A Rainy Sunday at Bel Air Liquors

Sunday afternoon, outside of Bel Air Liquors, there was thunder and lightning and maybe an inch of rain falling every thirty minutes. Inside, there were over a hundred well-mannered people with excellent taste in whiskey, waiting patiently in line to shake my hand and grab a photo. What do you say to people who brave a hurricane to say hello and buy a signed bottle of your grandfather’s whiskey? Well, if you’re me, you say “thanks,” as sincerely as you can, over and over again.

Among those who waited, was the Pelletier family – all fourteen of them. This is without a doubt, the largest family I’ve ever posed for a photo with, and I’m not even sure they were all represented. I mean really, once you show up with fourteen, you have to assume there’s another three or four in the wings, right? I don’t remember each of their names, but I think it was young Jake (?) who made a crab out of stones, mounted it in a very tasteful frame, and presented it to me as a gift. Thanks, Jake. Very thoughtful. I’ll hang it in a place of prominence upon my return.

I met Nick Berte, who built a very cool Double Whiskey Barrel Liquor Cabinet, that opens and closes with the touch of a remote control. The store is raffling it off at the annual Maryland Italian Festival to raise money for charity. (A Knobel Cause, if you will?)

I met a guy called Mike Griffith, who is a Maryland State Delegate for District 35B. I know this because he gave me his business card, which I I’ll hang on to. You never know when you need the services of a state delegate, right?

And then there was Jon, a Baltimore County Detective who was shot four times by a creep with an AR-15 just a few months ago. Jon survived, happily, and was released from the hospital not long ago. His wounds are very serious, but he stood in line like all the others, thanked me for supporting first responders, and gave me a patch that said, “Don’t Die Easy.”

What do you say to a guy who risks his life to serve and protect you, gets damn near killed, and then comes out on a rainy Sunday to shake your hand? If you’re me, you say “thanks,” as sincerely as you can, over and over again.

And of course, I met the proprietor, Larry Dean, and his hardworking family. Big thanks to all of you guys, for making it happen on a rainy Sunday. And congratulations for having such awesome customers.

Till next time.

PS. As of Wednesday the 12th, Bel Air Liquors still has a few signed bottles. But not many. If you’re in the area, you can pick one up. Or, you can find a few at knobelspirits.com. Assuming you live in a state that allows me to ship one to you, I’d be happy to oblige. Online sales benefit mikeroweWORKS, and we’re raising money for the next round of work ethic scholarships later this Fall.

Carry on,
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