Wild Turkey at the Tiki Bar

Converstaions at the Tiki Bar
Converstaions at the Tiki Bar

Ah, the good things in life. A friend of mine gave a me a few bottles of liquor from about 35 years ago (he no longer drinks the hard stuff). So tonight I am drinking Wild Turkey from 1974, mixedith Coke from 2009. Bourbon and coke is great to begin with; when you ad the vintage aspect it becomes more of a ritual to drink, a sort of retro-drinker’s religious rite.
This stuff is pretty strong too, and is knocking me on my ass. Woo hoo! I am taking a long weekend from work, so I figured I’d start tonight. Even though I have to go in for a few hours tomorrow, what the hell…maybe I’ll bring some of it into the office with me!

When I look at this 35 year old bottle of hooch, it reminds me of that era…granted, I was only six in 1974, but i remember the times well. Disco was blossoming. The Veit Nam war was finally coming to an end, and friends of my father were coming home. There were still real hippies. Everything back then looked sort of a dull bright, kind of washed out. Not just the memories, the world just seemed a less colorful place, in spite of tie dies and bright orange VW bugs. There were Cocktail Lounges everywhere. Very few ‘bars’. 30 year old neon lights, rusty but still working, glowed day and night. Trees seemed taller. Probably because I was shorter. Radios sounded tinny and staticky. All the cars were huge and no one drove anything from Japan unless they were a weirdo. We went to stores like “Mr. Big”, “Pantry Pride”, “Grants”, and “Woolworths”. You could get a hamburger in Woolworths, and it was better than Burger Chef, Gino’s, Burger King or McDonald’s.
At that point in my life, we lived two blocks from the bay in West Atlantic City. I remember being around water a lot. Boats, docks, beaches, sand dunes, all normal stuff. When I think of the early 70’s, what i remember most has to do with salt water.
Funny, how a drink of bourbon can take you back to your childhood.
I miss those days. I can never live them again. Our old house is gone, the dock where we kept our boat is gone. The boat…long gone. All the people i knew then have passed away. And even though I have some mommentos… photos, things that belonged to may parents, toys I had from when I was that age…I know that time of my life will only live on in my memories, and mine alone, for at least as long as I still have my memory.
Now where did I put that bourbon and coke??