Thanks to Guy Lister for sharing this wonderful story with us. We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did.
One of the most poignant and lasting memories of the way that one of John English’s Brewery Tours could affect an audience is a memory of one of my last days with John. I especially recall this because it was a special tour that was done for a group of Japanese Tourists who wanted to see the Brewery. It was a large group that filled the 1890 Room. Many of the people in that group didn’t even understand the English Language but there were people that day who served as interpreters. The tour didn’t vary that day; John did it as he usually did. He told his stories like always and because of the interpreters, received the usual reactions although there was about a few seconds deal due to the translation. The laughter was still there, the wonder was still, even the snickers at the slightly off-colored stories were there. The image that will forever be engraved in my mind however, will be the one of John standing in the middle of the room at the end of his last story. He had a "Shell Pilsner" glass of beer in his hand as he raised a Toast to his new friends from Japan. He said, "Not all the Thoroughbreds are in Kentucky today. There are a bunch of them here in this room today and it’s been my privilege to be with you folks today." As John stood center stage, the group simultaneously began to sing a very solemn and gentle Japanese song in honor of John’s presentation. It was a song I’d heard before but played only on by a string instrument. Never had I heard it sung. John stood in the middle of the room as the group sang in reverent appreciation and I’ll never forget him taking a large last swig of that fresh cold glass of beer. Certainly he had earned it.
It has been such a pleasureful walk down memory lane for me and I’m so grateful to have been given this opportunity to relive so many great memories of a time and people that will only live on in memory. Sadly, the Narragansett Brewery and many of the unforgettable people who made it what it once was are gone. Still, there are many generations of families who want to preserve the memories of the people and heritage that was Narragansett. To those people, I dedicate my story.
If I may take one more liberty before concluding my story, I would like to thank the mentors and many friends that I’ve had the joy to know over the last 30 years since my first day at the Brewery. There’s a certain "Family" relationship with so many people, too numerous to mention but I hope you all know who you are. My family and I will always be grateful to all of you. Thanks to all my co-workers and employers and special thanks to my many customers, all over New England, especially those of you in Rhode Island, even you "tough customers." As I was taught early in my sales career, the "tough customers" is hard to get and hard to please but they’re worth the effort because once you gain their trust, you’ve gained a good friend. I feel that over the years, I’ve made a lot of good friends.
So let’s all raise a glass. "To the Narragansett Brewing Company and all the people who made it great!" The legacy will live forever. Good people made it happen.
This Story remains the intellectual property of Guy Lister and may not be printed, reprinted, edited, sold or published, conventionally, electronically, or by other means without the expressed written approval of Guy Lister. Copyright 2001.