With less than forty-eight hours remaining before Gabriel blows his sacred horn to summon the dead to meet their maker, I find myself facing the usual end times quandary–where to have that last drink before judgment day? While I’m not sure that I agree with Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping’s fuzzy Bible-based mathematical formulations which pinpoint May 21st as the beginning of the end–I was tempted not to make the minimum payments on this week’s round of credit card bills.
In the past, I’ve attempted to avoid being caught up in the Rapture by remaining safely huddled behind my bar at home. But as this is the first official Judgment Day since we began publishing American Public House Review in 2007, I feel compelled to hold that final session in one of the many fine establishments that have been featured in our publication. And after a period of careful deliberation, I’ve decided that it was only fitting to raise that parting glass in the place where it all began–The Boat House in Lambertville, New Jersey.
It was right around the last time Mr. Camping predicted the end of the world in 1994, that my friend Jim Morris-Lee and I, while enraptured by the ambience of The Boat House, discussed the possibility of a magazine dedicated to the virtues pub life. Unfortunately, this brilliant writer was unable to be part of the eventual online venture. But in the event that our time here is truly short, I thought that I would share the last piece of writing that Jim sent my way.
THE POWER OF A PENNY
A little short, I pay the balance due on
a large cup of coffee at the general store
with a few extra pennies.
Some small talk then with the owner
about their personal value – you know,
squashing them on the tracks of the great
Trans-Canadian Railway when we were kids,
using one for a fuse during a thunderstorm,
or as material for making pendants while
he was a machinist in the Pacific Fleet.
An excuse, really, to talk about nothing,
and everything, simply spending time over
As I once again read Jim’s words, I am reminded that it is those simple aspects of life and how we treat one another that will determine whether we exist in a heaven or a hell–because everyday is Judgment Day. So employ your judgment wisely!
Posted by: Chris Poh