Dena Garcia: Standing her ground
December 24, 2009
❱ "I think all my bad stuff happened in 2009.
❱ My whole year's been a nightmare. My oldest sister Jean died May 31 from lung cancer. And that was quick and fast. They had give her two years, she didn't last four months.
❱ And, in August I went home and my house was on fire. It looked like someone set a bonfire in my family room.
❱ Then my mother died. She was my business partner for 16 years. We bought the bar together. She died Sept. 14. I talked to her Sunday night, and she never woke up Monday morning.
❱ My mother always told me, God don't give you anymore than you can handle. And that's true.
❱ I miss her. She was a good lady.
❱ She would say anything she wanted to say. She was very outspoken, but everybody just loved her. I think a lot of people think I'm that way. Sometimes I got to control my mouth.
❱ Most people do like me. The people that don't, I probably had a problem with them in the bar.
❱ I'm a T-shirt and jeans kind of a girl. I'm a tomboy.
❱ People come to a bar, and they think they can act any way they want because they're in a bar. It's like it's OK to just come in and spit on the floor or start a fight.
❱ When me and my mom got into this, we were the only women in basically a man's business and a man's town, really.
❱ When I tell you not to do something, I mean it. I once had a guy say, 'I'm really afraid of you, but you're really nice.'
❱ I cut people off all the time. It's like a daily occurrence. Nobody likes it, and it's a hard thing to do to tell someone they've had enough. Every once in a while you get that nice guy that says 'Thank you, thanks for noticing that I've had enough.'
❱ I think a lot of people come to the bar because they do have problems. I think they come out of loneliness, I think they come to forget their problems. I think they want to come and meet a mate, because they're lonely.
❱ If you want to be ugly, if you don't want to be nice, then I don't need your business. I'd be a rich woman if I could overlook a lot of things.
❱ I've got Elvis Presley dolls, pictures. He had a beautiful voice, and he's a good-looking man. He sings the greatest gospel you've ever heard. He's the king.
❱ I've never seen anything like these young people now. There is just so much drama. I think people are too into people's business.
❱ What happened to manners?
❱ I'm nice to people, but don't step on my toes where my children or family are concerned.
❱ Brian and Eddie are from my first marriage that didn't last, and that's how I got into this business.
❱ I was poor. I was a divorced young mother with two young kids. I never was on welfare. I'm proud of that fact.
❱ I've never collected a dime of child support. Never would he pay me, so I raised two little boys.
❱ I'm a very calm person in a crisis.
❱ That's my Roy right behind the bar. The cute little cowboy. We've been together 16 years, and we have a daughter Marissa. It took me a long time to find him. I was almost 40.
I had people tell me, 'Your children are grown, why would you want another baby?' But, God must have wanted her here. All babies are a blessing no matter how they come.
❱ There are a lot of people who want jobs, but not a lot of people who want to work.
❱ My mother raised us to be workers. My dad died when I was 8. My mother had five children and never took a dime of welfare in her life. Didn't believe in it. She thought it was for other people who really needed it. She just was amazing. If we needed something for school, she'd take on another job so we could afford it.
❱ I have the best customers in the world. They're mine. They're my kids. They call me Miss Dena, most of them. When you have a bar, it's like having extended family.
❱ I would do anything for 'em that I could, within reason. I'd drive them home if they had too much to drink.
❱ There is no reason for anyone in this town to get a DUI. It's just stubbornness.
❱ I liked Craig when I moved here at 13. It was small. It's changed a lot. There's more people, and I hate these one-way streets that they'll never change back.
❱ You have people that love you and are around you and care for you. We couldn't have made it through this year without the people in Craig."