LIFE ON A COCKTAIL NAPKIN, the book—a story of the joyous, free-spirited, and sometimes unsettling early years in the life of a city bartender in the 1970s— is now available on Amazon

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Undercover narcotics cops, and some mafia wannabees. A tall, mysterious blond woman who wants to be tied up and spanked—it’s a different world behind the bar.


Fresh from a small town, a young man is thrown into a bartending nightlife at a city tavern in the early 1970s. With humor, grit, and the company of good people—including that provocative blonde met by chance—I struggle to find my way in the carnival-like atmosphere during an extraordinary and challenging time.

While still in my twenties, I step off a Greyhound bus and land a job at a popular city nightspot. But I’m not prepared for the crazy mix of customers lined down the bar. Each of them has a story.


Shameless deadbeats drink beside a scheming housewife while the manager pulls out a gun to settle a bar dispute. As everyone celebrates the weekend, a seventeen-year-old virgin walks in seeking advice. Meanwhile, the old-timers sit quietly, nursing their beers. They’ve been watching this sort of thing for years.

It’s a world of phone numbers on cocktail napkins and parties until dawn–but it’s also a rough introduction to the dark side of city nightlife. Violence and crooked cops are sometimes a part of daily business.

Fortunately, three women help me cope. The first is the tavern owner’s nineteen-year-old daughter. She’s a friend and a bartender with a smile that suggests experience beyond her years. Another of the bartenders, Kate, becomes my best friend. Despite struggling with the effects of a horrible childhood, she’s a brilliant and articulate companion.


Then I meet that enigmatic blonde woman who, after several weeks, moves into my basement apartment with me. She lights up my world, free-spirited and full of life, although deep secrets eventually emerge.

All the while—as typical in the early 1970s—I’m just trying to be a good person and put one foot in front of the other.

Jackie Rabbit, one of the old-time regulars (photo by Kate)

Gail Maugere, the owner’s daughter

To find a copy on Amazon, search LIFE ON A COCKTAIL NAPKIN under the category, “Books” 

— OR use this link —

Three sample chapters below . . .
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