R.I.P. Ralph Griggs … it is belated, but no less heartfelt
Originally published at NA Confidential on October 8, 2015. And then you get sidetracked — and feel like crying. 30-odd years ago, when I was working nights at Scoreboard Liquors (razed in 1988), we’d rope off the parking lot during Harvest Homecoming and charge people $5 to park, unless they were paying customers. The idea eventually arose among my friends to just leave our cars parked there, purchase some Stoli, Rose’s Lime Juice and plastic cups, and stroll the festival at our leisure. Thus was born the concept of Vodka-Thon, and one of those years (it was 1986), Ralph came along. Ralph was a regular customer. He was a few years older than me, short of stature and heavily bearded, and if memory serves, he’d been in the army during the late Vietnam period and had been stationed in Germany. He was intelligent, soft-spoken, and a tad eccentric; he actually read books, regretted not becoming an undertaker, and once gave me a textbook about mortuary science. I still have it somewhere. How did I know these things? Because Ralph came in a lot, at all hours of the day, and what I didn’t know — actually,  what I chose not to know — was that he was an...Read more