October 4, 2008


     Perhaps everyone remembers their first writing that was published. In perusing my files, I came across mine—which I’d forgotten! I was a student at Erie County Technical Institute in Williamsville, New York, majoring in medical laboratory technology.
     Although I was good at English I didn’t see myself in a writing career—which officially began in 1990, after I’d married and raised my family. The piece below was written for a class, and the professor asked me  if it could be published in the school newspaper, the Institooter. It was printed on April 26, 1963.   Carolyn
True Confessions of a Glass
     “Everyone said we were too young, wait until your 21…but our lips met at 18.”
I am a glass—not just any kind of glass, but a special type. And if I had any choice, I would have picked myself a different career. Let me tell you about myself.
     I was born in the same manner as any glass, packed for delivery and taken to my destination. Alas, since I am a glass, I had no choice.
     After a bouncy, bumpy ride in the back of a dark truck, I arrived at my new home to serve the people to the best of my ability. For two days my glassmates and I were allowed to rest and ponder our futures.
     Then we were unpacked and set on a shelf in a storage room. I was in a key position—I could see other items that were also being stored here. There were many shelves.
     On the shelf directly across from me I noticed many various shaped bottles. I could just make out the labels: Dry Wine, Sweet Wine and many variations of these products. So, I knew now where I was—a bar or nightclub of some sort.
     After spending three days on this shelf, a big, unshaven man came and took me and a few dozen of my glassmates from our shelf into another dimly lit, noisy room. We were placed on another shelf there.
Again, I had an extremely good location. Here I could have a glimpse of my future. Well, I did not like what I saw. The room was quite small. There was a four-piece band (if you could call it that) at one end of the room. The noise it made! It’s a wonder I didn’t crack up right then!
     There was a bar on my side of the room. Here were sprawled what looked like high school teenagers. They couldn’t have been more than 18 or 19 years old at the most. They were mostly fellows. From the conversations I found I was in New York State, near the Pennsylvania border. I knew this was one of the few states in the country where you could consume alcoholic beverages at the age of 18 years old.
     The dance floor was small, but might crowded. Some of the dancers could barely stand straight—I guess the proper word is they were staggering, or “tipsy.” Yet, here they were, doing the most popular and newest dance crazes, the twist and the shimmy. They didn’t even know who they were dancing with, it seemed.
     As crowded as it was, more kids kept coming in—and getting affected by their drinking. I overheard one group of teenagers discussing the trip back to Pennsylvania. They must have come here so they could drink “legal.” I wondered how they could ever drive home safely. They must be a menace on the streets.
     Then I received the surprise of my life. One fellow (who had had too much to drink and had just been bragging to himself and his friends about how well he could hold his liquor) took a very close glassmate of mine and smashed it on the floor (and really cracked him up, I might add) because he wasn’t being served fast enough. This set off a chain reaction among the kids during which many of my glassmates were shattered. These are the same teenagers who think they can hold their liquor.
     Well, the bar was closed for serving minors, and I’m back in the storage room now. For good, I hope.
     In view of my past history I am in full agreement with those people in New York State who wish to raise the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 years old.





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