Monday, November 19, 2012

Seasonal Ritual

By the end of summer, the drink signal becomes sun-bleached, mildewed, tattered, and generally ratty.  I order a new set in the early spring each year (couple of dollars only) and start afresh.

A long-standing ritual in my family and house is that we dispose of the old one in solemn ceremony (in other words, we throw it into the fire haphazardly while drinking liquor).

The purpose of the "drinks signals":

During warm months at 5pm, we fly a cocktails flag outside of our city house, and welcome in for drinks anyone who presses the bell... anyone... which has been interesting.  I am the sixth generation to conduct this strange tradition, though the original burgee didn’t make it past the second. 

Boxing The Compass, Feb. 3, 2011

It becomes an open house for anyone who has the gumption or friendship to press the bell.  You are invited up and given a drink.  Like generations before me, this 5pm open-door policy has resulted in some hilarious/interesting afternoons.  In some cases, it has been attended by the parents of friends who used to frequent the same event hosting by my parents and grandparents, long before my time.


  1. A nice family tradition. Happy Thanksgiving, YWP. Enjoy reading.

  2. I'm making a list of people to send your way to "liven" up your life a little.

  3. YWP,
    Are there official cocktail signal flags? My fiance and I would like to humbly adopt this idea.

  4. Next season you should try inviting via semaphore. You could get a workout in as well.

  5. Need an address...

  6. Did the "P" expire before the end of summer?

  7. Good Thanksgiving to you all the blogfollowers.

    Actually, TG might be solid blog-fodder for you. Plenty to work with there -- for both the curmudgeon and the connoisseur.

  8. A marvelous and egalitarian tradition, and if we were passing by we would be ringing that bell. Have a lovely Thanksgiving.

  9. What a marvelous tradition this is, and a delight that it has been passed on from one generation to the next! Would that I were able to hoist up such flags daily at 5 pm, but unfortunately I find myself toiling away in my city office until at least 7 pm most days. That means cocktail hour at home is bypassed and one goes directly to a restaurant, where dear spouse is waiting because -- by that hour -- the prospect of making dinner at home is less than appealing. Hope your Thanksgiving was a peaceful one. Reggie

  10. I WILL get there in 2013.....I think I have the neighborhood down, now to find the street.


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