Posted by Joe Windsor on September 01, 2006 at 15:22:45 from 22.214.171.124 user Joe.
In Reply to: Re: American Beer (was 'Colonials') posted by andyb on September 01, 2006 at 14:37:41:
Well, when I was a young lad in a small village in Hertfordshire, one day my Dad took me to the Pub he frequented. I was 15 (so too young to drink beer legally). There were about 4,000 inhabitants - and 10 pubs. And the Foreman at our factory was also the Landlord of one of them called The Jolly Gardeners. (Now a lovely private house) His son, George, was my mate. Anyway -
It was a tiny pub but had two bars - the public for those in overalls and wearing boots - and the saloon for the posh people. So there I am in a place I'd never been before. Strict instructions. Sit down. Shut up. Listen to your elders. Drink a half of mild. So I did. And learned that Mild Beer was gnat's pee. But I was in the company of my elders and betters - and did I ever learn a lot. Dad and I went there every evening until I left home for Cambridge Uni and the RAF. And all that. There's also the pub in St.Albans - later - but that's for another day.
Later on I worked for American companies in all sorts of important roles. And well remember the kindness with which I was welcomed. But the first time I went there I was asked if I wanted a beer. I looked at the pale, frothy stuff others were drinking and asked for a pint of bitter. Blank. So I got a glass (not even a proper pint) of stuff. Never drank it again. BUT - I was saved. Next time I went, I was invited to spend the weekend in a Cabin (Whoa - magic!!) by a lake. But we had to leave N.Y. and he had his car and I had my hire car.
Over the Tarrytown bridge. Here. There. Arrive. It was pitch dark and what the Hell did I know driving an American tank with squashy suspension and sloppy steering (I used to race cars here, Club style) Warm welcome from his wife who opened the fridge and gave us both already poured glasses of an American Martini. With olive. So cold frost formed on the glass when it came out. Formula: Gin 99% Olive 1% Martini - well -. So 'glad' was I that I accepted late night dare to swim across the lake (never seen by me in daylight) and back. Last one back drinks two more Martini's. I made sure I was last.
I've travelled a lot at the expense of my employers, mostly. The many people I've met are all Colonials and without exception I have been treated so kindly. They truly deserve their inheritance. We were a great civilising influence at one time - so who lost the plot for us? (Answers on a dog-eared postcard - or don't bother - it's too depressing) But I've enjoyed so much open-hearted kindness around the world - thanks to all of you. Joe
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