I think most people today drink some sort of "light" beer, if they do drink beer that is. What's so funny about that is, when we were growing up, people used to poke fun of three-two beer!
That is to say, beer with an alcoholic content of 3.2 %. But with the stiffer DUI penalties and all, it has become quite popular. And you know as well as I do, that you can still get pretty hammered on "light" beer.....
Flash back to 1968. The G-Man was a senior in high school. Now this is a true fact....I never once skipped any classes in school. Not Once!..That is until my last Thursday as a high school student.
Even back then, G-man was the great party planner. Our class wanted to go out with a bang, so we decided to have a huge post graduation bash after commencment. We needed a location, and we needed "Party Favors"! This is where my older age finally paid off. You see, I had turned 18 in December of 67, and this was June of 68. You had to be 21 in Michigan, to drink and buy booze of any kind. But in Ohio, you could buy 3.2 beer when you were 18 years old!
So on that Wednesday of graduation week, I hit up all of my classmates for their allowance and lunch money. On Thursday, G was gonna take a little "Road Trip"!!!
I had it all planned out perfectly, I had a 3rd hr study hall, Lunch, I had 5th hr Gym class, but I was also the Varsity wrestling Mgr and if I did all my work, I could dick around all that I wanted to without reporting to anyone. So the way that I figured it, we had about 3hrs and 20 minutes to drive from Flint to Toledo, buy some beer, and drive back before 6th hr...NO PROBLEM!
I picked my partner in crime perfectly...My buddy Jim Sarter. We were good friends, but he also had a 1964 Buick Skylark Convertable, with a 400 Cubic Inch V-8 engine..True it only got about 12 miles to the gallon, but gas was only 21.9 cents a gallon, so big deal!
As soon as the bell rang that ended 2nd hr, we were off.....5 minute drive to the E-Way, 23 south that is, and we was cruisin at about 95 mph!! I had family in Toledo, so I knew my way around pretty well. BOOM! 58 minutes later I was showing my 18 yr old ID to Edna, at Edna's Corner store. Four Cases of Buckeye Beer at 4 bucks a case later, we was headed back to school at a cruisin speed of about 97 MPH. We pulled into the school parking lot just as the 6th hr bell was ringing....
So Fridays Commencment Ceremony went off without a hitch. As was every Saturday night in 1968, we all made up some lame excuse to our parents to get out of the house for a little while.
We were supposed to "meet" at a local pizzeria, but instead of going in to eat pizza, we all hung out in our cars until everyone involved showed up..OMG!! In just 24 short hours, word of mouth spread like wildfire, and about 30 cars full of kids showed up and wanted to party with the G-Man..Well that parking lot certainly was not the spot, just then I got a brain-storm!
I gathered all the drivers together and said' follow me'...One by one we all pulled slowly out of the Pizzeria Parking lot and in a single file procession, we trekked about 5 miles across town to a field that we used to rabbit hunt in. I knew of a tiny dirt one lane that went about 1/4 mile off the main drag of Miller Rd..Man was it bumpy! But because of that fact, we knew that no cops would be back there. I had my bud stop his car, I jumped out and started to direct traffic. In about 10 minutes we had all 30 cars in a perfect circle with all headlights pointed toward the center. I had all the drivers roll their windows down and turn the radios on the same AM station, WTAC 600, The Big Six!! So here we were.... in the middle of a secluded field, a perfect June night, All the radio's blaring out shit like "Groovin" by the Rascals, "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" By the Tempts, "Dancin In The Street" by Martha Reeve and the Vandellas, on and on and on.....100 or so kids, 96 bottles of Ice Cold Buckeye 3.2 beer.... No school on Monday ever again for some..... And a very uncertain future!! It was just like a scene from American Graffitti!!
Only this was no movie, it really happened. Some of those kids are still my friends, some of those kids got killed in Nam, some got married, some got divorced, some have died of cancer, some are Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, and some are even retired now.........
But it was a night to remember. One last glorious going away party to ourselves, before the "Reality of Life" kicked in.
That field is no longer there. It's all built up with buildings, concrete, strip malls, and restaurants. But I think of it often, and I go to that place at least once a week, not to reminisce, but to drink coffee. You see, that field is where Border's is now....Still, my favorite spot!!
Thanks for taking this long ass trip down Memory Lane again...... Peace... Galen