Saturday, September 20, 2008


As my byline indicates I reside in Memphis, Tennessee, the city where I grew up. Like many southern boys, I couldn’t wait to escape to a more sophisticated destination. As a teenager I imagined that one day I would live in New York, San Francisco, or some other cosmopolitan place. I affected every stereotypical mannerism and attribute of the residents of those glamorous locales. I listened to opera and read the New York Times. I went to the theater and watched foreign language films. While all my good old boy classmates drank bourbon, I drank scotch.

My introduction to scotch came about quite serendipitously. In the 60s if you took a bottle of bourbon to a party, everyone would help themselves to your booze. Once I started drinking scotch, I never had to share my whisky. One of the popular brands of the day was Black and White Scotch which was promoted by ads sporting a Scottish Terrier and a West Highland White Terrier. At Christmas, they would offer their whisky in ceramic decanter versions of their doggy pitchmen. At the time I saw no reason to pay a premium to pour my cocktail from a headless puppy.

However, over the years I, like almost every other dog show follower, have collected a few items of canine memorabilia. For some time I have looked for the Black and White Scotch decanters to add to my collection. The whisky has not been marketed in the US for many years, but the vintage promotional items have retained a loyal following. Recently I stumbled across a pair of the decanters on E-bay. They had long since been drained of the scotch, but the decanters were in excellent condition. They are now contently sequestered in the area of my family room my wife has reserved for my indulgences.

I did make it to New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, but after 25 years I moved back to the South. However, I still drink scotch, listen to opera, watch foreign language films and attend the theater…when I have money left over from my dog budget.


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