Anyway, You Can Make that Call

The piano notes were unmistakable as I entered the liquor store. I froze in my tracks.

“Ryan, I can’t believe this. They’re playing some incredibly niche Paul McCartney in here. Like, 2005 Paul McCartney. It’s an album my dad always played — Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. See, this is why Weber is the best.”

I am incredibly fond of Weber Street Liquor. It’s the liquor store for my alma mater, Colorado College. Students frequent this place so often, when school starts back up in August, Weber hangs a banner out front that says “Welcome home, Tigers!” My roommate, Marta, and I were regulars during our college years. Recognizing that we knew virtually nothing about craft beer, we embarked on a beer “connoisseurship.” We’d build a mix-and-match 6-pack (affectionately dubbed a “mixy sixy”) with some arbitrary rule (e.g. select only beers in purple cans). Then we’d proceed to split each beer over the course of the week, rate them out of 5, and write up a review. I would tape a torn piece of scrap paper to the can with our summary, and Marta would plant a succulent in the can. The good old days. read more

A Little Cup of Chocolate

“His last name is just so rare and fun-sounding, I have to believe it must mean something very specific — like, ‘little cup of chocolate.'”

I laughed and shook my head at my dad. We were heading to Colorado to visit family friends in Grand Lake, but first with a stop to the Front Range. There, we’d visit Colorado College, my eventual alma mater (though at the time I was undecided) and link up with my dad’s friend, John (“Captain”), in Boulder. My dad had asked Captain if he knew of any climbing guides who could take me out on some real rock. One of the strongest pulls for me to go to college in Colorado was rock climbing, but as a primarily gym climber, I wanted to see and feel the rocks myself. Captain knew just the guy: Rob Coppolillo. Or as my dad would henceforth refer to him, Rob ‘Little Cup of Chocolate.’ read more

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