I don’t remember the brand of beer my father drank. Was it Pabst Blue Ribbon? Maybe. Maybe it’s not important, but right now it seems to be. My Dad drank beer every single day for most of his adult life. Except during Lent when, year after year, he gave up beer for the weeks before Easter. During that time, he drank beer only on Sunday. He tried hard to drink enough of it on that day to make up for his six days of abstinence.
I can remember the whistling jingle for Black Label beer, though it hasn’t been around for a long time. Was that my father’s beer of choice? I don’t believe so; it was probably just a catchy tune, back when beer and cigarettes were boldly promoted on television and radio.
What else have I forgotten? I can’t remember the name of my fifth grade teacher, though I think I can list the rest of my grade school teachers. Mrs. Cary taught kindergarten through second grade at Clover School, the one-room schoolhouse where I attended kindergarten. Mrs. Daly was my first grade teacher at Bishop Kelley School. Sister Aquinas Marie, second grade; Mrs. Snoddy, third; Sister Marietta, fourth; Sister Mary Aloysius, sixth. I guess I’m not sure of the seventh grade teacher, either. Sister Mary Michael taught eighth grade.
Mrs. Daly spanked me in front of the class, for wetting my pants. Sister Aquinas taught cursive handwriting. On the day that I broke my foot, Mrs. Snoddy drove me home from school, after she was finished grading papers. Sister Marietta was beautiful, kind, and generous with praise. I loved her! Sister Aloysius seemed cruel. Sister Michael banned pullover sweaters. My best friend stayed after school with me one day to join in questioning the rule. I’ve never forgotten how she stumbled through her explanation of girls developing breasts, and sexual arousal.
It’s possible, I guess, that the other teachers simply weren’t as memorable. More likely, it’s one more thing that – like my father’s choice of beer – just escapes me.