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We were in dry dock in East Boston during the blizzard of '78...after the storm when the streets were somewhat cleared, I finally left the ship. On my return, I stopped off at a local watering hole for a beer. Sat down at the bar, a couple of stools down from the only other customer. This fellow had obviously had a long afternoon at said bar, empty pack of smokes and his forehead laid on the bar. Bartender came over, shook the guy and told him there was a cab outside for him. Guy jumps up, pushes the bartender and starts to rant....meanwhile I standup, grab his collar and belt and "gently" walk him to the door and saw him out. I then went back to my beer.

I looked up and caught the bartender in the mirror on the phone. He see's me and quickly begins whispering in Sicilian (as a Philly kid, I knew some guys...). I never paid for another beer in that bar.

it was surreal, a neighborhood bar about 2 feet of snow with drifts and plowed piles covering parked cars outside. And the only thing I remember saying was "give me a beer" when I first sat down.

- J J.

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