Love this story of family, and how alcohol can be so much more than just a drink.
A whole night of front-porch drinking led us here. My friend, Joe York, comes outside with a bottle of Jim Beam in his hand. The label is faded, creased. Two or three fingers of amber liquid sit in the bottom.
It’s his grandfather’s bourbon.
He unscrews the cap and tells the story. The Yorks are from Alabama. Joe’s granddad died in 1976. Thirty years later, his wife died. When his family was cleaning out their home, they arrived at the bedroom closet. In the midst of well-worn boots and simple-but-pretty dresses, they found it, buried: the former deacon’s hidden bottle of Beam. He’d stuck it there to sneak a nip now and again. He died before he could finish it, and the bottle had stayed in the closet for three decades.
Joe took it home and, every year or so, passes it around. It’s a communion. Joe, like a lot of us, tries hard to keep alive family traditions. I have my dad’s steak marinade recipe framed in my kitchen — it was a closely guarded secret, and the Christmas after he died, my mom gave this gift to me, my brother, and my uncles — and I feel like he’s at the table whenever I make it. Joe makes his grandmother’s cornbread in her cast iron skillet and, on special occasions, he will pull the dusty bottle of Beam from its hiding place. When he does it tonight, everyone gets quiet. We are laying flowers in our minds.
“Basically, [it’s] not about going to the club, [it’s about] never leaving the club. [The video features] these creatures who can’t get enough of this amazing party. But it’s not a club – it’s a warehouse and we live here.”—Jason Desrouleaux aka Jason Derülo aka Jason Derulo about the “Don’t Wanna Go Home” Music Video