What The Port of Missing Men means to others:


Welcome to Taber's Port of Missing Men

What The Port o' Missing Men means to me:
"The Port of Missing Men" has a romantic sound to it, so a lot of people have used it for a lot of things:
The term is often used as a euphemism for death in poetry and literature.
The Port of Missing Men is a title that several harbor towns have taken upon themselves. San Francisco, Halifax and Anchorage, for example.
1907  -- Meredith Nicholson published the novel The Port of Missing Men.  Much of the action is set on the hero's 2,000 acre estate in Virginia called "The Port of Missing Men." The explanation as to why it was called that seems rather thin. It's in Chapter XII -- check it out.
1908 -- Inspired by the novel, Henry B. Anderson named a hunting loge in Westchester NY, "The Port of Missing Men." *
1914 -- Francis Powers directed a silent film based on Nicholson's novel.
1943 Percival Christopher Wren , probably best known for Beau Geste, publishes Port of Missing Men -- Strange Tales of the Foreign Legion.

"...a book containing the strange stories of ten men of the Legion." If you compare the stories to those coming out or Iraq today, you can see that history indeed repeats.
1950 -- R.G. Springsteen directed a movie "The Port of Missing Men"
1952 -- René Prud Hommeaux published The Port of Missing Men,

a Hardy Boys-like adventure story that featured three spunky teens and a dog foiling an international plot on a property strikingly similar to Anderson's hunting lodge.
1952 -- Cavalcade of America (radio show) presented "A Port of Missing Men" starring Loretta Young.
1989 -- Mary-Ann Tirone Smith published The Port of Missing Men.

"An Olympic swimmer travels the world with her mother, looking for love and perfection."
2001 -- Alain Prevost published The Port of Missing Men (A Novel) (follow this link to a review.)


Taber's Port o' Missing Men in the early to mid 1950's. Revere Beach, the first public beach in the US, is about 50 yards in front of the gentleman leaning against the fence. The entrance to the bar was at the far left, just beyond the edge of the frame.

This is not a web log. The events in the stories below are not true. The opinions are not mine. Characters and dialog are made up. These are writing exercises, nothing more. The text is in flux and the stories may change. The only thing I claim whole-heartedly is the
Copyright Patrick Taber, All rights reserved.



    The Port o' Missing Men
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    Audio Oddities  

Only the Stupid Die Poor (2005)

My Dad, "Old Al" around 1932 when he was a high school football hero in Revere, Massachusetts. He went on to play college ball for LaSalle under his real name, Elmer Taber, and pro ball under the pseudonym Al Brady. After a while, people started calling him "Good Old Al" then eventually "Old Al."

Taber's Port o' Missing Men was the name of my father's ill-fated bar on Revere Beach in Massachusetts. The tag line printed on his matchbooks and cocktail napkins was, "If You Drive Your Man to Drink, Drive Him Here."

"The joint," as Old Al (my Dad) called it was of little note nor long remembered, but in the late 1950's it provided myself and my brother a cool, shady spot to hide from the beach sun; a place where we could get endless amounts of free ginger ale; an inexhaustible source of maraschino cherries. It had honest-to-gosh sawdust on the floor.

In my memory the place is an amalgam of flickering neon signs; cool, moist, darkness; 50's music blaring out of cheap speakers and a distinctive smell which I later found out was the smell of beer.

To this very day, as I lift a glass of beer to my face for that very first sip, for just a moment I'm transported back through the years to the cool darkness of Taber's Port of Missing Men.

*Frankly, to me, that doesn't make sense for a hunting lodge. It would have made more sense if he named his lodge something else and called the veranda "The Porch of Missing Men."

Copyright (c) 2004 - 2007 Patrick Taber, All rights reserved.
No part of this work may be published or reproduced by any means without permission from the author.