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Etta And The Beer Truck

Story ID:6800
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Dillon Montana USA
Year:2011
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Another "Etta" story.

Etta And The Beer Truck
Chuck Dishno

My hometown, Bly, Oregon, didn’t have any street names or house numbers and the mail was delivered to the Post Office where every family had a P.O. Box. It was a great gathering place for the ladies to stand around and wait for the Postmistress, (yes, they were called postmistresses then) Mrs. Casebeer, to sort all the mail into the boxes. Much gossip was spread during these daily sessions. When the mail was sorted, Mrs. Casebeer would open up the “window” so that one could collect packages, buy stamps or do any other post office business. This was the signal that the gab session was over for the day. It became such a ritual that sometimes my mom and grandmother would both go and the worst thing is they would drag me along. Now I wish I had had a tape recorder but they hadn’t been invented then, at least not the portable ones. I was 11 years old in 1945, and I sure heard a lot of “stories” about the wayward men and loose women of Bly.
One day my grandmother, Etta, who lived with us for about 25 years, walked down to the post office, a distance of only a few blocks but on the corner, she had to walk by Jack’s Place, one of the 5 or 6 beer joints in town. Etta always wore a little hat and a gust of wind blew it off and it rolled under a beer truck that was parked in front of Jack’s Place. My little grandmother promptly got down on her hands and knees and crawled under the truck. She found her hat, picked it up and put it between her teeth then proceeded to crawl out the other side just in time for some of the ladies on their way to the post office to see her. They said, “Why Mrs. Hartman, what are you doing under that beer truck?” It must have looked like she had been on an all night “bender” and was just coming out of the beer joint. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, as Grandma never touched a drop of liquor in her life. But, needless to say, this provided much conversation for the gang at the post office for some time to come.