Magazine

From the June 2011 magazine.

Stories My Father Told Me

After a lifetime of drinking, a man looks back at the lessons his father tried to teach him about alcoholism

"My dad's idea of a good time on a Saturday night was to put us in the car, stop at a drive-in restaurant, buy milkshakes for himself and mom, and me and my sister. "

When I was a kid growing up we lived in a small postcard of a town in the Cascade Mountains. The town had a population of less than 1,000 souls. My parents were very religious and there was no family history of alcohol use, much less abuse. As a family, we went to church or bible study three times a week. In the summer we traveled around to tent revival meetings while other kids played little league baseball or other things the normal kids got to do.

There was very little to do for family entertainment in such a town. My dad's idea of a good time on a Saturday night was to put us in the car, stop at a drive-in restaurant, buy milkshakes for himself and mom, and me and my sister. Then he would drive to the main drag and park the car in front of one of the three taverns in town. He usually wanted to park in front of Shorty's Town Tavern because it had the most action. I remember being as young as seven which made my sister eleven on these "field trips." She and I would sit in the back seat of the Packard sipping our milkshakes while we all watched the people going in and out of Shorty's and listening to Dad's running play-by-play commentary.

-- David C.

Costa Mesa, California

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