The year? 1974. The era? The Watergate frenzy peaked as people wondered if the Nixon presidency could survive the flood of revelations about the break in. Earlier in the day, I finagled a private tour of the Rhode Island State Capitol to see its charter—the first American colony to have full religious liberty, signed by the King of England himself.
As I looked at the charter in a back room, the nearby telex chattered—Nixon scheduled a major address that evening, called Vice President Gerald Ford back to DC, and reportedly would resign. In early evening I rode the Honda into Groton CN not long before the speech, and spotted “The Grotto,” a long, low bar. One that had a TV. Free. A wall separated the dark bar from the entry, so I turned right and peered inside. Kind of a redneck crowd, where a long-haired hippie biker might not be welcome.