Before moving to the factory town of Flint, I lived in the bustling village of Bancroft, Michigan. On my 21st birthday my girlfriend (I'll just go by the initials WT for her) was kind enough to take me out to the Teddy Bear/Bancroft Tavern as a licensed drinker.
The Teddy Bear was pretty normal local bar, a lot of rope lights, old and new beer signs, a lot domestic beers, few common imports. That night I didn't really care what the selection was, I was just hoping someone else was buying. Besides me and WT, there was the bartender, a stranger playing pool alone, and a older dude that I recognized from around town.
WT was nine days older than me and bought my very first beer. I had a Coors Light (that's what my brother always drank). Damn a legal beer tasted great. It was like a treat. And like that beer and all first beers after it, it went down really fast. The friendly recognizable gentleman bought me another Coors and a Canadian Club.
I was drinking and wasn't in a dorm or in a field, I was inside drinking with adults! The guy I recognized, socialized at the same mechanic's shop as my Dad. He was a genuine grown-up. I was doing my best to play it cool and be adult. So I slammed my Canadian Club on the rocks like an idiot while Recognizable Dude tells me "that is to sip, son."
I asked Recognizable Dude what he does for a living. He was laid-off. And your wife? Divorcing. Sometimes small talk is tough. He made a joke about still having his health, just no health insurance. I remember laughing, the bartender laughing really hard, and WT laughing. He wasn't laughing so much. But it's a birthday! So the bar bought me another beer! WT and I moved to the huge window in front and shared a pizza (beer and pizza is way better than Coca Cola and pizza).
It was nice evening, I was fairly uncomfortable at first because, I felt like I was doing something I still shouldn't. I was really hoping none of my friends parents came in.
It's still the same bar only now it's The Pirates Cove. Sometimes the decor is hard to handle but, it's a fun spot for a few cold ones with old friends parents, and the patty melt is damn good.
I thought of going back there on my 31st birthday. I decided not to because WT broke up with me a few days after my 21st birthday and it turns out Recognizable Dude is a sex offender.