Friday, March 1, 2013

Then and now


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

I was in my garage the other day gathering together lawn tools while I was reading the morning newspaper from Boise. It seemed to me that winter was waning and I’d better have the lawnmower and edger ready to go. Then I remembered the winters of the past when the temperature got down to minus 30 and the toilet froze. It was the only times I recalled that I had a pickax in the bathroom so I could engage in morning functions. It was too cold to start a car and it wouldn’t have done you any good anyway because the plows would bury your driveway. If you did get out, it was only minutes before you were in a ditch.

I checked the weather forecast in the paper as I put 3-in-1 oil on the electric edger. It said sunny and mild. Not like the old days. I turned the page and a story caught my eye. It seems that Budweiser is watering down its beer and three states have already sued them for misrepresenting the alcohol content. What a blasphemy!

I recalled entering the Alpine Saloon in the fall of 1974 and noticing that of the 22 seats at the bar, there were 18 Budweiser bottles in front of the patrons. Everybody drank Bud because it was a strong beverage not like that fancy Coors crap from John Denver’s “filling-up-his-senses” Colorado. If you ordered anything other than Bud, your manhood immediately came into question. Over at the Casino, it was the same ratio and especially in the corner bar next to the front entrance where guys would wait for years to be able to sit in such an esteemed area.

This beer choice initiated many a bar fight in the mid-’70s and usually between the longhairs and the rednecks. It seemed these two factions would never get along. Yet, as the seasons went by, the two sides would find themselves on the same construction crews and eventually would become close friends.

Now, you rarely see Budweiser at the bars, but you do see old friends from that era commiserating over the economy, no snow and how it was so much better in the old days.

We probably will get more snow. I quit drinking but I like everybody and haven’t been in a fight for decades. That was then and this is now.

Nice talking to you.

 




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