Why did the Brother of the Bride forego the fine champagne for a Milwaukee's Best toast?
The answer goes back a couple of generations.
Gramps Hayden always had a supply of Milwaukee’s Best (Miller’s economy brew) in the fridge of his tiny 1960s ranch-styled home. A home he reconfigured a bit through the ten years of his five children’s births - and the next decade march to the sons' and daughter's adulthoods.
The fridge squeezed into a tight corner on one side of a narrrow kitchen aisle. Two doors faced each other at the kitchen’s entrance. One of those doors led out to the spacious family-room (an add-on built from the left-over lumber of a relative’s disassembled garage). On Red-Letter Days, three, sometimes four, generations of Haydens could fit in the addition, cans of Milwaukee’s Best dispersed among the adult men.
Just across the kitchen’s single-step threshold another door led downstairs to the sons’ Boy-Cave-ish bedroom. Four twin bunks outlined DIY- paneled walls on one end of the cellar. A washer and dryer, an array of usual basement stuff, and an old piano cluttered the other. This arrangement secured the upstairs bedroom across from the master bedroom: Baby Sis’s haunt.
Twenty-five years later Mr. and Mrs. upscaled to a big and boxy, four-bedroom cape. But the cape’s large fridge (that still appears almost small in its roomy eat-in kitchen) remained stocked with the low budget Milwaukee’s Best.
Since Conor’s grandfather and father passed in 1998, within six months of each other, Larry’s brothers and sister have raised a red, white, and blue Milwaukee’s Best can to their memory every Father’s Day. And left one at their gravesites too.