Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Three-fingered Henry and the Windsor Canadian

I stopped by the local ABC store today (just to see if it was still there, you understand) and spotted a brand of liquor I haven’t had since I was in college – Windsor Canadian.

Back in the day – the early to mid-60’s – we had a bar just off campus called Frank & Wally’s. Their clientele was comprised mostly of students from Duquesne, but it drew a fair share of business people from the downtown area too.

It was a family run business owned by Frank and his wife Wally (Walenda to be accurate) and the daytime bartender was their son, three-fingered Henry. I never did find out how Henry lost all those digits, but it didn’t slow him down behind the bar.

Besides pouring beer and liquor, Frank & Wally’s served sandwiches and burgers complimented by homemade French-fries. None of that frozen shit that passes for fries today. This was the place to go for lunch.

And go we did. At least three days of the week found our usual cast of characters lined up at the bar drinking draught Budweiser and chowing down on Wally’s great food.
One day after we had eaten our fill, it was firmly decided that this was a drinkin’ day not a classroom day. In those days draught beer was .25 cents, but liquor was still expensive – at least .50 cents a shot – and, being college students, we never had much money.

Enter good ol’ Henry.

“Y’know guys, we just got a new brand of whiskey in called Windsor Canadian,” said Henry, “and the liquor rep gave us a few bottles to use as samples. Anybody want to try a shot?” What a stupid fucking question. All our hands shot skyward.

After the sample shot Henry asked how we liked it. The consensus was that it was good – very smooth. “We got a special price on it too. Only .25 cents a shot.”

Thus began a story that lasted about two years. Now we could afford to buy that good St. Louis Bud (the bottles with the blue caps) and top them off with a shot of Windsor.

And people wonder why I went to college for 4 ½ years and never graduated.



1 comment:

Doom said...

My Dad likes to have a cocktail!