Rock Accountant

The Horrors of Pittsburgh Root Beer

Most twenty-year-olds know nothing about Root Beer. To some of us, this is sad, but we are old and soon will die.
My family was pretty poor, but because my parents went through the Depression, they thought they were rich just wisely cheap.
I wanted for only two things growing up. Soda pop and to see up girls dresses. These were both tough to come by.
My dad would not spring for the two-cent per gallon luxury of fizzy cola, and because I was a Methodist, staring into the darkest territory of a woman was rewarded with going blind.
During the Prohibition years, I am fairly certain my grandfather honed his brewing skill on White Lighting, bequeathing my dad a knowledge of making carbonated root beer.
He never shared his formula and, like with much of his affection, carried it into his grave.
It was a dark science of yeast, root beer extract, huge metal garbage cans, fire, and turn-of-the-century quart bottles.
He would let it ferment in the basement and would not buy any soda until it was gone.
The explosive corks would humiliate any champagne. More than one of our dogs had only one eye and would not enter our cellar out of fear.

My mother and I would pour it, behind his back, into our lawn at night. Like dog’s pee it killed everything it came in contact with.

Beer Bottles Flip Top - 500 mL Amber (Case of 12)

The very hard choices made to know thyself

Knowing thyself is a process of elimination not wisdom.

Know Thyself & U will know The MOST HIGH GOD - Posts | Facebook
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Pete Townshend and me

From a letter: written by Jackie Curbishley, (Bill’s wife) about me and Pete Townshend. “You’re right. He was easy to love, but so difficult to trust. I never quite knew whether he was about to spit at me or kiss me. He was totally in awe of you and so jealous of you that he could hardly articulate when you were around. I have vivid recollections of the night you poured the whole jug of orange juice over his head. I’m pretty certain that nothing like that had ever happened to him before. I had to admire the way he recovered – getting his stash out of his top pocket and with those big hands spread out in front of him saying “Look what you’ve done!” as he held out the dripping little package. It was in Salt Lake City. Remember that? Jackie

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The Diversity Riddle and Beets

While bunching up the line for homemade rhubarb and kale pies at the Irvington Farmers Market Wednesday, I got into a heated exchange with one of my girlfriends.
Innocently, I mentioned the headway on this “diversity” notion I was making in our village. My tactic, such as it could be flattered, was to invite people of “difference” to my house for dinner. This way, we would grow more like one another and not so “diverse” anymore. Problems solved.
Well, nothing seems to empty minds like jealousy. She chirped that I had “diversity” all wrong. It meant accepting differences without interference. Things then frosted up badly between us.
It hurt me that my diversity dinners now seemed so bungling. But before I could concoct a defense, my friend briskly offered that she had lost over forty pounds by eating nothing but beets for six months.
Seizing the moment, I snidely congratulated and assured her that I hardly noticed the red stains around her mouth. I paid, collected my pies, and left feeling good and childish.
I was unfixed. I had figured that a winning strategy for this diversity riddle was at hand. I had asked a black couple I barely knew over for dinner next week to lance our variations.
Fortunately, the people I had invited to dinner called and canceled. Out of respect for each other, we never tried again. The beet diet is working.

Beets: Cultural Considerations | Planting Guidelines | Where to Buy |  Recipes | More

The Misfortune of beauty

We rarely get a glimpse of how hard it is to be a woman. It is because they all share the misfortune of beauty.

Women's Beauty Captured 100 Years Ago In Vintage Postcards From 1900-1910 |  Bored Panda

Tattered boots

Adelaide Springett was so ashamed of her tattered boots, she took them off for this 1901 photograph by Horace Warner.

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Bill Graham and The Who


I saw this picture of Bill Graham posted by Lisa Seckler- Rhode this morning, and it grabbed a memory from that section of my mind that is usually only aroused by drugs.
We were doing a deal with him for The Who to play San Francisco sometime in the 1970s. He was bawling that we were cheating him.
Predictably his negotiating tactics relied chiefly on shouting or screaming. When doing deals with him in the old day’s, Bill Curbishley, the Who’s manager, would be on his suite’s phone, and I would be in the bathroom on an extension. In Graham’s case, and there are pictures, we put the phone on a coffee table between us and still hear him screeching.
He stubbornly believed he was singled out for disadvantageous treatment by God himself every minute of his day. He was a formidable adversary. Few promoters dared to stand up to certain bands — the Who had become too big to lose. That said, when I started with Genesis, he did me endless favors, which he did not have to do.
The other variable was that the band (The Who) loved him, so we never really tried to fuck him. No doubt, he did them favors too, early on.
We had settled on the particulars for one show, maybe the Cow palace in San Francisco.
After the contracts were issued, Graham returned his signed copy.
His shows represented at least 100,000 tickets per performance ( most likely far more, I can’t recall), to be sold at an agreed ticket price. Graham would get his percentage cut from that.
He raised the face ticket price ( which he printed) one dollar, hoping to keep the money without telling us.
When confronted, he responded, “but you were stealing from me” — We didn’t let him keep the money but with our admiration.

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God, Grace and Grumpy Old Men - CultureWatch
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