Hot Day, Cool Beer

Posted: June 26, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My “first”, we have all had our “first”. Just name it and hopefully you have had it. Nothing better than getting our “first” done and over with, no matter what or who it was. Which “first” immediately came to your mind when you first read this? Now just because something was your “first” doesn’t mean it was a pleasant experience. I remember my first beer with my old man.

On a very hot July afternoon, I was cutting weeds on my grandmother’s farm with my father. I came upon a very thick elm tree sprout along the fence line that the hand scythe wouldn’t cleanly cut, so I began to use a small hand saw. On my first stroke, the saw bounced  across the limb and landed squarely on my finger at the base of my thumb nail. It cut deeply into the flesh and nail.  The pain on my thumb and the sight of white bone made me a little sick and woozy. I asked for a drink of water, which we had just ran out of, so my father gave me the last cold can of beer in our cooler.

On that hot, humid day, I remember the coolness of the can and the sound of the crunch of making the two triangular holes in its top with the beer can opener. (Yes, before “pop-top” cans) I took a long, long cool swig of the Hamms and immediately got light-headed, sicker at my stomach and threw up.  That was my first beer with my father at the age of 12.

Not as good of an experience that you would dream, of a young man’s first sharing of a beer with the old man, but I do remember it distinctly and perhaps a little fondly. As I stood there, bent over, spewing and ridding my stomach of my over accumulation of the contents of that day’s water jug and its first introduction of beer on a hot day, my old man says “well it is too hot to waste it that way, if you aren’t going to finish that beer, I will sure as hell finish it for ya”. He threw me another rag to wrap around my thumb and we left for town to get the stitches put in.

And yes, after he evidently smelled my breath, the doctor asked , “have you been drinking?”.  I belched. The Doc looked at the sheepish grin on my old man’s face and only smiled and shook his head.



  1. Ret MP says:

    How wonderful that it could be introduced by a father; wondering if that approach would lead to right of passage, reverence of the act of partaking in a mature manner rather than slammed down for first rights to drunkenness. Well told story- I like how the doc laughs and doesn’t chide your dad for exposing you to a gateway drug!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ya, drinking was a pretty much everyday thing in our house, I wasn’t as fascinated by it as most of the teenaged kids and I probably drank less or what you would call more sensible than most. The Doc knew my family pretty well.


  2. DSS—I enjoyed that story! Your pop sounds like a character…you are perhaps a chip off the ol’ block? My “first” that immediately came to mind was the first ding in my new car. Believe it or not, the event was a relief and I felt a huge freedom in the experience! Not everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for me…XO DWD

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great memory, OC, and very well written!
    Love how it all ended! The doc probably thought you’d suffered enough…so no reason to do anything except smile! 🙂
    Yes, so many firsts…some were great, some good, some bad, and some ugly! 😀
    Do you have a scar?!
    I remember my first stictches…I was 8 years old…it involved a pogo stick and a cement sidewalk. I have a scar.
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • This was the early 60’s, now a days it probably would be skewed around as child abuse but it was a less reactive time.
      I lost the nail of course and it grew back a lot thicker but as it grew the thick ridge moved out to the end of the finger, it was always thicker at the base . In 69, I contracted nail fungus and when my nails grew back, my thumb nail grew back as good as new. Now I just have a non-impressive white mark at the fleshy part below the nail. But I would love to compare scars with you someday, I got others that made up for its loss. 🙂 OC

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t even remember my first beer– but now, my first Absinthe, well…. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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