Clydesdale’s were a breed of farm horses in Clydesdale, Scotland. Standing six-feet high, the draught horses were used for plowing the fields, commercial delivery in the city and pulling field artillery through the trenches of World War I. After the demise of prohibition, Budweiser bread their own Clydesdales to pull their beer wagons through the busy main streets of the big cities to the side streets of once hidden speakeasies.
Ironically, last week the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to prevent Anheuser-Bush from purchasing Groupa Modelo, the makers of Corona. If the deal is allowed to move forward it could “substantially lessen competition.” Anheuser Bush will control 46 percent of all the beer sold in the United States and the Price of beer will increase dramatically; living up to its name as “the King of Beers.” Miller-Coors, is the second-largest beer company in the U.S. and accounts for about 26 percent of sales.
Due to gasoline rationing during World War II, Clydesdales were also used to pull milk wagons. Every Saturday morning, Tim the milkman delivered eggs, butter, cheese and bottles of milk, topped off with actual cream you could see through the bottle, from the Sheffield Dairy to our front door. He was always two hours later than usual on Saturday because that’s the only day the kids in the neighborhood were allowed to pet and feed the horses.
Bonnie loved the attention. She was a huge well-mannered Clydesdale. Tim never had to “drop anchor” preventing her from moving while making his deliveries. She had large loving, curious, gentle and trusting eyes. She was always well groomed from her mane to her over-sized feet. Everyone loved her.
During the days of sugar rationing, carrots were the treat of the day. But somehow, my father always managed to find two small squares (lumps) of sugar for me to sneak between Bonnie’s lips. Probably my imagination, but it seemed she always licked my hand in appreciation.
One Saturday morning, I almost missed feeding Bonnie. After just having surgery on my foot, I was in an ankle cast. By the time I got out the front door, the milkman was half way up the block. Seeing my disappointment, dad quickly grabbed some sugar, lifted me on his shoulders and we hurried to the milk wagon. After seeing my ankle, Tim lifted me on to the back of Bonnie. She nodded her head a few times, letting me know I was someone special. What a feeling. What an experience. What wonderful memories of Bonnie and Clydesdales.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist.