2.27.2003

During Prohibition (1920-1933), when my mother was about 8 or 9 (1930 or 31), one day she and my grandmother went uptown to visit friends.

Grandpa was making home-brewed beer back then. Grandma wasn't thrilled about the idea, since it was illegal at the time, but she put up with it...He was even known to sell a bottle now and then to someone. Grandma herself, after a hard day's work, would drink a bottle against the heat. However, that day, Grandpa crossed a line...

Walking up the road to the house, we came upon an unbelievable scene: Men, women, sitting around, having a good time...drinking Grandpa's beer! It was a regular outdoor honkytonk. Well, if you only knew my Grandma, you could imagine what happened next: She was not amused. People knew my Grandma well enough that just her arrival meant they had better clear off. As they did, she proceeded to grab the remaining bottles of beer within her reach and smash them against the side of the shed.*

[NOTE: My Mom told me this story a few other times in my life when circumstances brought it up. On evening last June, she brought it up again when talking about her sister, my Aunt Pat. How Aunt Pat is scared about her health, and very lonely. She talks about coming up here to be near Mom. We hope she does. Mom said Aunt Pat likes her bottle or two of beer every day...and it went from there...]

* This scene evokes a connection in my mind to the story of Jesus clearing the moneylenders from the temple, for some reason!