I heard a song the other night that brought me back to my childhood. It was typical of the music I heard at home while growing up:
I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler
I'm a long way from home
And if you don't like me
Then leave me alone
I'll eat when I'm hungry
I'll drink when I'm dry
If the moonshine don't kill me
I'll live till I die
I wonder if that influenced the subsequent course of my life?
Three of my four grandparents impressed upon me, by example, the notion that the ideal way to spend one's adult years is drinking and smoking. (And that's "way," not "ways," because those are not two activities, but the name for one activity requiring a pair of accessories.) I don't recall seeing my maternal grandparents drunk, but I'll also don't recall seeing them without a drink for much longer than it took to re-pour.
I can't say if my paternal grandfather would get drunk when we visited, because he wouldn't rise from his big, leather armchair. He would have a can of Rheingold in one hand, a Camel no-filter in the other, and the Mets on the TV in front of him. Other than grumbling about a bad call or play, he wouldn't speak much either, so I can't use slurred speech as an indicator of how far along toward inebriation he was.
I don't remember my maternal grandmother drinking much. Her jobs were to fetch the cans of Rheingold, so that my grandfather didn't have to get up from the chair, and, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, get the dinner ready on time.
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