“We get complacent and comfortable and we forget who we are. There is something about my 40’s. I have discovered a new me, or the old me that I never knew about. I am more in tune with who I am and have started appreciating life more. I work, pay my bills, buy my own groceries, cook my own food and can cut my own grass. I am about to be 44 and I have got this. I love my life. I love Mobile. We have so much to offer. We have to pick which night to stay home, even on Mondays because that is supposed to be my rest night.
On Easter, I got to dress up in a bunny costume and scare the crap out of a bunch of kids which is my favorite thing to do. I never wanted kids. Growing up playing house, my sister Tina was the mama, my cousins were the kids and I was always the dog or the horse. I would let them ride me around the yard and I would bark at them. I was a weird kid. I never had the urge to have kids. Two of my biggest pet peeves are being asked ‘when are you going to get married?’ and ‘when are you going to have kids?’ My customers at Veet’s are my babies. I take care of them. Don’t get too tight, don’t drive home if you do. Make smart life choices. I get on to my regulars. I have all kinds of bad kids. And good kids, too. You never know what you are going to get, it is different every night. Bartenders are the vault. You can confide in your bartender and we will never tell.
I love to see people who love music. My dad was a guitar player since he was 8 years old and can play anything by ear. My whole family played music and I was set. My grandmother had 13 kids and every one of them played music. My family reunions and Christmas night we set up a bandstand and everyone takes turns. We have bluegrass, fiddles, kazoos, fake trumpet playing. I can sing a little bit. We are simple people who are about music and love. I like it like that. Music is our core and can make or break you. It changes my whole mood. I like 80s rap and pop. Wet Willie is my go to. I love PitBull and “Gasolina” while I am cutting grass or washing dishes. I am a vacuum nerd and do workouts while I am shining my floors. I put rags on my feet and spray pledge citrus on the floor. I do the whole house.
My idea of a perfect night out is cocktails in the afternoon, going to dinner where there is live music and home about 10:30. Mobile has so much of that and Callaghan’s is my home away from home.
My dad called me Tank when I was little because I was so mean, now he calls me Little Hitler. But I am a woman running a bar, I have to be tough. Veet’s just celebrated our 20th anniversary and made some changes and adjusted our stages. People call it a biker bar but nobody rides a bike but me. It used to be the red light district. Our old kitchen is where The Lucky Lady was, that was a strip club. The middle room was Nelson’s News Stand where you could buy dirty books. The other bar was called ‘the grown-up cake shop.’ There was no oven, only booths and curtains down the side. We were a whorehouse.
My dad co-owned the Mobile Music Center on Spring Hill. They moved it where Hampton Inn is now on Royal Street. They set up a bandstand in the front window. It became a place for jam sessions and people would buy beer at the gas station and bring it in and listen. They opened up a package store that adjoined the music store. Then my mom found the old Shotgun Veet’s Original. Rent was $300 a month and there wasn’t much traffic here because it was shady and off the beaten path.
Veet’s opened in 1998 and I came back in 2001 when I got out of an abusive marriage. I got married when I was 17. I didn’t see myself running a bar, but growing up I wanted to be a video vixen. I wanted to be a trashy girl on a rock and roll video. I haven’t done that, but I did win a wet t-shirt contest my senior year and won $500 and paid off my car. I told my Pawpaw it was graduation money. I beat Lexus from Texas and Regina from New Orleans. I had a fake ID and I was Miss Caroline from Alabama. I am from DIP I have always been tough and confident in myself. There have been some ups and downs but I love where I am today. I am living my life for the first time.”