Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Less

The S.F. Chronicle has had a long history of well known and famous writers. As a v. young child I was weaned on the daily columns of Delaplane, Hoppe, Caen, and my favorite Charles McCabe. As I grew older the inimitable Ralph J. Gleason was a daily read as well as notable sports writers Glenn Dickey and Lowell Cohn. I should mention that Charles McCabe the antithesis to Herb Caen began his career at the Chronicle as a sports writer under the moniker “The Fearless Spectator.” Jauntily sporting his ever present Derby Hat, reeking of royalty (of somewhat dubious origin) while defiantly displaying his extremely stiff clean shaven British/Irish upper lip to the masses, McCabe was in a class that had few equals.

Baths vs. Showers: Most everything Charles wrote I found interesting if not thought provoking. Two subjects Charles wrote about more than once piqued my eclectic curiosity. One subject was the ongoing battle between folks who preferred to lazily loll about in a soapy, sponge laden bath tub vs. the “Enlightened individuals” who preferred (like Mr. McCabe and myself) the joy and exultation of experiencing cascading jets of hot water generously pulsating rhythmically over our weary bodies invigorating not only the outer epidermis but soothing all those aches and pains nestled deep and hidden in those far away places where no bath tub water dare venture. Nothing could be so worrisome or out of kilter that a hot steamy shower could not mend or rectify.
3. The Judd family has resided in the same home in our friendly cul-de-sac in Turlock since May 1980. It contains the normal one bath tub and one shower. Had it not been for my bout with prostate cancer and the necessary soakings in a bath tub two-three times a day to quell the painful and extremely uncomfortable spasms following the surgery, the times I spent in a bath tub could be counted on one hand. Yet on the other hand during the course of a year I would often enjoy the soothing streams of my shower sometimes up to three times a day. No wonder a hot shower is like a baptism, washing away the grime of the world pronouncing your body and soul cleansed and ready for another day.


Shower: Bridal shower, baby shower, meteor shower, to shower someone with gifts or affection. Sounds pretty positive….
Bath: Blood bath, and make a bad business decision, and you “Take a bath.” Sounds not so positive….

Mr. McCabe had a daily routine that he would sometimes share with his readers. Charles frequented his “local pub” every morning at about ten A.M. Cradling a Chronicle under one arm, hand carved British walking stick hanging erect on the other, Charles would regally stride to his “permanent seat” in the darkened shadows at the back of the pub, open up the Chronicle and order the first of two if not three slightly chilled, moderately foamy Rainier Ales, (aka Green Death) straight from the tap. Charles would savor every golden drop of this nectar from the gods and then and only then would he begin writing his next article for the Chronicle.

I too had and have a genuine fondness for Rainier Ale. Of course knowing that my favorite writer enjoyed it made my drinking it that much more enjoyable. Many years ago a friend of mine was making a trip to the Washington State, home of Rainier Ale, and I asked him to bring back a case of quart bottles of Rainier Ale. To this day I have not had a beer, ale, or beverage that tasted as heavenly as the ale that was in those gorgeous, green, quart sized bottles of Rainier Ale.

Here’s the irony. When I would visit my daughter in Pasco, Washington, which is within sight of the great Mt. Rainier, it was and is impossible to purchase a six pack of Rainier Ale. I could buy the cheap Rainer Beer that was available (no taste at all) but for some reason the object of my affection was not for sale, anywhere. My daughter was not used to seeing her father cry.

So, here’s my plea. Anyone out there who might be scanning, reading, poring over, or just glancing at this article in passing, or if you are my sister reading it out of a sense of sisterly duty which I love you for and to Rick who is reading it to make sure I don’t bring any politics into my article….

If any of you know where Rainer Ale can be purchased please email me at or call 417 2359. If I don’t answer right away let the phone ring. I’m probably taking a therapeutic hot shower dreaming of that day a long, long, time ago when I was savoring a large flagon of Rainier Ale.
Until May: Read a book, hug a child, pet a dog, stroke a cat and for heavens sakes make a difference.
Posted:  3/30/2012

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