• John McGary, Woodford Sun Editor

Here's Johnny!

Last Thursday, June 13, marked an end to an era in Versailles: the last Pint Night at Kroger. I learned about it from a Facebook post by one of the members of the Wolfpack I’d come to know when I chronicled the journey of pack member Becky Selby in April 2017. Becky was struggling then with a reoccurrence of the cancer that eventually took her life last August. As I wrote then, Becky died Sunday, having lived far longer than her doctors thought possible. She was beautiful and funny and a great listener who put up with my occasional head-scratching comments with humor and patience. Last week, Becky’s dear friend and fellow Wolfpack member Joy Farmer posted a wonderful photo of the gang and this message: “Kroger had their very last pint night tonight. Tonight we stopped in to raise a glass for Becky Everman Selby! Our pint night tradition began as a way to get Becks out of the house the night before her chemo treatments. It soon became a weekly tradition. Though we haven’t been many times in the last year the memories made and the fun had will last a lifetime. Love and miss you Becks!!” I was covering an important Woodford Board of Health meeting that evening, but had I known it would be the last Pint Night, I would have joined the gang to raise a glass of my own for Becky. The greatest thing about Pint Night was getting to know Becky and Joy and Carol Cain Thurman and Allison Gentry and their friends – like Becky, they were fun and funny. A distant, but notable second was sitting or standing (usually standing, as they were only a few seats at the bar) and having a pint or two (two was the maximum allowed) in a Kroger liquor store. It seemed odd, but right. For $3.50, you got 16 ounces of good beer and could take the pint glass home. After awhile, Pint Night veterans found their shelves full of various decorated glasses, and when friends visited, begged them to take a few home with them. I never reached that stage, but two years after I first hoisted a pint (or two) there, I, too, was running out of room for glassware. Pint Night ran from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays, and afterwards, some of us would, empty glasses in a brown paper bag in one hand, do a bit of grocery shopping. I suppose Kroger brass decided they weren’t making enough money on the deal, or it was too much trouble, or something. It’s still a shame. Versailles has two Starbucks within 100 yards of each other, 167 antique/art shops and 245 auto parts stores – there’s no room for a place that offers good brew at a decent price for two hours one day a week? As a character in the TV show “Arrested Development” is fond of saying when frustrated or surprised, “C’mon!” We have what I presume is still the largest Kroger in the state, but for some of us, what I jokingly referred to in a 2015 column as Kroger World will never be the same. I get it, though. Things change, for worse and better, and I’m glad I had the chance to drink beer in a grocery’s liquor store and, most important, become friends with the Wolfpack. Ladies, let’s hoist one again soon, somewhere else. We can even go grocery shopping afterwards, for old time’s sake.

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