19 September 2007

Sharon Hill Punch

Sharon Hill Punch.

That's what my grandfather called the water that came out of his tap in South-West Philadelphia.

Maybe it was like an Ent thing (sorry... Tolkien reference...). The Ent water was nourishing to some and made others a bit dozy; but everyone recognized that there was something magical about it. I think the Sharon Hill Punch harbored the same qualities.

Grandpa used to call us into the kitchen for a drink. We'd rush in expecting orange-juice or apple-juice or some other fruity blend. Instead we'd be presented with twelve-ounce glasses of Philly H20. But protesting got us nowhere. My Grandpa had been a train-yard and ship-yard pipe-fitter his whole adult life. He was a presence, even during the onset of old age. You just didn't mess with Grandpa.

And so we drank the Sharon Hill Punch. In fact, as we grew older, we learned to play the trick on our own younger siblings. "Hey, want a glass of Sharon Hill Punch?"; "Well, okay."; "Here you go!"; "Hey! This is just water!"

Funny how things like that come back to you. These days, my grandfather is stumbling along bravely as a 90 year-old man. My grandmother is long passed.

There are days now and then that I could use some Sharon Hill Punch.

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