FROM THIS PUBLICAN'S PERCH
By Chris Poh, Publisher of American Public House Review
The Little Shack in the Back
I harbor fond memories from my childhood concerning our annual journey to acquire the family’s Christmas tree. We did not cross hill and dale with axe and saw in hand in search of that perfect spruce or fir. But my father and I did manage to make the six block trek to the small vacant lot that was rented every December by the Knights of Columbus in order to raise money for some local charity. There was a magic to this tiny transformed piece of ground. I loved wandering through the rows of leaning evergreens, as my dad negotiated height, shape and price with his fellow members of that respected Roman Catholic organization.
In keeping with what I believe to be a well-established tradition and prerequisite for most Christmas tree lots, there was the makeshift shack in the back corner of the property. There the chilled men would duck in from time to time to warm themselves by the kerosene heater, and to pass around the secret bottle of rye whiskey that was meant not to be seen by the prying eyes of curious young boys.
I was always impressed by the good-natured cheer and camaraderie that emanated from that space. Perhaps it was this early experience that fostered my love of little pubs—those intimate settings where people gather in peace and benevolence to share and to celebrate those worthy qualities that are common to all of humanity.
On behalf of all us at American Public House Review, we wish everyone warm places, warmer hearts, and the warmest of Holiday Seasons!