My grandfather, Jerry Glenn, ran the general store at Curtin. I never knew him. He died in 1936 at age 62 . Apparently, he was a “pretty good egg”. His obituary indicates he was highly regarded in the community. Jerry (or Jeri) appears in the names of two of his grandchildren – including me. He must also have been something of a wag.
In the early 2000’s, I met a woman, then in her 80’s, who was born in Curtin and had lived there all her life. Her face lit up and her eyes looked into the past when she learned that I was descended from the Jerry Glenn she knew as a kid. She said, “You know what I remember about your grandfather? He always had this look on his face, like he was up to somethin’.” Funny thing is, my father also fit that description to a T, and I have been told the same thing, so maybe it’s genetic. But I digress from the root beer.
Traditional root beer was made from sassafras or sarsaparilla and was sometimes an alcoholic beverage, made and stored in barrels. In old Curtin, after work the “boys” would sit around the general store and have a few root beers while chewing the fat. One day when this woman was about 8, the story went, she and a girlfriend decided they’d like to try what the fellas were drinking. Somehow, they managed to snitch enough from the barrel to get drunk. My grandfather apparently got such a kick out of it that he couldn’t stop laughing, tears rolling down his cheeks. Today, he would probably have been sued and possibly arrested on criminal charges, but things were different then. Once he recovered his composure sufficiently, he just loaded the little girls into his Model T and delivered the two scamps to their mothers.
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Jerry is a retired general surgeon and a new Board Member of the Roland Curtin Foundation. He has Curtin roots extending back to 1831, through four previous generations.