The stories about Dad and his beer usually start by mentioning that after his service in the Navy he spent a lot of time in the Idaho bars. A favorite hangout was a place called The Schooner. Although he didn’t have much of a belly at the time, a joke he used often: he would walk up to the bar, stick out his stomach as far as he could and tell the bartender “fill it up!”
My favorite Dad and beer story happened many years later. When Dad was sick, he had trouble sleeping. When I came for a visit, I bought a six pack of LaBatts beer to drink. Dad had stopped drinking beer, at least twenty years earlier. He claimed he no longer liked the taste of it. Well Dad was at the table in his wheelchair, and I was standing next to him, slowly nursing a beer. It seems like the entire family was standing around joking when my sister across the table noticed Dad drinking my beer. Before she could say anything, he chugged the entire bottle! It is good thing he didn’t like the taste of it!
That night, for the first time in a number of months, Mom said he slept like a baby. After that night we kept a supply of beer in the refrigerator to help Dad sleep. I don’t think he ever drank one of them. But, for a brief time, he was back in The Schooner, “filling it up.”