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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Sunday, August 26 2001

Roll out the barrel

Most of us have heard stories told by our parents and grandparents that reveal the character and give life to our ancestors. My father often told us a story about his mother and father that not only showed their character but also gave new meaning to the song "Roll Out the Barrel."

My grandmother, Margaret, but always called Maggie, and my grandfather, Robert, were born in Scotland. They came to America with their families and met and married in the United States. Maggie, with red hair and blue eyes, stood about 5 feet tall. Robert, on the other hand, 6 foot 3 inches with sandy hair and blue eyes, towered head and shoulders above his wife.

Robert enjoyed going out in the evenings and having a few drinks with his buddies and fellow workers. One night, after having a few, he and his friends decided to purchase a barrel of beer and have their own private party. A discussion then ensued as to where they would go with their beer. Robert bravely stepped forward and announced to the group that he was boss in his family and his friends were welcome to come home with him for their party.

The group of men transported the keg to the Caldwell home. Robert quickly opened the door and rolled in the barrel of beer. Maggie, just as quickly, confronted him at the door and prevented him and the barrel from going any farther. He brashly exclaimed that he had invited his friends to join him in a few drinks.

Even more brashly, and in her strong Scottish brogue, she declared that no man was going to turn her home into a barroom, especially when there were "wee-ones" sleeping in the next room. She then turned abruptly, rolled the barrel through the house and out the back door.

Their house was located on a hillside that sloped away to the back so the barrel kept rolling once she got it outside. Dad never told me whether his father and friends followed the beer down the hill for their "barrel of fun." However, I always thought the story showed who was really boss in the Caldwell household and gave a new slant to the song "Roll Out the Barrel."

Things I wish I'd known before going out into the real world

Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for the day

Alfred Tennyson, walking in the garden with a friend, was asked what he thought of Jesus Christ. Pointing to some flowers, Tennyson said, "What the sun is to these flowers, Christ is to my soul. He is the sun of my soul."

—Anthony Coniaris

Sent by Carole Levinson Stuart

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