Friday, January 25, 2013

Lesson learned


Erin O'Brien (bottom left) and associates circa 1981 in the Cleveland Metroparks.

The first time a park ranger caught us drinking 3.2 beer, it went something like like this:

After driving by one time slowly, he pulled back around and parked next to our collection of Monte Carlos and Vista Cruisers and Galaxies. He got out, pulled up his trousers and walked over.

"I see 'em hidden there," he said. "I see every one of 'em. Now bring 'em out and pour 'em out, my little friends," he directed. "Every one of 'em."

We did.

"Next time," he said as we upended the last can, "you kids get yourself some plastic cups. You put the cups in the car. You put the beer in the car." He looked at each of us purposefully. "You want a beer? You go in the car. You pour your beer into your cup. You get out of the car and you go on with your party." Another pause. "I drive by, all I see is kids with cups and no one's got any problems. Right?"

"Right," we said.

And that's the way it was, my little friends, back then, when I was young.

*  *  *

21 comments:

Jon Moore said...

Stroh's in quarts. 2 quarts apiece, about a buck twenty.
Hanging in the park, 8 track cranked, drinking 3.2 beer and sharing a number. Man, we had it knocked back then.
To all of the rangers who cut us a break, I thank you. Your compatriots of today could take a lesson.

Bill the Wrenchbender said...

Those kids look just like the group I hung out with back then, 1981, wow.
That was a year before I had to be an adult, what a wonderful year it was...

Anonymous said...

I was pulled over for a DUI at approximately the same time. It was a BS charge-"weaving"-but at the time if you blew .15 or lower on a first offense the charges were almost always automatically reduced to reckless op or to a municipal charge. The muni charges was what they really wanted anyway, because the Mayor's courts could then keep all of the money. In any event I wasn't going to complain because the arresting officers missed a major felony in my glove compartment.

B.E. Earl said...

Growing up on the South Shore of Long Island, our parks were the beaches over on Fire Island. Our first time getting caught with beers at the beach by one of the beach cops resulted in us having to pour out the beers we were drinking. Then he asked us what was in the cooler. We told him emptys, and he didn't check. We kept on drinking with one eye peeled to the horizon.

Oh, and we were all underage. Cop asked us for ID, but we all said we left them in our cars back on the mainland. The beach we were at, Davis Park, could only be accessed by private boat or ferry. Then he asked us all how old we were. One by one, we all said 19 (the NY drinking age at the time). Except my friend Steve who said 16...his actual age. At that point the cop got all in our faces about giving alcohol to a minor, meanwhile he KNEW we were all underage. Steve didn't live that one down for years. Whenever we needed a designated driver, we made Steve stay sober and drive. That was his punishment. Fun times.

Joe said...

I am not going to believe for one moment that weed was not burnt right before or right after that picture was taken.

Anonymous said...

"In any event I wasn't going to complain because the arresting officers missed a major felony in my glove compartment."-Anonymous

Human Relations 101. Those were the days.

RJ

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Those were the days... It probably can still happen now... as we all know it depends on how 'the good ol' boys' are nowadays... few and far,eh?

Erin O'Brien said...

God I feel old.

Michael Lawless said...

Me too. We would drive through the park and surreptitiously sip beer after beer and, in summer months, we kept the beer cold and out of sight by stashing it in front of the car's radiator.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

@Erin: If u feel old, then u know how I feel!.

philbilly said...

CLE chicks are fine.

Anonymous said...

If you're not a CDOTOM*, google 'Cleveland Metroparks Emerald Necklace.' It's a terrific parkway that begins at Lake Erie on the west, dips down adjacent to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park** to the South and then runs northwards back to Lake Erie and some beautiful beaches.

It's glorious. The parkway has many wide adjacent stretches of open field custom-made for summer parking. Shirtless dudes with porn 'staches waxing their Goats or Trans Ams*** with speakers blaring Alex Harvey or Artful Dodger or Uriah Heep. 'Easy Living', indeed. Great clouds of hovering cannabis smoke at dusk.

It's glorious. Thanks everybody for bringing up the subject of parks.

Y'all come up and see us sometime.

MR
*"Cleveland Denizen Of The Owner's Manual"

**The CVNP is one of the most visited in the entire National Park system. It's pretty damn glorious too.

***Google 'Joe Biden carwash meme.' Add shoulder-length hair and a Fu Manchu. That's Cleveland, 1974'

Anonymous said...

You are giving us homework?

Erin O'Brien said...

The guys waxing their muscle cars!

Hadn't thought of that forever. WOW.

Contrary Guy said...

1981... probably a year or so later, people on my dorm floor at OSU were trying to sneak a keg up to our rooms for a weekend party. Maintenance guy walks up, looks at the poorly-disguised trash can with the keg in it, turns the key for the elevator and says 'what floor?'

Times and attitudes have changed, certainly not for the better. Young adults weren't flaking out and shooting everyone in sight back then; we had other, eh, 'outlets'.

Anonymous said...

@Erin-did you ever use the Riverview Rd route to get to the Coliseum? You picked it up at the south end of the Bedford Reservation right off of Alexander Rd? It was a good cheater for Blossom, too. Out-of-towners would be sitting in traffic because they used the directions for the shortest route, which is of course not always the fastest route. Even today, out-of-towners sit waiting at the Steel's Corner exit off of Rt 8 as directed by Google when they could've taken Riverview or 303. Meanwhile us cognoscenti would be parked and medicated.

I am not sure which way I preferred, the trip down and the anticipation, or the trip back, totally gobsmacked by Yes, King Crimson, Zep, The Who, Genesis, and a list of hundreds more. Many times on the trip back Riverview would be capped in heavy fog, which complemented our medicated states..."Un reve sans consequence especiale, apre e'tait cosmic". (Sorry, my French is rusty)...

Ahh, the dreams, the shadow of self in youth...

MR

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

And I was a soldier once, and young.

Al
TRAG

Erin O'Brien said...

And for your service, Al, I thank you.

And do know, Al, that right now I wish more than anything that I had photographs of certain goings on at a certain apartment adjacent to the venerable Ohio State University circa 1985 detailing some of the activities in which you engaged during that time period.

Anonymous said...

@Al-Speaking of 'a soldier once, and young', what was your opinion of "We Were Soldiers"?

I read about the Ia Drang battle years ago,(In Robert Asprey's fine "War in the Shadows") but it wasn't such a personal account.

Sergeant-Major Pulley passed away a few months ago, at like 90 years of age.

MR

Erin O'Brien said...

Oh and MR: +1+1 re: Riverview and 303.

carolefun said...

oh hayl yeah, i used to wax my 73 Cutlass down by Green Barn. Cedar Point Hill is where i burned my uvula swallowing a lit roach LOL! and i can still catch a frisbee behind my back on a good day.