Big Rosie
Saturday, January 13, 2007

Back story for the 76th.


Big Rosie:

Picture it: Dyton. Not so long ago. A tavern. Good food. Clean rooms. Reasonable rates. Inquire at the bar. That was my life. Was. Past tense.

My parents worked hard and raised us to believe that if you studied diligently and applied yourself you could do anything you set your mind to. Anything. We never starved and we seldom wanted. We learned the trade and helped out around the place. They swore they would be just as happy to pass the business on to the sixth generation, but we knew they hoped most of us would find an easier way of life. We knew we were better off than many, even on Dyton it was possible to starve in quiet desperation. We watched. We learned. We worked. We fought and laughed and grew up, then my older sister and three big brothers moved on to other things. We kept in close contact and they came back to visit when they could. I was going to a good academy, learning business and management. Not exactly exciting stuff, but useful since it looked like I was the one child most likely to carry on the family tradition of feeding and lodging. Halfway through my third year my father had a massive heart attack. One too many big kegs to wrestle at his age. Gone. That fast. I went back to help my mother hang on to the tavern. I’d have to pick up marketing as I went along then show them a thing or two when I went back to school, Mom joked. We both knew I’d probably never be able to get time and money in the same place again for that unless there was a mass migration to the Colony. We kept up the liquor license. We had to or we’d have shut the doors in a week. One lousy inspection when we couldn’t afford the bribe and the kitchen was shut up tight. It was a new inspector, the old family friend had retired a year earlier. You could have eaten off that floor. The equipment was old but in good repair. The hun dan said he’d take it out in trade. Mother declined and advised him exactly what would happen if he extended the offer to her daughter. Looking back, that’s probably what did it. Closed until further notice. Period. When you’re in a small settlement that can happen. Nobody to appeal to because one person (and I use the term loosely) is the entire department. So there we were. A big place to keep up and no way to do it. Mom found work at another tavern. It galled her no end to do that when her own was two miles away and idle. I tried my hand at shopkeeping, factory work, bar tending, whatever would pay. Nothing seemed steady enough or paid very well, so I went looking in a bigger city. It seemed bigger, but that just meant more people looking for jobs. I found work in a specialty fabric shop. With an extra “pe” for good measure. Brides’ mothers pay through the nose without wincing for a pretty length of just the right thing. Between telling girls how good that chartreuse satin looked on their best friends during the day and sliding beers down the bar at night I managed to send enough back to help with taxes, but not enough to get that order rescinded. Alliance taxes are tough to keep up with. Trying to get a bar out of hock when the health code enforcer has decided to hold a grudge and get his graft one way or the other is damned near impossible. The bribe kept going up. I’d just gotten word that mother’s fifth and final petition had been refused. The tavern was gone except as a family home, and we probably wouldn’t have that for long either owing to the taxes being zoned for a thriving business. My siblings had helped all they could but they were too far away and too poor to save it, even with all of us pitching in. Mom was going to sell it and move in with my oldest brother. After closing at the bar one night, or maybe it was morning, I noticed some drunk had pasted up a bulletin.The words were simple but direct. The spelling was correct. That alone is probably what decided the course of my life. Good spelling with proper use of punctuation. Overeducated snob that I am. I waved Mom for an objective opinion. She said that if it was what I wanted she knew I’d be able to do it. Hadn’t she been telling me that all my life, or had she been wasting her breath? She told me to keep my head down and mind my manners, youngest and spoiled tend to pop off a bit when they have been overindulged by a patient family. That last was said with The Look. I promised I’d try. She told me to be careful and come home safely, but meeting an end doing something I believed in was just as good as meeting an end doing something I hated. She promised she’d be fine, had been since her husband had died, wasn’t about to stop now. She said not to worry. So here I am. Someone finally pushed me until I was angry enough to fight. Am. Present tense.


Saturday, January 13, 2007 1:18 PM


Now if only I'd run spell check before posting it OVER THERE it would not have such a tinge of irony attached. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 3:26 PM


I didn't notice any gaffs...must have been subtle;)

Still...loved this little intro to the 76th background. Nice to know Dyton Colony ain't a complete craphole filled with crooks and n'er-do-wells:D



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