Frank James Ryan Jr (FjR)
The Great Coca-Cola Caper Of '69... - Poem by Frank James Ryan Jr (FjR)
The Great Coca-Cola Caper of '69...
A Short Story or A Touch of Prose
You be the Judge, and Jury......so long
as you recuse as the Executioner!
Hope You Enjoy! FjR
The year was was nineteen-sixty-nine.
I was eight years old and in fourth grade.
My father worked close to our house,
so he used to come home for lunch
everyday at about twelve-thirty.
I was only a block away from my school
and because so, I also ate lunch at home.
My lunchtime was from twelve until one,
so my dad and me ate lunch together.
Now, my mother, worked part-time, and
she got off from work everyday at 12 noon.
She would get home and immediately
make my dad and me our lunches. We almost
always had my mom make us the sane kind
of sandwich as we had similar taste in
cold cuts and soups. So very similar we
were when it came to lunchtime, except
for one thing....What we drank with our
My father loved Coca Cola, you know...
the 'original' syrupy formula that
came in that thick, sea green glass bottle
with an embossed-like blown glass design
that to me, was so mesmerizing to stare at
under any light or when held up to the sun-
light.You needed an old fashioned hand held
bottle-top opener to lift off the cap which
had a soft corking on the inside, and that
was placed so as to keep the effervescence
and rich syrup flavor tightly secure, as
if each bottle of Coke had been mixed,
bottled and capped that very morning. Suffice
to say just from watching my dad chug it,
that Coca Cola was definitely on this
eight year olds early bucket list.
Unfortunately, there was one B I G problem...
Mom! I can still hear her telling me how
Vitamin D was my ticket to looking like
George Reeves(with shoulder pads) Oh, yeah,
for the record, yes, The Adventures of
Superman was indeed my favorite TV show,
black & white and on a 13 inch screen, no less!
Anyway...as it went, Mom made it clear that
until I was (AT LEAST) a teenager, that my
breakfasts, lunches and dinners would be
swallowed down by the big M.J...Moo Juice!
Thank God for dads... though I loved my mom
just as much. And then it happened...
my pre-teen dream come true. One day, as my
dad was almost done with his lunch, and my mom
was following her daily custom of going into her
bedroom to change into comfortable house clothes,
I began to stare with salivating eyes at my
dads bottle of Coca Cola.
I remember, it was a very unusually hot
day in early June. So hot that just sitting
by the kitchenette window drew sweat from
my brow. I was extra thirsty that day. I
looked down at the ten ounce glass of milk,
now tepid, no longer cold, as you don't put
ice cubes in milk! Then from the corner of
my left eye, I saw my dads arm extend towards
me. In his right hand was the last third of his
bottle of Coca Cola. There wasn't a single word
spoken...but as he handed me this gift of my
lifetime, he placed his finger up to his lips,
as to say, Sssssh...drink fast and enjoy!
And for almost 3 years, everyday at lunch with
my da that's just what I did. I would enjoy
the refreshing spark of Coke fizzling down
the back of my throat...burning sooooo sweetly!
Years later I felt it only right that I
share the whole 3 year scam with my mom.
My dad just smiled when I asked him if
he minded me telling my mom and in doing so,
implicating him as the original dealer
to my addiction as well as dental bills. So, I
said, why are you smiling. Don't you realize
that when our cover is blown, that we'll
be lucky to get dog food for the next month?
I'm smiling, replied my dad, because for all
these years your mother has known about the
Coke at lunch, as she is the one who said, okay,
that summer day when I reached over and handed
it to you. 'Why did you give me the shush sign,
then, I asked...Because dads like to have
some fun too, he replied. We both laughed.
In the end, I realized several things, the most
important being that my parents did genuinely
always try to do the best thing for me, and the
other, that almost anything in Life is alright
in moderation... which is one of the last things
my dad told me some 45 years later, before he died
at the age of 86, with a can of coke next to his
head, on his hospital night stand, and always,
always within his arms reach!
©Frank James Ryan Jr./FjR
2015- All Rights Reserved
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