Sunday, May 13, 2012

Twas the Night Before Basic. . .

. . .and in a Kenmore Square bar,
I drank way too much
And Frank drove my car.

This long-haired drunk smoking a cigarette is me, just forty years and a few months ago.  I've been so focused on getting an extension to stay in the Army, I forgot that Feb 1 was the 40th anniversary of my initial enlistment.

On that auspicious evening, my best friend Frank Capuano, my sister Jean and others I cannot remember took me to a basement bar in Kenmore Square, Boston, for pitchers of beer before I left for basic.  In Boston in 1972, 3.2% beer was legal for 18 year olds.  

So we drove to Boston and I drank way too much--something that has always been easy for me.  I can get drunk on three beers.  I got really drunk.  Enough that I fell off my chair onto the sawdust-covered floor.  One of the bouncers decided I had enough and carried me up the stairs over his shoulder.  The bouncers wore vertical-stripe red and white shirts.  Looking at the shirt and bouncing caused me to throw up on the bouncer.  He tossed me into the alley.  

I was up at 6am to go to Logan Airport for the flight to basic.  Not a great beginning.  But it turned out OK.

By the way, we tried to get in the Ratskellar across the street.  Aerosmith--a local bar band at the time, was playing at the Rat.  But they wouldn't let us in.  So we settled for K-K-Katy's.

My Dad, Estee Lauder and Dietrich Bohoeffer

In recent months I have immersed myself in my past in a way I have never done before. For a couple of months I have been writing about my l...