On the other side of the country a phone ringed. My dad was home. He was cooking up a traditional boiled dinner. He shifted his beer from his right to his left hand and picked up. "How are you my son?" "Just fine. How about you old fucker?"
Our conversation went back and forth like that for a while. Who is getting married. Who died. Who got knocked up. Traditional news: not west coast talk of who is on crack, smack and ice. One of Beer Sr.'s sisters is celebrating her 50th anniversary. She married my dad's buddy when my dad left Newfoundland for the army.
Somehow the conversation turned to my dad's father-in-law. Old man Murph was a successful farmer, that I knew, but that was about it until my dad opened up a little about him. "Cars were a rare sight in Newfoundland in the '40s and '50s. Just when they got to be taking over from the horse the war hit and it was long time before many cars got shipped here again. Murph did all his farming with horses, did it all in the early morning. Once he was done his chores he would attach a wagon to his favourite horse Bubbles and head to the pub. The pub opened at 10 o'clock and Murph was never late. Then he would sit there with his farmer buddies and drink until close to supper. That was when his buddies would pick him up, throw him in the wagon and tell Bubbles to take him home. He was a true Irish."