There are a lot of Pauls in my family, on my Dad’s side, there’s John Paul, on my mother’s side, my other grandfather was Poul, and I have a cousin named Peter Paul. A lot of Pauls. Today we enter the second day of our Pilot Brew Takeover, what does this have to do with beer? Well, no a lot, except for the toast my father and I will drink to my late grandfather. He would have been 100 today.
I was fortunate to have been able to say goodbye to him. To show you what kind of man he was, I began to cry, knowing he was on his death bed, and he comforted me. I had with me, a picture given to me by Dick Shiner, a former Washington Redskin. He signed a picture of him and Sonny Jurgensen. Too bad, my grandfather didn’t get much of a chance to enjoy it.
I was asked recently why I chose to open a business in Rockville. I thought a moment, and “roots” entered my head. My grandfather owned and ran a Western Auto store right here in Rockville. At his funeral, I heard people I had never met, talk about my grandfather. He was giving and an all around great person, someone you could rely on, he was everyone’s friend.
I learned a lot of life lessons from him, I remember playing poker with him and some of my friends, he let us win a few hands and then he unleashed destruction and relieved us of all our money. A similar thing happened to me when I played pool with him.
My grandfather gave me my first beer, I think it was a National Bohemian. I didn’t know better then, all I knew was it went well with crabs, and we ate a lot of crabs at his house over looking the Chesapeake Bay. I had a beer not to long ago over at Growlers, they did a oyster stout, and it triggered a sensory memory for me. It reminded me of the smell of the Bay, the salt in the air, it reminded me of my grandfather.
So join me in a toast, to salute a great man, my grandfather, John Paul Rinehart on what would be his 100th birthday. I miss you granddad and I wish you were here.