hunter, that’s up in Mitchell County. Vera Lewis, the woman behind the bar is gone but back in 1999 her bar was a ‘happening’ place.
“He sings of Love on the wings of a dove.”
In Hunter, Kansas at Vera’s Bar there are no strangers.
“Yeah, that’s Michael, that’s John, that’s Jean, and oh, I forgot me, and that’s Linda.”
People come here, not because the beer is colder.
“Here comes some food.”
Not because the food is better.
“You’re right there…”
But because of this one woman, 72 year-old Vera Lewis.
“Well, it keeps me young...Keeps me out of mischief…sometimes.”
You don’t come to Vera’s just to put your name on the ceiling, or buy a bag of chips, oh no, you come Vera the owner, but also the entertainment.
"The Wings of a Dove" is the only song she sings, it is the only song she knows.
You can’t create a place like this. It just happens.
When you ‘work’ you have to be ‘happy’.
In a place where the stools are warn, where each sale is recorded in a spiral notebook, Verna is not only happy, she is ‘beloved’.
“I like it, good girl.”
“Gotta see if my pacemaker is still working.”
Vera passed away a few years ago, but that night in Vera’s Bar, it is now part of Kansas history, I’m Larry Hatteberg.