Some years ago I was speaking at a Chamber of Commerce annual banquet in one of the small towns here in the Sioux Falls area, and as I often do, I turned back to the 'old days'.

There were perhaps a couple of hundred folks there that evening and I talked about the holidays back in the area where I grew up in southwest Minnesota. We would have a family get-together, with all those Uncles and Aunts and cousins. And there was a bunch because my mom was one of eleven kids and my dad was one of nine. So whoever's house we were at, it was full!

Now, a lot of the folks at that Chamber Banquet I spoke at were about my age, and that meant their parents were of the same generation as mine, the so-called 'World War II' generation. And I said to them, 'And when I was a kid and my folks and their brothers and sisters were over for the holiday, they'd break out a bottle of wine and I'll bet you know what wine it was".

A chorus came back at me from most of that crowd:

'Mogen David!'

I smiled and they laughed and began remembering.

Apparently with those two words 'Mogen David', I brought back a flood of warm holiday memories. For whatever reason, that was the wine of choice for our parents and uncles and aunts.

My parents weren't big drinkers. Oh, Dad might have a Miller Pony (remember those little 6 ouncer's?) once in a while on a hot summer day, but I don't recall a lot of booze in our fridge back on the farm. But a big family gathering over the holidays was a special occasion and it called for a special...beverage.

And it was always (at least in the warm recesses of my memory) the same beverage.

I can still see that big 'ol heavy jug of Mogen my seven-year-old eyes it seemed like a gallon! And come to think of it, maybe it was. But it was a glass for all the adults and truth be known, a sip for us, too. And at seven or eight, a sip was enough! As I recall, it sure did warm the belly!

And the memory, well that warms the heart.

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