Thursday, May 08, 2008

Budweiser High School

This past Tuesday evening Evan and I saw Iron Man at the Regal. It was very good, and is probably worth a second big-screen look to drink it all in.

Being a Marvel Comics fan for many years, I can say with relative certainty that Tony Stark / Iron Man is a role that Robert Downey Jr. was born to play.

While on the way to get something to eat afterward, we chased down a pretty cool picture of Mt. Garfield.

We wound up exiting the Interstate at Clifton, and while merging in from the off-ramp Evan
asked me, "Dad, which school is that?"

"I'm not sure that IS a school" I replied. Upon closer inspection, however, imaginary sources started to tell me that maybe Evan was on to something.

"You know, that kind of DOES look like a school", I said with a whimsical smile. " I wonder which one it is".

As we drove further, our question was quickly answered, courtesy of an impressive sign on the southeast side of the building.

"Oh, now I remember! It's Budweiser High School!", I exclaimed.

"Gee Dad", Evan asked with a hint of excitement in his voice, "is it too late to do a Schools of Choice request for next year? What's their mascot?"

"I don't know, and I think you're pretty much locked in to Junction for your senior year. Anyway, the place looks pretty boring. No athletic fields or anything."

"I know", Evan said, "They're the Hops. The Budweiser Fighting Hops! Boy, I wonder how many MIP tickets get given out at their football games?"

(Editor's Note: This building is actually Central Distributing Company's facility in Clifton.)

This made me think for a minute. What if there was no legal drinking age, and the stigma of 'forbidden fruit' that surrounds alcohol was removed from the social fabric of our country?
Then I thought, that's a pipe dream. Look at your own family, and what life, liberty, and the pursuit of the next shot-and-a-beer have done to some of them.

I looked around and found compelling arguments pro and con about having a legal drinking age, or at least having a lower one that dovetailed with other responsibilities that we confer upon 18 year olds. After reading those, I'm left as conflicted as I'm sure many others are about conveying the legal privilege to drink in conjunction with the responsibilities of adulthood.

I then found this website, which made a good deal more sense than just the recitation of countless studies, or lamenting the heavy-handedness of the nanny state. It tries to speak to hearts and minds, about making good decisions, and solid choices based upon the core values that hopefully we parents have spent a good deal of time and energy imparting on our children.

Best of all, the site is a local product, which speaks volumes about the expertise and commitment available in our area to address critical issues like this one, and others like Meth. From the sound of it, we have another problem that is making a comeback, and that perhaps underage drinking enforcement may help impact as well.

With the above in mind, here's a letter to Evan and his friends, and to all teens and young adults out there:


We love and care for you so much, but you need to know how to live on your own.
That's why we let you go out in the evening, so you can work, laugh, love, and play, and find out who you really are and where you belong in this complex world.

Please be smart. Use the common sense that God gave you.

Stand for what you truly believe in, and you won't fall for the spontaneously negligent or criminally stupid entreaties of other mortals.

We're watching. Five-O is watching. And if that's not good enough for you, God is watching.

Have fun, but please be real careful out there.



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