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Log Entry

After 50 Years, A Time to Stop Drinking

Ecclesiastes 3:1, For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.


On September 4th, Labor Day 1972, I got intoxicated for the first time at the Ulmstead picnic at the community beach. At the picnic were unsupervised kegs of beer. Hey, what could go wrong mixing teenagers with unguarded kegs. Unnoticed by the adults, most of us teenagers liberally helped ourselves on that end-of-summer holiday day.

That same day, Olympic Legend, Mark Spitz, won his record seventh gold medal. His accomplishment was much more commendable than mine. I staggered home from the picnic in an inebriated state, crawled up the stairs, burst into my parent's bedroom, and bellowed, "Mark Sppitttzzzz won his sevvveenthh gold meddle!" Like they didn't already know. Dad – usually the firm military disciplinarian – was surprisingly unfazed. He ordered me to go outside and "walk it off." I was hammered.


And the next day, I experienced another first - a massive hangover that included a blistering headache and necessitating visits to "drive the porcelain bus." But my parents did not say a word, and my future drinking went undeterred by the ill effects of that infamous Labor Day revelry.


That party commenced a fifty-year season of alcohol-infused merriment. Fortunately, and luckily, without ever incurring disastrous occurrences or repercussions.


Back to the present to share some motives for my time to stop drinking course correction. In short, it is primarily health-related. I can no longer continue drinking as I have, feel good, and maintain the desired mental acuity and physical health. Those days are in the past.


Therefore, I must confront reality and give up the drink. The chances of imbibing in moderation – having that one glass of wine with dinner – won't happen. Moderation is just not in my DNA. Dear Ole Grandpa Cole supposedly said of drinking, "I like it so much, I don't do it at all." I will heed the wisdom of my forefathers.


I am already making adjustments with Holly's help. While I loved my Dark & Stormys, Holly has already come up with a "mocktail" replacement for me via "shrubs" she discovered through her much-adored jam purveyor, Blake Hill Preserves. And I thank Peter Howard for steering me to Athletic Brewing, a good non-alcoholic beer substitute.



It will be challenging for me to stay committed to sobriety. I will need encouragement and support from friends to stay on the course. And I thank you all in advance.


But, not to worry, there will still be plenty of cocktails and barley sandwiches aboard CAYUGA for friends to enjoy. Yah never know though, you might just get served a mocktail and love it.

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5 Comments


Guest
Dec 23, 2022

Great story Brad! Good luck with the new regime. I’m sure you’ll find a new habit or two to distract you. That non-alcoholic beer is not too bad. But feel free to call if you need someone to talk you off the urge. Best, Bob

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Brad D. Cole
Brad D. Cole
Dec 23, 2022
Replying to

Thank you, Bob!

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Guest
Dec 19, 2022

Brad that takes tremendous courage. You can borrow my kids and the things they say will make you feel drunk. Allison and I are always here for you. Happy to lend support in anyway we can.


Best,

Geremy

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Brad D. Cole
Brad D. Cole
Dec 20, 2022
Replying to

Thank you, Geremy. You and Allison are doing wonderfully at developing the next gen of sailors.


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Guest
Dec 18, 2022

Excellent insight and story. Your grandad said it perfectly. U don’t have to do it alone,but it seems u have to do it. I’m right here for u Brad!

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