March 30, 2015

Guest Post

My blog has been hijacked by my husband.  He has begged me in the past to let him do a guest post.  His thoughts that he has been wanting to publish on my blog have to do with his recipes for ammunition for his reloading hobby.

Um, yeah, no.  Not quite what this is about.

My blog, however, is about being a record of the happenings and goings on of our life for my children.  My husband came to me a couple weeks ago and told me that he had written a blog post he would like to sneak in here.  When I read it and saw that it was about a fun memory he shares with the children, and that it had nothing to do with hunting, guns or ammunition, I gave him my consent, just this once.

It has been hanging out in my drafts folder and I thought it was about time to publish it. So, I now turn this page over to my guest author, who happens to also be the best dad out there, Alan.

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For St. Patrick's Day I planned a little surprise for the kids.  In keeping with the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, the surprise had to be green.  I decided to order a case of Green River soda and have Green River floats for the kids as a St. Paddy's Day treat.

Never heard of Green River?  Well, you are missing out.

Green River soda holds great and wonderful childhood memories for me.  When I was 9 years old I lived in Alaska.  It was the childhood every boy dreams of - spending my summer weekends with my father, younger brother and sister on overnight fishing and camping trips in the great Alaska Wild.  Each trip began, on our way out of town, with a stop at the grocery store to outfit ourselves with our food for the trip.  One particular trip my father spotted an unusual looking can of soda in the store.  Excitedly he said to us, “Look at this!  Green River pop!!"  We had no frame of reference from which to share his excitement and thought nothing of the six pack he purchased and excitedly talked about on our way to our camping spot.  After we unpacked and began our supper, we each popped open a can and guzzled the green bubbly goodness.  Thus began my lifelong love affair with Green River soda.  From that point on, whenever we went on a fishing or camping trip, a six pack of Green River would join us on the passenger seat next to me and would lay in the stream where we placed it to chill as we fished.

Green River reminds me of those carefree days of my youth fishing in Alaska.

Unfortunately, when we moved away from Alaska, I never saw Green River soda again.

That is, until a very lucky day in 2012.   I was walking through a local drug when I saw an display at the end of an aisle of bottles of Green River soda.  I could not believe my eyes.  I recognized the label of the moon shining over a palm on the river immediately.

Of course, I had to buy some and couldn't wait to tell my father about it.

That weekend I went with my kids to our cabin with the Green River occupying the passenger seat next to them.  The kids loved it as much as I did. 

I later returned to the drug store and bought out all that they had and kept it stored away for special occasions, like special dad dates to the cabin.

My instinct to hoard away the green gold proved lucky, as the drug store soon stopped selling it.

I asked my dad why he got so excited when he first saw those cans of Green River in that store 35 years ago in Alaska.  He told me that he had first tried it as a young man living in Kansas City back in the 1940’s.  One day after going on a hike with his scout troop, the scoutmaster stopped in at a drugstore and bought all the boys a Green River soda.  Being a child of the depression, soda was not something he had often had.  His memory of that Green River purchased back in the 1940’s came sharply back to him as he saw the cans in that grocery store in Alaska in the early 80’s.

I recently discovered a midwest beverage corporation that you can still purchase Green River from through the mail.  I ordered a case at about the same time I found a cool circa 1950's wooden soda crate on Ebay.  My little 5 year old discovered my purchases and I told her it was our little secret until St. Patrick's day.  She agreed to that.  She was elated to be "in the know" - a foreign position to the child in the youngest position and she let her siblings know (again and again) that she knew about a secret. For the weeks and days coming up to St. Patrick's Day she would run and whisper to me about the secret she was so excited to be keeping.  Not even her mom could get the secret out of her tight lips.

The night before St. Patrick's Day she and I opened up the case of soda and the wood crate.  I had to smile as her little hands gently picked up each bottle and carefully placed it in the crate, which we then placed on the kitchen table.

This is what the older children came downstairs to on Tuesday morning. . . 

Eliza announced that it was a gift left to them by the leprechaun.  Where she got that from, I have no idea, but it made me laugh.

For my dad, Green River represents a scout hike and a treat in a simpler time.  

For me, it is a reminder of the many fun fishing and camping adventures I had as a carefree kid.  

For my kids, Green River will hopefully be a memory they will store away of fun cabin trips with their dad. 

Perhaps for Eliza, it will be a happy secret she once shared with me.

written by Alan Larson