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Monday, November 23, 2009

It is Tempting....

Parents just don't know what they do to their kids.  Take me, for example.  I could have become anything, but before I knew what I wanted to be or do, I was in the care of my parents. Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be writing my own "tell all" autobiography, "Martyr Dearest". Mainly because I have nothing juicy to tell - the skeletons in my closet are all ones I've found, plan to keep, and eventually share with you.  Unlike other obsessive (maybe a little compulsive) types, I know why I do this urban archeology thing I do.  My dad was an English teacher and tinkerer/carpenter.  He was in love with the sea and sailing and he would often take me beach combing.  Later on, my mother would teach me to drive, and I learned to parallel park at....garage sales.  Neither of my parents were collectors, so I guess it skips a generation?

Some of the first things I found at these sales were beer signs, bottle openers, other breweriana.  Like most of the things I've collected, very little of it has been kept more than 10 years.  I did have some large moving beer signs that were fun to restore and hang over the ping pong table in the 70s, but they were never going to make it into the late 80's.  I did gain an appreciation for these items, and now when I see something special I hang on to it.  This post card from the 30's is one I found more than 8 years ago:

Tropical Beer, Cuba, 1931 front

First, I had no idea what level of industrialization Cuba enjoyed. I know of very little Cuban history that predates the communist take over in the late 50's, or the various capitalist and mob influences before that.  Unfortunately, the better part of my Cuban history studies was spent watching "Godfather 2".  The next best part of the card is the reverse.
Tropical Beer, Cuba, 1931 back
Other than the spurious calculations peppered all over the back, I can't get over the brief and single purpose for Bill to send JP a postcard other than to tell him "Having a fine time. Beer is great." Yes, Bill. I am sure of that. Why he felt the need to jam it in poor JP's face is something we'll never know.   I am also amazed that the stamp survived and though only partially there I can see that the cancellation is Guantanamo Bay Feb 2, 1931.
What really got me about the card were the cartoon-ish stereotypes gathered around a giant bottle of the brew. I guess these are your average wealthy American businessmen (and the missus) toasting the symbolic Cuban Hops farmer. 
The military may approve of Tropical beer, but I'm not sure DCF would approve of the mother Breastfeeding her baby, while her daughter is drinking! That's going to be one tipsy-toddler. ( take a close look at what the child has in her right hand, maybe she is holding it for Mama).

Well, sports and beer do go together, though maybe not during the game.  I find it curious that  these men all seem to be striking rather effeminate poses? (maybe not Babe Ruth.)

Finally, we have the rest of the stereotypes, proving once and for all that "All Drink Tropical Beer". If you are feeling a little thirsty after reading this and want to learn about more Cuban beverages and a brief history of Tropical Beer, take a look here. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!

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