30 years ago at the Landmark, a bar just off the campus of Washington & Jefferson College in southwestern Pennsylvania, tension occasionally simmered between townies and college kids. Sometimes it was racial. One evening a black student walked in, sat at a corner table and ordered a beer. At the bar was a white townie who’d had a lot to drink. He ordered the black kid to scram. The bartender, a 21-year-old W&J senior, stepped from the behind the bar and stood between the two men.
The townie opened his coat to reveal a revolver. “I want him out!” he said, putting his hand on the gun. “I don’t care—I’ll shoot you too!”
“He can stay,” said Roger Goodell, the bartender. “He’s allowed to have a drink.”
Time stopped in the crowded bar. “Let’s just go outside,” Goodell said to the townie, and they did. Goodell walked the patron down the street and out of the Landmark for the night.
Tim Foil, one of the bar’s owners, wasn’t there that night but had seen such incidents before. “You never know,” Foil said. “Guns, too much alcohol. Bad things happen sometimes.”
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