My First Drink With Dad

It may have been the first Christmas season after I had put army active service in the rearview mirror.  This would be 1973.  I was still very new to the world of Chipp.  But I immediately took to the spirit of the Holiday season.  Lenny Moss turned our windows with the John Groth Christmas Carol paintings as a backdrop into works of display art. Lit with blue and red lights punctuated by highlights of white spot lights on focused items… a Shetland sport coat?  A peak lapel dinner jacket with gros grain facing and a blue pleated formal shirt?

I loved it.  Wreaths, garlands and red poinsettias with bows decorated the first floor.

How it came to pass that I would handle organizing the Christmas parties for our employees I can’t say.  I think I volunteered.  There would be two parties.  One for the salesmen which we did at The Cattleman (on East 45th St).  We had an outrageous private location next to an amazing fresh produce display.

The other party took place on the 3rd floor for the tailors and any other non-selling staff on Christmas Eve.  That party was just a matter of provisioning out the rudimentary necessities (which was done by Mario Carnegie).  It included potato chips, some dips, pork rinds, pretzels… and then Scotch, Canadian Whisky, Vodka and mixers.  As noted, just the necessities.  All placed on Roland’s cutting table.

Before leaving for New Haven, Dad put his appearance in to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  I already had a scotch on ice in my hand (maybe my second) and Dad agreed to have scotch to share in the toast. 

It was my first drink with Dad.  Father and Son drinking a scotch together.  A focused moment.

Truth be told,  I am sure we had shared in a Champagne toast at my wedding a year earlier. But that Christmas Eve on the 3rd floor of Chipp was the first time as co-equals in true drinking. 

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