The Best Reason to Drink with Old Guys

I love my local for too many reasons.  Not the least among them is the fact that the regulars are a hodgepodge of humanity.  All ages, races, and orientations are welcome under the big booze filled tent that is my local bar.

Last night I spent the better part of an hour bending elbows with a late 70something gentleman who I’ve know for a long time.  For no good reason, I never knew that Eddie was a veteran.  I’ve had more conversations with this gent than I can remember but we’ve never talked about his service or his time in the Korean Theatre.

I don’t know how the topic came up, but I just listened as Eddie told me the lighthearted and funnier parts of war.  It was loud and profane and had me in tears with laughter.  Suddenly Eddie’s face took a somber pale and he said:

You know, Refugee, that’s the reason I hate that mutherfucker Dick Cheney and his cronies.  It’s only the assholes who’ve never seen war that are eager to go back to it.

I was dumbstruck with the simplicity of his statement.  I just thanked him for his service… and paid his tab.


4 Responses to The Best Reason to Drink with Old Guys

  1. Jay Dell says:


    I’ve enjoyed your writing for quite a while.

    As a veteran (and military retiree…) who rarely conforms with the Dem hating, “stuck in the cold war” attitude of many of my military peer group, it’s a breath of fresh air to read something like this.

    Jay, thank you first and foremost for your service.

    I was truly stunned by the simple elegance of that statement.

  2. Gofahne says:

    You make me want to talk to more strangers and pay more tabs. Love this!

    I am a huge fan of talking to strangers. For every time the practice has caused me grief, there have been ten times that it has caused a smile, a friendship, a good story or some other immeasurable benefit.

  3. k8 says:

    It makes me cry, mostly.

    I may or may not have had a similar reaction in that moment.

  4. Refugee, that reminds me of when I was in England while serving in the Air Force. I was staying in a small Inn that had a bar downstairs. I gravitated to a small group of men who played dominoes every Monday. They were aged 45ish, 60ish, and 70ish while I was 25ish (hard to tell their age, they’re not preturnaturally aged by the sun like us Yanks).

    I enjoyed their banter immensely. They loved us Yanks because of the Great War and were lovely hosts. I learned SO much from them and treasure my 4 months there.

    Thank you for your service, and for sharing that story. I hope that we are all encouraged by it to reach a bit outside our usual wheelhouses when given an opportunity.

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