If you know anything about me, it’s probably that I love taxidermy, and I love discovering surprisingly curious places. This summer I was able to take in some of the local color in Hayward while at my fiance’s grandparent’s cabin. Perhaps my favorite stop – shockingly not the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, with its 4.5 story fiberglass and steal muskelunge (affectionately known as a muskie, one of the ugliest fish I’ve ever seen), but a humble dive bar nearby.
The Moccasin Bar may have the standards – a pool table, flat screens, and extremely cheap pitchers, but what makes this bar special is its “nature museum.” Its walls are completely covered in taxidermy dioramas, and many of the cases are anthropomorphic scenes. Poker playing raccoons and rabbits, the backwater country life of chipmunks, a courtroom scene with a fox judge, and a boxing match between two raccoons – all haphazardly flung around the bar, right next to Big Buck Hunter and an electronic poker game.
I asked the young bartender about the dioramas – who made them? Why were they here? He only shrugged dismissively. “They were here before I was born.”