so I told a fib, What the heck I’m human

Yeah I said I don't drink, Well for effect I really haven't for the last 35 years.  But as a younger guy I tried to keep up with my friends.  I never sat down by myself and opened up a beer and watched a game.  Hell I never sat down by myself and watched a game for that matter.  But I used to go with my friends and tip a few at time a lot.  But I had to have company to do it.  When I was a teenager growing up my senior year in North Redondo Beach I used to pass a place on Pacific Coast Highway in Hermosa Beach, Called The Picture House.  It was in an old brick building with swinging bar doors, two planks were nailed across the door with closed and keep out painted on them.  Of course the planks were sawed to swing with the doors.  I could not wait to get in there.  After my stint in the Marine Corps and finally achieving my 21st birthday,  I told my friend Steve – we gotta go there.  We waltzed in the door and immediately got carded.  The room had a bar at least 40 feet long with bar stools the entire length.  A narrow aisle separated a line of 2×4 plywood tables nailed to the opposite wall.  the room continued another 20 feet past the bar.  I do not know where they got the 4 chairs that sat at each table but I do not believe a single one of them matched.  The place had a twenty foot ceiling.  It was dark in there but every square inch of the walls and ceiling were decorated with junk people had hauled in to the joint.  There were boat oars, street signs, drawings, paintings and photographs of all kinds  And thousands and thousands of business cards stuck to the walls.  But most amazing there was at one end of the room, suspended from the ceiling in each corner, a large paper mache heads of Laural and Hardy.  At the center of the room, hanging from the ceiling, were two more large objects and at the other end of the room two more, and these housed the speakers to a large reel to reel three track tape deck.  I later was talking about the establishment with my oldest sister's soon to be x-husband and he told me his father had helped build the speaker system.  Each speaker held 16 automobile speakers.  Aw folks the sound was amazing and they never played below ear busting level.  The owner had recorded his own tapes interspersed with fire engines, trains and jets.  It sounded like they came right through the place.  I spent many happy hours in the place with my friends.  On the weekends in the evenings he would play in sucession the theme songs for the various branches of the service.  All current and xmarines would stand and grab a picture of beer and lustly sing the Marine Corps hymn to the jeers of the other services.  And in turn the other branches took their shots.  It was a great time had by all.  Then Mario Lanza would sing "Drink, Drink, Lift your mugs High!"  And everybody grabbed a picture and sang along and tried to down their picture.  The owner knew how to promote beer sales.  More than once I left my car parked on a side street and wandered down to a small motel to spend the night rather than try to drive the 25 miles home.  I never liked hard liquor and seldom tried it, really I didn't like the taste of beer but could get carried away with a good time.  My friend Steve married about 9 years before I did, and I spent a lot of time with his family, I was Uncle Bob to his little girls.  The boys came along about the time they moved farther away so I didn't get as close to them.  But I rambled away from the core of the story-  Steve moved into a house with a garage, that was the down fall.  In the garage we found a bottle capper.  Well eventually we invested in a ten gallon crock, some hops and sugar and what ever else we needed and tried our hand at home brewing.  While the crop was fermenting we scrounged up a whole mess of quart brown beer bottles.  Finally we siphoned the brew into the bottles and capped them and waited the approate amount of time.  When we uncapped one of them- God was the stuff pure crap, it was horrible!  We stuck them on a bottom shelf and forgot about them.  We tried several more attempts and had moderate sucess and finally abandoned the effort.  A good ten years later he was moving about twenty miles away on a saturday and I had to work, but a friend who would marry his wife's sister helped him move.  After I got off work I showed up as they were cleaning out the garage.  One of the last things we discovered was the box of bottles.  "Hey whats this?" Don asked.  Well we told him of our efforts and failures.  Heck lets try one.  We dusted off a bottle and opened it. As we passed it around we decided it had improved considerably.  Finishing of the quart we climbed into the truck, Steve and Don in the cab and Stevess wifess younger sister and I in the back of the stake bed.  As we hit the freeway for the 15 mile strecth I popped the top of another quart.  When we reached our destination I climbed out of the back of the truck and tried to make a comment and found my nose, mouth and jaws were numb.  I could not speak, you could have pulled my teeth without pain if you could have pried my jaws open.   Everone was concerned and carefully poured out the remaning 18 bottles of brew.  With all my friends now married and no one one to hit the joints with I in effect stopped drinking and never missed it.  I once won a case of beer in a raffel after I was married and it sat around for a couple of years until I gave it away.  But I did have some fun at one time.  My drinking days were through by 27.  The last beer I had was 6 1/2 years ago and only to be polite and half finished.  I figure why do something you do not enjoy.  Don't get me wrong I'm not a prude got nothing against someone else as long as no one gets hurt.  Yeah I used to hit the topless bars as a young guy with the guys, that's how I got my anatomy lessons, got to have some kind of excuse!  Well running out of steam so so long     


6 Responses to “so I told a fib, What the heck I’m human”

  1. Raven Says:

    Too bad you gave up on the booze, you might have invented a new brand of turpentine, degreaser or embalming fluid, for that matter! I’m guessing the Picture House is no longer around but it sure sounded like fun. I got my “not really a drinker” genes from you ’cause I too only do it socially. I stopped grabbing wine coolers because I just got made fun of so now I just hold a bottle of whatever and pretend it’s the greatest thing ever!

  2. ramblingbob Says:

    Really the picture house is still there Mom and I saw it a while back. Come down sometime and we will check it out together

  3. Shelly Says:

    Uncle Bob I remember all those brewing experiments! I also remember by first pair of cowboy boots, given to me by you when I was about four or five years old and I remember you complaining about losing your hearing everytime I kissed you goodbye, hope I didn’t cause them too much damage! I still have the tourquoise cross that you gave me, it is missing one little stone but I am hoping to get it fixed some day so I can give it to my Katie. Love you!

  4. Shelly Says:

    Hi Kid , my hearing was ruined by Alcoa after 39 1/2 years in their plant, not kisses from little girls. So sorrry about your sister. I will write about my relationship with your family sometime. I orriganly started this to show my daughter where I came from and have been and the people I have known and met on the way. Your family and aunts and Uncles were a big part of my past. Thanks for the comment. ramblingbob

  5. ramblingbob Says:

    Shelly I’m still learing my way around this site. I sent my reply to my self under so I told a fib

  6. barstool Says:


    Good dezining Tip Thanks…

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