I started early for the Men’s Retreat at Wood Lake Camp near Grantsburg, Wisconsin, about 300 miles away. I picked my way north following country roads, enjoying a glorious October Friday. Ahead, I spotted a rustic display stand featuring apple cider. I bought two gallons and stashed it in my trunk. At the camp, I parked in an open lot and unloaded my gear, leaving the cider for a second trip.
The retreat was well attended. Sessions were lively; I told stories at morning and evening chapels, and completely forgot the cider. Midway through the Saturday post-chapel social I remembered. I dashed to the car, retrieved the jugs, and hastily poured a tray of small throw-aways. Though not cold, the cider tasted fine. It had a slight bite. But many of the men had left for their cabins, and loath to let the cider go to waste, I downed maybe a dozen.
My small cabin stood at the head of an irregular uphill climb with a crude pole rail. I felt unsteady. When I reached the cabin, I was downright wobbly and overheated. I thought I was getting sick. Then it dawned: I was drunk!
Who knows how long the jugs had sat in the sun at the farm? Then Friday and Saturday in my trunk parked in full sun. My head finally spun me to sleep. Come morning, I didn’t want to get up, but recovered for my afternoon drive home.
I got drunk only one other time. That was the Chicago rescue mission cough medicine gig, fodder for another story.
Old Grandpa Lloyd