Source: The Independent

Right of Passage
January 22, 2014 | 01:03 AM

Jerry ... Unlike you at 16, I always walked brazenly into my local drug store in Valley Stream and said, "One three-pack of Ramsey's, please". That was 1966, usually on a Friday or Saturday night, when it all was still "taboo" and my friends were busy browsing Life Savers.

Didn't really care if my Mom's friends or neighbors were around, because without "the goods", nothing was going to happen with me and Mary Jane that night. Simple as that. And because all of my friends thought I was a Superstar in a drug store, I wound up ordering for everyone (their money in advance, of course). I was their hero every week!

Then we'd try to score some beer. Same routine, because I had older friends standing by. It was great to be "me" in the neighborhood!

Now they sell "rubbers" anywhere in the store, with no questions asked behind-the-counter. Which is good, I guess.

But I think all young men are missing out on the classic "right-of-passage" and courage, by not having to confront a scarey 60 year-old man saying, "Yes young man, can I help you?" LOL, Bill Crandall

Bill Crandall