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My first "real" hobby--one that lasted longer than a few months--was beer-can collecting. It was the rage among boys in the 1970s. I had some pretty good stuff, including a private-label beer (a rare thing back then), called "Draught Courage," brewed by Ted Turner, who gave it to a wealthy friend of my father's (who was friends with Turner and Walter Cronkhite) and one of my paper-route customers, who gave it to me because he knew I collected cans.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that Beer Can Appreciation Day had come and gone without me even noticing. It was January 24th, the 24th marking the day the first canned beer was sold:

Canned beer makes its debut on this day in 1935. In partnership with the American Can Company, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company delivered 2,000 cans of Krueger's Finest Beer and Krueger's Cream Ale to faithful Krueger drinkers in Richmond, Virginia. Ninety-one percent of the drinkers approved of the canned beer, driving Krueger to give the green light to further production.

Funny story about my dad's friend and Walter Cronkhite: They attended a UM-OSU football game in the 1970s in Columbus. Cronkhite had been drinking and really had to relieve himself, but they were stuck in gridlock traffic. He finally couldn't hold it any longer, so he jumped out of the car, knocked on the front door of the nearest house, and said, "I'm Walter Cronkhite. Would you mind if I used your bathroom?" The stunned woman said "yes," then said as he left the house, "My husband's never going to believe this."