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Beer with A Shot of Wisdom

Father Knows Best

As the warmer weather and summer season approaches, let’s take a moment to honor our fathers for the upcoming holiday, Father’s Day. Today we will look at a few personal pop favorites, while we tighten the buckle on our Dad hats,
thaw out the wiener schnitzels, and fire up those grills.

So what makes a good Dad? Is it the amount of hours they work? The things they provide for you? The lessons they teach? The examples they set forth? Or the little extra things they do in their own way for the ones they love? We know it’s a broad question. Not to worry, we figure. It’s all of the above.

Just like every person is different, so are each and every Father different from the next.The things that they teach and the way they teach are a multitude of flavors that go from social classes to ethnic backgrounds. But probably more important than the what and how, are the intentions behind the lessons.Enter one story out of millions and millions out there of Father/Son relationships. Of course, my own are highlighted today.

I think my first swig of beer at the young age of 8 is a good place to
start.It was a family get together, and my Grandpa (Papito) was in his favorite lazyboy and he was enjoying a can of Miller High Life beer. He looked so content with drink in hand that I had to find out what the big deal was, and so I asked for a taste.

Grand poppa knows best because the second that beer hit my taste buds, not only did I understand why it was an adult beverage, but I swore I’d never drink anything like that in my life. (Yeah right!)

Papito was born in Puerto Rico, and his American story involved a lot of good timing with opportunities. He had a bread route from south to north Brooklyn, and he lived with my Abuela, my Uncle and Momma in New Jersey.

One day, during his last delivery stop, he decided to crack a cold one with the store owner. Upon conversation he was presented with the opportunity to purchase the store and building on credit. Not bank credit, just a handshake and so, he did (boy times have changed.)

He didn’t have much stock because the money he had saved was enough to give to the old owner as a start on their agreement. A Jewish supplier came into my Grandfather’s store, and again on credit through a handshake, fully stocked my Grandpa with all he needed.

The Jewish man happened to be a distributor for grocery store supply. Within a year, my Abuelo’s business was off and running, and with my Grand Momma’s good Puerto Rican cooking, people came from all over the neighborhood for lunch for many years, and my Grandpa paid off all his debts within a year and a half.

Years later, I would have my first job in his store stocking everything but the beer. He had 6 children and taught them to not be afraid of opportunity and take it when it comes.To work hard, and to enjoy life after your work is done; he lived to be 95.

My Poppa, also came from Puerto Rico in the late 60’s. He had many jobs, up until he started working as a School bus driver for the board of Ed. and was able to retire.

My Dad is a car guy, so most of what I learned from him was about cars, and money matters. He never borrowed more than he could handle. I was raised here, and he grew up in PR where his life was very different from mine growing up.He came from a paradise that didn’t have much opportunity for its citizens to a land that was good to so many.

In many ways he was always there, but never too busy anytime I needed him. If I was stuck in Jersey, he’d take the drive out to help without question. Even in my racing days, when I totaled my second car, he knew where to take it to get it fixed, and wouldn’t get on my case much about racing.

Through it all, and after hard days of dealing with me, he relaxed with wine,
beer, and occasionally, a shot of whiskey something I too do every so often, but the thing I got most from my Dad was being committed to getting the job done.

I never saw him defeated, even to this day. Whether painting the house, or carpentry, or fixing the car, he always finished whatever he set out to do, and I
take both of my Dad and Grand Dad’s lessons with me through my journey thus far and into the future as a small business owner. I hope one day, I can be a good Dad, the way my Fathers were to me.

Here are a few Dad favorites of my Dads and Pops that I call “friend” to set the mood for this year’s Father’s Day.

Have a safe and Happy Father’s Day!

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