My Great-Grandfather, A Bar, and a Fight

I’ll keep this short, but I’d said I’d starting writing up the stories from my childhood. I should add that I don’t remember my great-grandfather at all. This story comes from his daughter, my grandmother, who loves to tell me all the embarrassing stories. As Great-Grandpa has been dead for something like 30 years, I think no one will mind me posting this.

(However, in keeping with the anonymity of the blog, I’m not using his real name. I’m going to call him “Harlan” for this.)

I think the only way I can tell this story is in the voice of my grandmother. Some details have been changed (or, more often, added when I don’t actually remember them).


There was an old bar, back home, that your great-grandpa Harlan liked to hang out in. I spent a bunch of time there too. Remind me to tell you about the fight that broke out at mine and your Grandpa’s wedding reception there!

You should know that cheatin’ runs in your blood. I don’t know about your daddy’s family, but every man on my side has been a cheater. And that’s exactly what lead to Harlan ending up in the hospital.

Your great-grandmother, God bless her, would have killed me for telling you the truth of this story. She claimed to the day she died that this was all about a hunting dog, but . . .

So, Harlan and his best friend Clyde were drinking.  They had known each other for decades at this point, going together to start trouble as teenagers.

Clyde had his eyes on a girl that Harlan knew well, and after some courage went down, Clyde asked your grand-dad for an introduction.

Of course, Harland didn’t just know her. He knew her. Words were exchanged. And then punches. Fortunately, the staff at the bar were used to this kind of shit, and got the police and ambulance there quickly. But not before punches changed into broken beer bottles. And Harlan took the jagged edge of the bottle to the throat.

Now, cussedness runs in your family too. Harlan survived, despite his throat being completely cut. He was in the hospital for quite awhile, and even spent a few days unconscious. When he woke up, he had the whole family around him, rooting and praying for him.

A few minutes later, Clyde heard that Harlan was up, and came over to check on him. As you can bet, everyone around that bed lunged at him to tear him apart, until your grandfather shouted, “Clyde, you son-of-a-bitch! Get your ass over here, and pour me a drink!”



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