Resting in journalism professor Don Dickson’s backyard is the deck from the Lunar Rogue.
The story of how it got there is simple. In 2009, a parking lot was going to be put in where the Rogue’s patio used to be and Dickson stepped in to take it. But while on the surface the story seems simple, the deck and the journalist have a past together.
“[The Lunar Rogue is] still my favourite place,” Dickson said.
When the former foreign correspondent came to Fredericton in ’88, his first meting with his new assignment editor was at the Lunar Rogue.
Back then it was under a different name, but it was around that time permits changed to allow for outdoor patios.
The Rogue’s patio was put in next door, where a parking complex now sits. In the summers, Dickson would try to get down to the Rogue when he could on nice days and try to get a spot on the patio.
“I visited the Rogue way back then and have been a regular customer ever since,” Dickson said. “It was always really busy.”
He said he still likes to go there after work, stand at the bar and let the blood circulate.
What attracted the journalist to the Rogue originally was the crowd and the bands the restaurant used to bring in.
He says, as a journalist, it’s interesting to see people at the Rogue off the clock: ex-students, government workers and Premiers.
When the owners had to give up the patio, Dickson felt he should step in. He liked the deck.
“It was a lot of wood they’re going to throw away,” Dickson said.
At the time, Dickson had large cement block patio in his back yard. He said frost had made it uneven and weeds were always seeping through.
“I thought, ‘I could just lay that deck right over top of these things,’” he said. “So, they just gave it to me.”
Dickson said his wife thought it was a good idea, or at least she didn’t complain about it, so he hired a truck and the deck was his.
He said the deck acts as a conversation starter once people see a little historical plaque Dickson has installed on it.
“These planks served as Fredericton’s First Pub Patio at the Lunar Rogue,” the plaque reads. “Stepped on, spit on, and spilled on since 1989. Now retired to New Maryland where the same thing will happen but the crowd will be smaller. July 2009.”
“I haven’t seen anyone spit on it,” said Dickson. “But I don’t watch people that closely.”