Friday, April 13, 2012

Stormy Weather

Last night as I was watching the Ken Burns special on Prohibition, which was excellent, the heavens opened up and the Bay Area was visited with a thunder and lightning storm the likes of which I have never seen here before. There were over 750 strikes in the bay area. It reminded me of a canoe trip down the Missouri in Montana. Lee and I were alone, sleeping on a small island in the middle of the river. No tent even. Suddenly the coyotes on both banks started a steady wailing, and in ten minutes the sky was white with lightning. That was mighty scary. Last night’s only matched it in the volume of the thunder. I was fortunate to not loose power like many did. I retired early with my kindle and a flashlight and a last word to Kodi that he was nuts to insist on staying out in the storm.

Both my sister and I were born during the period of Prohibition, (1919-1933), and I wonder: “Did it have any effect on our upbringing?” Were folks more cautious and inhibited? I suppose fewer babies were born with fetal alcoholic syndrome, for one thing. That would be a bonus. On the other hand, I think most Americans were either brewing their own or finding illegal means of obtaining it. Crime was rampant as Americans rallied against the restrictions.

I remember my mother telling the story of her first drink, and I think it was when I was one or two, which would have been ‘31 or ’32, and she would have been in her early twenties. My uncle Bill, her sister’s husband, had experimented making bathtub gin, which was literally in their bathtub. Bill gave my mother some and she probably guzzled it. She promptly passed out. It’s a wonder any of them survived.

In my own twenties to forties I imbibed cocktails nightly, and more generously on weekends. I think if the government had passed a law outlawing booze I would have protested madly and gone the route of my uncle Bill.

Times change and now I have been clean and sober over thirty years, for which I have gratitude. It’s been so long I have lost count. Still, I think I’d be picketing in front of the Supreme Court if the government restricted my right to decide myself.

Its kind of like what the Republican Party is trying to do now about restricting women’s rights to their own bodies. Here’s a toast to personal freedom to decide.

Ironic isn't it that I've been practicing painting storm clouds. like in the rural setting above which I did Wednesday. I can see I have a lot to do to improve the presentation. representation.

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