Updated: Apr 15, 2022
Volume 4 of my literary series, SEVEN DAYS IN CARRINGTON, is set in the 1930s. It’s a love story about weathering the Great Depression and war in Germany. It’s also the tale of remarkable deeds of mercy, kindness, and ordinary living.
One of the heroines is “Babe,” a trailblazing career woman, not by design but of tragic necessity. At the end of a long day running the local grocery store, she unties her sensible shoes and enjoys a cold beer.
As I recall, my paternal grandmother poured her beer from a can into a pilsner glass for that perfect ‘head’ and clarity. I guess it’s in my genes because I enjoy a daily glass of this adult ritual – the third most popular beverage in the nation! Beyond the waning satisfaction of watching a frothy header take over a glass, beer also has organic ‘medicinal’ properties, to name a few:
1. Beer has more protein and B vitamins than wine. 2. Hops help create flavinoids, powerful, essential antioxidants. 3. Beer is an excellent source of metabolic processing minerals.
My family will attest to my favorite label which I prefer to drink from a green can. They sneer at this uncouth habit, lobbing their disdain for my action “as becoming as a Rube or Red Neck.” Nevertheless, I continue to pop the aluminum top, for their ridicule does not stick. 82 years ago canned beer went on sale in America. The discovery made transportation and shelf-stocking in grocery stores more affordable and practical. But the real payoff was to consumers. It guaranteed purity and better taste because the product was not damaged nor oxidized by light.
By golly, how I marvel that the devil in the details props up my Pollyanna plots — sparked by childhood memories that become true fodder for filling up the page:
“She shelled a mess of peas and heated up the leftovers…filled out the daily ledger, and with loneliness her only companion, she set aside the handful of silver dollars from today’s drawer…and then she went to the icebox in search of an ice cold can of Schlitz.”
I want to be like Babe, and savor that last sip –fleshing out another simple gesture in a tribute to the golden times and endearing characters of long ago. BTW, my grandmother lived well into her ’90s.