Well, I was in Japan. I didn’t have access to the urn. But I did have friends, and the enlisted men’s club did have Jim Beam. I gathered my friends, we sat around a table and I poured a shot for each of them… and one for my dad.
“Shipmates, here’s to John Matthew Schmalfeldt. One sweet son-of-a-bitch!” I said. Then I downed the shot. Everyone else downed theirs as well. Dad’s sat, untouched.
Until it was time to leave, however. I drank it. Dad hated to see good bourbon go to waste.
There are so many stories about my Dad. Many of them, slightly-fictionalized (to varying degrees), are in my book Hunky Dunk. But the man was larger than life. Even now, 27 years after his passing, I feel his presence every day.