Remember the good old days at the Alta Club?
Posted by jp7 (+148) 4 years ago
Remember the band,FUBAR? Well there back,its been 15 years or so.. Thay where here.. Fri and Sat at the old plaza.What a sound to my ears,sure brought me back in time.I do have to say I missed seeing Jeff Lamay in that band last night..bless him, he is missed.Miles City needs a good country mucic and dance place, maybe its coming back..this band well be playing out there again,i was told this coming weekend.Its about time TO all in the band..Good JOB
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6163) 4 years ago
Ah, the good ole Alta Club, where 15 year olds could drink Jaegermeister and only a few folks were ever murdered there.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12329) 4 years ago
I was not a fan then, nor now, of today's young country. I think they have a new term for it now. I much preferred the powdersambiance of the Disco, which I understand is a church now (thank God).

I do have to admit, one of my fondest memories of the Alta Club was in the early 1980s watching some old drunk hit on my married mother, while my late cousin and I snickered at the table drinking some terrible American swill beer, while my late father was home in bed asleep.

Good times.
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Posted by Tim Wagoner (+725) 4 years ago
I danced there every night with my girlfriend and every guy that would not dance girlfriend. I was 17 and only drank Coke.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8169) 4 years ago
Are you a word or two in there Tim?
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Posted by Ken Minow (+376) 4 years ago
Jeff Lemay jammed w/ FUBAR whenever they were in town but he wasn't a member.Frank Dakota[Zachary]-drummer,Rainbow-bass,Tom Silo was lead guitar,replaced by a guy named Monte.Helluva C&W/Rock Band from North Dakota.Are we talking about the same band?
p.s.-Yep,I miss Jeff Lemay too.RIP my friend.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2296) 4 years ago
The New Montana River Band is playing at BoJangles this weekend, and has been playing for a few weeks now. Glenn, Doug, Tommy and Val perform the best in Country and Rock and Roll from 8PM to Midnight or later. The Montana River Band came back when Glenn Shores took BoJangles back in September 2012, and has been playing off and on since then with a whole new staff and the same environment from years back when BoJangles first opened. BoJangles also has a brand new all digital sound setup. Come check it out Friday and Saturday 8PM to Midnight (Or Later).
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Posted by Oddjob (+160) 4 years ago
"Ah, the good ole Alta Club, where 15 year olds could drink Jaegermeister and only a few folks were ever murdered there."

Here's something you probably didn't experience....

It was old-time Miles City, for god's sake. If you looked older than Junior High, you could get served or buy package somewhere. We used to go into Klamm's when we were in High School and half of the time, the old man wouldn't even get up from watching TV. He'd tell us to pour our own and throw the money on the till. When I finally did turn 21, there were several bars I made a point of, to not go in that night, because I had been drinking in them for several years. Figured I'd just let that one slide.

The only place that really cared how old you were was the Montana Theater. The day you turned 12, your rate went up. I think the lady who sold tickets had a list of the birth dates for every kid in town.

What I don't recall is; who all got murdered at the Alta Club? The only one I remember from the day, was the Olive Lounge shooting.
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Posted by Tim Wagoner (+725) 4 years ago
Yea, after reading my post, I missed some of the words. It is caused by my severe short term memory loss that I struggle with everyday. It was made worse after radiation to my pituitary gland/tumor. 5 beams of radiation split between 5 directions, pointed at my pituitary gland. My adding and subtracting took a hit too. I have to read and reread what I type multiple times in order to make things look right. Sometimes I get it right, lol. Thank god for spell check. Now I need a grammar checker.

When I am a little under the weather, or tired things get even worse.

Sorry about the crappy post.

More to come I am afraid. I am real bad about adding letters in my words that don't belong. I can add a letter in that is clear across the keyboard from where I was typing. After re-reading, I sometimes wonder how the heck did that letter get put in or where is certain words I meant to type. I have read them in my mind as I type I just miss them sometimes.

And life goes on quietly, sometimes without me!!!!!!!!!!
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Posted by Bridgier (+8169) 4 years ago
Well, now I feel like an oddjob asshole, so skip as many words as you want Tim...
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Posted by Oddjob (+160) 4 years ago
HaHa!

Spoken like the true humanitarian you are, Bridgier. How big of you to step up!

Still waiting to hear the body count from the Alta Club, Wendy.
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Posted by nativemc (+376) 4 years ago
One murder for sure. it was late 60's, early 70's. I wasn't quite old enough to go there yet but remember a fellow shot his wife as she came out the front door. he was across the lot with a high powered rifle. When I was old enough to go there I saw many knives pulled and a lot of fights in the parking lot. Saw one guy pull a pistol just inside the front door one night but the bouncer got him before he was able to shoot anybody.
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Posted by Kay Baxter (+65) 4 years ago
Hope you are feeling better now though, Wondered where you been.
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Posted by Kacey (+3146) 4 years ago
So many memories. Burch and Wayne. The night some cowboy got a little too fresh and Leon Kappes...my unofficial big brother...picked the guy up and threw him out the door while Burch held it open.

The night some "friends" put something into my date's drink and he tweaked. I went outside and sat on the back of the car. I was blindsided and ended up with a concussion. Some girls saw it happen and the fight was on. The one guy ended up with a broken arm from a barb wire stretcher. Another ended up missing part of his arm. Should never put your arm around a female's neck loose enough so she can reach it with her mouth!

Ahhh...the good old days.

Anyone remember Sonny Settles and the Rockin' Westerns? They played there a lot in the 70's. Sonny did a wonderful Elvis imitation. Their backup guitarist was not very good so they always unplugged him!
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Posted by jp7 (+148) 4 years ago
Josh..Thanks for getting my story right...GREAT BAND>>
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+763) 4 years ago
I kinda remember the party going outside, someone noticing an idling locomotive across the street, and a quarter mile back and
forth joyride. Yeah, good times at the good old Alta Club.
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Posted by misibo (+8) 6 months ago
Kacy, this is the girl with the fence puller. My memory of that night is a little different. My best friend and I were leaving the bar when we saw a girl running through the parking lot screaming help me, they're going to kill me. Two guys in a car were trying to run the girl down. We reached out and grabbed her and pulled her to safety. THe guys got out of the car and said, "I'm going to kill you bitch." One grabbed me, one grabbed my friend. THe guy that grabbed me started pounding my head up and down the side of the bar. I didn't know them or the girl but I finally figured out that I wass probably going to die if I didn't quit talking and started fighting. Got away, grabbed the fence puller out of the back of a pick up. Told the guy to go. He laughed and it was batter up. He fell on the ground crying that his arm was broken. His friend was distracted enough that my friend was able to take a chunk out of his arm. He tried to come after me and ended up with a broken nose. That fence puller saved my life. We went to the hospital, called the sheriff. While we were there the two guys came in to get fixed up. What upset me the most is that, according to the sheriff, the girl would not press charges. I don't think I ever went back to the Alta Club.
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Posted by Cheryl Gaer-Barlow (+399) 6 months ago
Odd Job mentioned the Olive Lounge Shooting. Could anyone expand on this? My brother, Dennis Gaer, told me he was in on that, helping the officers. I know nothing about it and my brother has passed away.
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Posted by Bruce Ingraham (+84) 6 months ago
Doug Fleming was shot and killed by William French jr March 5 1973 at the Olive.
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Posted by Kacey (+3146) 6 months ago
Misibo..you and I are talking about two different events. I was never running across the parking lot screaming. I was laying on the sidewalk. Two girls picked me up. I went to a friend's vehicle. No one was trying to run me down. I am guessing it was one of many fights in that parking lot!
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Posted by Hanson (+493) 6 months ago
BROWN v. GRENZ, (1953), 127 Mont. 49, 257 P.2d 246
Supreme Court of Montana.
Hugh J. Lemire, Miles City, for appellant.
Roland Colgrove, Miles City, for respondent.

FREEBOURN, Justice.
This is a civil action for damages, actual and exemplary, for assault upon and unlawful eviction of, plaintiff and respondent, Loreinia H. Brown, by defendant and appellant, Chris Grenz, from premises known as the Alta Club, in Custer County, Montana, wherein plaintiff was awarded a verdict and given a judgment, from which judgment defendant appeals.

By virtue of a written lease running from January 1, 1949, [127 Mont. 51] to June 30, 1950, Grenz placed Mrs. Brown in possession of the Alta Club, a nightclub near Miles City, Montana, with certain furnishings therein, for which Mrs. Brown was to pay a monthly rental of $500.

On March 29, 1950, Grenz, pursuant to R.C.M.1947, Sec. 93-9703, defining unlawful detainer, served Mrs. Brown with a 'notice to vacate' the Alta Club, asserting therein that Mrs. Brown was in default of two months' rental amounting to $1,000, and demanding possession of such premises.

Grenz's next move, in order that he stay within the law, should have been the filing of a complaint against Mrs. Brown, in the proper court, as provided for by R.C.M.1947, Sec. 93-9708. Grenz, however, elected not to follow or stay within the law, and on March 31, 1950, commenced a course of action and conduct which had as its object the forcing of Mrs. Brown from the Alta Club, and which resulted in this lawsuit and appeal.

The jury could have found from plaintiff's testimony: That Grenz, about March 31, 1950, over Mrs. Brown's protest, removed certain slot machines from the Alta Club, which were part of the furnishings leased; that a day or so later, without Mrs. Brown's knowledge or consent, he chained and padlocked the front door and entrance of the club; that he set burning 'bombs or candles' giving off strong, discomforting fumes, stench and smoke throughout the club building and in Mrs. Brown's living quarters in the basement, saying, 'I am fumigating you rats out of here'; that he pointed a small, gunlike object at Mrs. Brown, which emitted fumes and smoke, burning her face, causing her to cough, and, as she put it, 'They cut your lungs out and your eyes and you can't breathe'; that about the same time Grenz 'told me he was running me out of there.'

According to Mrs. Brown, at a late hour, on the next evening, Saturday, while the club was crowded, Grenz had two men 'slap' purex, turpentine and white paint over all of the small entrance way and front door of the club, causing an 'obnoxious [127 Mont. 52] and terrific odor' to invade the place; that the white paint was tracked onto the club floor and 'two or three ladies came in with fur coats covered with paint. * * * You couldn't walk in or out. My rugs and everything were covered this time.'

On the same night Grenz parked his Chrysler car from eleven o'clock p. m. until closing time 'right up against the front door' so no one could get in or out of the club's front entrance; and he chained and padlocked the front door on the next day, Sunday, about six o'clock in the evening.

As testified by Mrs. Brown, while she was in Great Falls, Grenz broke into her living quarters and tossed 'all my own belongings, my hats, my linens, dresses, everything that I had * * * suits, socks, shoes, underwear, hats, anything a lady would wear * * * my fur coat * * * bedding and linens, sheets and pillow cases' out into the mud and rain, where she found them on her return from Great Falls. Gone also were the bed and mattress she slept upon, as well as her blankets and pillows. Only the bed stead remained. The drawers of the chiffoniers 'were all emptied.' The deep freeze, silverware, dishes, typewriter, adding machine, juke box, whiskey and vacuum cleaner were taken.

When asked why he threw her things out, Grenz said to Mrs. Brown, 'Because I didn't want them in there. * * * I'm throwing you out of here.'

Blanche Whitemoon, better known as Granny, a venerable lady of distinction in her own right, 'born and raised in Custer County when it was a military post,' although not on the Alta Club first team, was major domo of the 'scrubs.' 'They call me Buckskin Ethel,' she confided to the court and jury, 'but I use Blanche Whitemoon because I pay city taxes. * * * the chief of our tribe names us and then the white man gives us a name. The Northern Cheyennes have two names.' According to Buckskin Ethel, Grenz told Mrs. Brown, "I am going to take these machines,' and she said, 'No, you ain't, Chris.' He drew back his right hand and he said, 'You get away here you son-of-a-bitch or I'll knock you through the wall,' and she backed up and run over where I was standing. * * * I reached [127 Mont. 53] and grabbed my butcher knife and I looked around and she kind of run behind me, and Mr. Chris, there he sets at the end of the table, still had his fist drawn up, and he called us both dirty names and out he went with the machines.'

It was Buckskin Ethel who 'went out and picked up what silks I could pick up and the fur coat out of the mud and drug it up to the side of the house. * * * There was no door on the bedroom. That door was all broken--taken off, and I looked into where I had made the bed before I left and there was nothing left but just what we call, in the Indian way, 'a foot of the bed and the stays.' There was no bed clothes or nothing on it. * * * I stopped by the door and wiped my eyes and held the soap and butcher knife in my hand and * * * all at once something went boom, just like a kid would shoot a firecracker and it was an awful odor.'

Buckskin Ethel, soap in one hand and butcher knife in the other, may have eased an otherwise explosive situation, for Grenz then came to her and said, "Granny, you and I have never had no trouble and we never will,' and I said, 'Mr. Grenz, if I had my money I would go down the road."

Before the trial Grenz seemingly suspected Buckskin Ethel of having four steel chairs, which belonged to him, and he approached her on the subject. 'He said, 'If they subpoena you, don't you know nothing. If they subpoena you, you have got to go, but don't you know nothing.' I looked at him and I got mad and * * * walked away * * * I would like Chris to tell me the names of the young men that told him I had his four chairs.'

Grenz admitted the taking of the slot machines, dishes, deep freeze, juke box, and other furnishings. He admitted throwing some things out, and the padlocking of the front door. He admitted having the front entrance painted at 'ten o'clock at night * * * with the place in operation * * * Q. And when you parked your car up in front of that door, that likewise was difficult for people to get in and out? A. That was why I parked it there.' He was referring to Mrs. Brown, among others, when he stated he was 'fumigating to get the rats out [127 Mont. 54] of there * * * and if she hadn't been in default of her rent' he would not have padlocked the place.

Where the right to possession of real property is in dispute, the owners thereof may not take the law into their own hands and proceed by violence to take possession thereof. In order to secure such possession, resort must be had to the peaceful process of law. Herzog v. The Texas Company, 88 Mont. 580, 294 P. 962. See: Sheehy v. Flaherty, 8 Mont. 365, 20 P. 687; Spellman v. Rhode, 33 Mont. 21, 81 P. 395.

Plaintiff's action was one in tort and is based upon the well-known principle of law that a tenant in possession has the right to such possession against the world during the continuance of his lease, and may maintain an action for damages for the disturbance or deprivation of such possession. Harris v. Keehn, 25 N.M. 447, 184 P. 527, 7 A.L.R. 1099, 1104, 1105. See: Quong v. McEvoy, 70 Mont. 99, 224 P. 266; Herzog v. The Texas Company, supra.

In committing the acts as shown by the evidence which resulted in Mrs. Brown being compelled to give up possession of and leave the Alta Club, Grenz was guilty of an unlawful eviction for which Mrs. Brown had a cause of action for damages. Quong v. McEvoy, supra; 52 C.J.S., Landlord & Tenant, Sec. 450, pp. 168, 169.

Nor is there any doubt but what Grenz, in committing the acts which resulted in Mrs. Brown's eviction, was motivated by a desire to vex, injure and annoy her. Such acts were, therefore, done maliciously. R.C.M.1947, Sec. 19-103, subd. 18. The award by the jury for exemplary damages was thereby justified. R.C.M.1947, Sec. 17-208.

Appellant contends that the verdict as first returned by the jury should have been accepted, and that since no actual damage was assessed therein, the verdict for exemplary damages could not stand. This verdict found 'actual damages in the sum of $ none,' and assessed exemplary damages 'in the sum of $5,000.00.'
The trial judge, showing an abundance of caution, sent the [127 Mont. 55] jury back with the admonition, 'It's necessary to find, if you find anything at all, you have to find some actual damages before you can find punitive damages, so you will have to retire again * * *' The court properly admonished the jury, R.C.M.1947, Sec. 93-5111, and the jury, in addition to the exemplary damages assessed actual damages in the sum of $200.00.

The first verdict would have stood and supported a judgment. Where, as here, actual damages appear from the evidence, an award of punitive or exemplary damages will stand, though the verdict of the jury shows no finding of actual damages. Fauver v. Wilkoske, 123 Mont. 228, 211 P.2d 420, 17 A.L.R.2d 518; Welsh v. Pritchard, Mont., 241 P.2d 816.

Appellant contends that the trial court erred in refusing to give offered instructions Nos. 5, 6, and 7. The giving of these instructions would have authorized the eviction of respondent because she had no beer and whiskey licenses, United States Revenue agents having seized them for unpaid taxes, and because she had no slot machine licenses, they not having been issued by state authorities, although the money therefor had been paid
Page 249

The court did not err in refusing these instructions. Whether respondent conducted the operation of slot machines or sold beer and liquor without a license 'was peculiarly a matter between * * * the state' and respondent. Quong v. McEvoy, supra [70 Mont. 99, 224 P. 268].

We have examined the other assignments of error and find no merit therein.
For the reasons stated the judgment of the district court is affirmed.

ADAIR, C. J., and BOTTOMLY, ANGSTMAN and ANDERSON, JJ., concur.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9270) 6 months ago
Reply to Hanson (#376320)
Holy crap!
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12329) 6 months ago
A simply awesome piece of Miles City history. Thanks Terry.

So is the Chris Grenz in this tale, Butch's dad or grandad?
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