Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We get educated, Beer spot again

So as I told in the earlier story we got to buying our beer from the drive-up window at the Beer Spot. Wasn't long and we had progressed to going on inside and making ourselves comfortable. Sort of a Cheers type of place, typically a Norm or two hanging around, if you recall the first couple years of the show Gramps and Coach bore a lot of similarity.

Most of us kids could have passed for Woody without much trouble. Marylin was a odd one, she always sat at the bar, maybe thirty, thirty five, always alone, made small talk with some of the truckers, seemed to play with her swizzle stick more then she drank. Had the country song, The Queen of the Silver Dollar, been made into a video she could have starred in it. She had little interest in us kids, we had no more then a passing interest in her, we coexisted in this manner for months, perhaps even years.

I don't recall who asked Gramps about her but the word spread like wild fire, Gramps reply to what she did for living? "Well hell boys I thought you knew, she's a hooker". And here all the time we had thought she was a school teacher or a file clerk.

We were just flabbergasted, wasn't like any of us ever tried her out, but we sure never looked at her the same again. No wonder she was always schmoozing with those truck drivers.

Gramps had connections in the force, somewhere. One night we had the place all warmed up, didn't take much, like I said earlier it was small, twenty was a crowd. In the midst of all the noise and jostling the phone rings, Gramps picks it up and is shushing us, he sits it down and yells out, "is everyone here over 19" we all responded to the positive, Gramps scans the bar and then tells us "you had better be cause the cops are coming". In tens seconds no more then three guys are left in the building, the rest of us are gone like smoke. Terry, Kenny and I had rode up with Festus who was of legal age and still in the bar. There were two doors out of the place, one to the south, one to the north. Terry and I had ran out the north door and jumped into the car to wait it out. We had no more then got set down when the black and white pulled up beside us and the cops ran into the south door, Kenny had dallied behind us to polish off the little pony pitcher we were working on, we figured he was toast, then we see his head pop around the corner of the building, he had slipped out the north door and was peaking around the corner while the cops entered the building. Once the cops hit the inside he ran over to our car which was parked right by the south door and jumped in.

We must of looked like choir boys when the cops came out of the Beer Spot and checked us out."No officer we have not been drinking, no officer we just came to see a movie with a friend and yes he is of legal age and we are just sitting here waiting for him". "yes officer, we will be good".

I don't think for a minute those cops were that dumb, or that we were that smart, it was just a simpler time and they cut us some slack, or maybe they were just taking it easy on Gramps. Chances are pretty good they were ordered to pull the raid and they were the ones called Gramps to tip him off. Like I said, Gramps had connections in the force, somewhere.

I have often puzzled about Gramps, about what his motive was in selling us beer. I don't think it was greed, he wasn't on commission, he seemed to genuinely like us. It sure wasn't cause his boss made him, or even wanted him to. All the older people liked him, wasn't like he was some old fool had to bribe kids so he could have friends.

We found out when his birthday was and one Saturday nite we all pitched in and bought him a nice cake with candles, frosting and his name on it. Those were real tears ran down his cheeks, you don't fake that. One night Mikes girlfriend who was all of 14 was hesitant to tell Gramps she was old enough to buy, Gramps looked at her softly and said, It's Ok honey, just tell me your 19". Like I said, I just can't figure him.

It all came to a end one Sunday nite, for some reason a couple of us tagged along with Loony Boone. Didn't normally hang with him, none of us were angels but trouble followed Loony around, big time. We got a table and a pitcher. Looney was sitting against some cases of warm canned beer and starts slipping them out when the barmaid wasn't looking and pouring them into our pitcher, we didn't think it was good idea, drinking warm stolen beer, but Loony thought it was and just kept doing it. It was a hard choice, drink warm stolen beer or rat out your buddy.

In hindsight we should have just got up and left. Next week a friend told me the barmaid figured out what was going on after we left and she was pretty sore, never went into the place again. Don't like warm beer to this day.

I think about the whole deal more then you would think I would.

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