My father grew up in Swissvale, Pa. and at the time it was a blue collar town mostly made up steel mill workers and middle class families. After he and my mother married they decided to lay down their roots there. Since my father grew up there he knew most of the people that lived in the neighborhood, and since he was a commercial tire salesman most of them came to him when they needed tires. Growing up I would always hear "your dad is the tire man". Like most adults my parents needed an escape from us kids, not that we were bad but some of the shit we did makes me shake my head. One spot they would go to was a small local bar by the name of Brushes. It was a corner bar that didn't have much to it. It was basically just the bar counter top and a few seats on the back wall. As I got older I would sometime stop in the bar on a Saturday afternoon to say hi to my dad and his friends as they would be watching the college football games. Once I turned 21 my father and my uncle took me to that same bar for some drinks.
As I was growing up I became friends with a lot of my fathers friends kids. Most of us still are very close and talk everyday. It is kind of crazy to think our parents hung out and here we are hanging out like they did. As we all went separate ways to college and jobs, we still all somehow managed to stay around the Swissvale area. Soon we were all 21 and weekends would be hanging at the Boomerang Bar, under new ownership they changed the name. What was once our parents hang out had become ours, it was like a passing down of generations. The town though was starting to take a turn for the worst and more crimes were happening. Since most of us lived in walking distance to the bar we never thought much of it though. In fact I felt safe in there because we knew most of the people that would be going in an out. As the neighborhood got worst most of us decided to move to other neighborhoods, but we still would go back to the Boomerang from time to time. As the years went by and the town got worst those frequent stops there soon came to an end. However there is still one day a year where we all round up and head down to the Boomerang. That one day is "Sausage Day". On this day the bar has a few different people make a shitload of hot sausage. You can come to the bar and have a sandwich or a couple. There is no cost for the sandwich, all they ask is that you leave a donation. You see all the money made that day is donated to Children's Hospital. The food money, the beer money, even the bar tenders donate their tips. What makes this day even better is this is one of the few times where all the generations get together and can throw a few back and tell stories about growing up in the area. The small bar will be packed from morning until close with people coming and going to donate. My friends and I tend to spend a good part of the day there. I don't want to say how long but put it this way most of us work that same amount of hours any given day of the week. Sausage Day has become a ritual for my friends. In the past it has gotten crazy, and the day ended with some of us face down on the bathroom floor or passing out another friends house. Whatever happens though we all like to say that we are doing this for the kids. When one friend can't make it we like to tell them it is their fault a kid wont get a surgery. Most of us don't want to be that guy so you just suck it up and cheers to the kids.
|Sometimes you just have to lay down wherever and get some sleep, also notice how dirty my socks are. I think I was outside walking around for who knows what before I found the bathroom.........But good times were had by all.|