By Kathy Werner
CALLICOON June 17, 2005 There was an appearance by the Bar Man in this Delaware River hamlet last weekend, as he continued on his yearlong quest to have a drink at 1,000 bars.
Dan Freeman of Brooklyn, aka the Bar Man, is the creator of the blog www.thousandbars.com. Freeman, a retired computer consultant, decided to visit 1,000 bars in a year and record his adventures in a web log, or blog.
Since he has started his mission, Freeman has garnered attention from the local, national and international (and quite possibly intergalactic) media outlets. He has been followed around by German and American television crews, been interviewed by reporters from the NY Post, the Daily News, and many radio shows, and has appeared on Keith Olbermanns (MSNBC) Countdown .
Freeman and his wife Yum Chin, longtime friends of Democrat Publisher Emeritus Fred and Shirley Stabbert, visited them in Callicoon last weekend and added to his total.
While in Sullivan County, he visited only two bars, adding Mr. Willys (number 556) in Monticello and Matthews on Main (number 557) in Callicoon to his list and , of course, to his blog.
Freeman chatted as he sipped his Brooklyn Lager out of a red plastic cup at Matthews on Main, stopping for a much-needed cold one after viewing the Tractor Parade on that warm Sunday afternoon.
He is enjoying his moment in the spotlight, although he was able to drink unrecognized in the Callicoon bar.
I was hoping I would meet Keith Olbermann, Freeman said, adding, I always enjoyed watching him on ESPN.
He suffered another disappointment when a planned interview on CNNs American Morning show was cancelled for a piece on the European Union.
Really, opined Bar Man in his blog, where are their priorities?
Freeman was eager to clear up some rumors about Bar Mans quest. First of all, he insisted, contrary to some published reports, he does not drink a beer at each bar. His self-imposed rules are that the establishment he visits must have a separate bar and that the drink must be drunk at that bar. Furthermore, each bar counts only once, regardless of how many times he visits it thereafter. Any other considerations, he says, are more guidelines than actual rules.
As his quest continued, Freeman found that his blog evolved. From early entries, which just listed the names of bars, their number on his list, and what he drank, recent entries have expanded to include detailed descriptions of the establishment, encounters with the bartenders and photos for each bar.
Assisting him in note-taking is his wife, known on the blog as the Mysterious Chinese Woman. Freeman encouraged her to note the tractor lights and the antique COAL sign on display at Matthews on Main, and she dutifully took the photos of the exterior and interior of the establishment for inclusion on the blog.
Recently, Freeman began counting the hits on his blog.
Someone asked me how many hits [visitors] the blog was getting a day. I figured that it was 10 or 15. But since I put up the hit counter on May 20, Ive gotten well over 90,000 hits.
Proof that his blog has attracted international attention came when Freeman was offered a free trip to Australia if he would make the Vanilla Bar in Sydney his 1,000th bar.
After some negotiations, it appears that Freeman and Chin will be traveling to Australia for the December 4 event.
He has already announced that Bar #750 will be Duffs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Freeman seems rather bemused and mystified by all the attention he has gotten.
Have a thousand drinks in one bar, and you are a drunk, he has written. Have one drink in a thousand bars, and you are a story.