As It Was-Pranksters Disrupt Brookings Cocktail Hour
One night shortly after the end of the Second World War, the infamous “Pine Cone Tavern Incident” startled bar patrons in Brookings, Ore.
Rip and Howard Gardner staged the prank. The Gardner brothers were known in their hometown for a series of shenanigans, each designed to outrage and entertain.
During cocktail hour at the tavern, the Gardners arrived with a young black bear constrained by a rope. They sat the obviously stressed bear between them at a table, each holding tightly to his respective end of the tether.
When Rip raised three fingers and shouted an order for three beers, some outraged patrons fled for the doors, while others remained to see how the scenario would play out. After considerable dithering, the barkeep delivered two beers and retreated to a place of safety.
The bear became increasingly agitated and let out a roar and clamped its jaws around Howard’s lower leg.
Amid the bear’s growling and Howard’s cussing, spectators fired a barrage of conflicting and confusing advice until two lumberjacks and four inebriates stepped forward, subduing the bear and ending the latest Gardner brothers’ shocker.
Source: Adams, Michael W. “Chetco - The Story of the River and Its People.” Chetco Valley Historical Society, 2011, p. 100.