Americana: Staggering Tab

Henry Matson, 62, recalls the night he strolled into a bar called the Great Alaskan Bush Co. with a $12,579.64 paycheck in his pocket. At least he remembers the beginning of the night. Matson, who had been fishing for salmon in Alaska's Bristol Bay, was looking for a good time in the rowdy Anchorage saloon. And he got exactly what he wanted, according to Owner Edna Cox, who agreed to cash Matson's check. He spent the night, she said, "buying all the patrons in the club drinks, paying numerous girls for table dances, handing out $100 bills to girls." When Matson...

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