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The Red Rock Bar 

The Red Rock Bar and its owners have a long history.

Bob Meeks left Texas at age 14 to join his brother in Tucson. Meeks went to work for Sunset Dairy here, and at age 17, borrowed money from his boss to buy some cotton farmland several miles west of present-day Red Rock.

In his early 20s, Meeks opened a combination restaurant, gas station, market and bar at Red Rock, right in the path of what later would become Interstate 10.

At age 45, Meeks met a 15-year-old girl named Sally Otero, and they married. (She said her mother asked her, "What are you doing talking to that old man?")

When I-10 plans were finalized, the Arizona Department of Transportation required that the Meeks move their commercial operation several hundred yards west, to its present site.

The bar signage still reads "Bob's Red Rock Bar."

Sally says he told her he had buried some money for her, further west on his former farmland. She has no idea if it's real, and if it is, where it might be.

She says he drank about a quart of Canadian Club whiskey (water back) daily, so that might have influenced his perceptions. Bob died seven years ago at age 91. She says his skin was still pink and smooth, and his eyes were piercing blue.

Today, the bar is open only on Fridays and weekends. On any given day, it may be full of farmworkers, empty or eclectically populated with bikers, hikers, busloads of sports fans, tourists and Tucsonans of all sorts who have come to love the wacky outback aspects of the place.

More by Bill Norman

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