Thursday, March 19, 2009

What I learned from a Nehi Grape soda...

Blame this on Radar O'Reilly.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite treats was to enjoy a Grape Nehi. Seems like I would always get them at the beach -- or at least in the summertime. Last one I remember drinking was at a Myrtle Beach campground in 1989 or 1990. Seems like a long time ago.

Most of you know how much I love "M*A*S*H." Such a sweet, gentle show, full of wit and humor, but also peppered with ruminations about what is often called the human condition.

Those familiar with the show know where this is headed. The 4077th's lovable clerk, Walter F. "Radar" O'Reilly, loves Grape Nehi. While Hawkeye and the boys throw back beers in Rosie's Bar, Radar sips on his soda.

Well, it got me to thinkin' I wanted one. But, when I got to looking around, they had all but disappeared from Knoxville. What to do?

So I found a store in Mt. Airy, N.C. (Andy Griffith's hometown) that stocks the stuff. Sent away for an entire case! I can't wait.

Last night, when I got home, waiting for me (complete with a bow!) was a 6-pack of Grape Nehi. Pals Mike and Erin had bought it for me for my birthday. Mike had found it at Mast General Store downtown.

Tired from a long (if great!) day, I put a "M*A*S*H" DVD in the player, propped up my feet, found a bottle top opener, and took a swig.

Ahh, beautiful grape carbonated soda! I had forgotten how much I love ye.

Just got an e-mail saying my case of Grape Nehi is being shipped from Carolina today. I feel like a kid in a candy store.

It put a big grin on my face. And, it took me back to childhood for a few minutes. And, I was reminded once again that I have the best friends in the world.

Thanks, Radar.

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