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Kate DeSmet: Why My Father Banned Vernor's from Our Home


May 15, 2018, 12:02 PM

The writer is a former Detroit News reporter. This is reposted from Facebook with permission.


An old picture of my mom, dad, brothers, and sister visiting Mexico in 1951 before I was born.

By Kate DeSmet

My family, before I was born, had moved to Long Beach, Calif. so my dad could try and sell Vernor's ginger ale to Southern Californians who'd never heard of it.

Unfortunately, it was a bust.

My dad, who'd sold the family home and quit his great job in Detroit to go on this adventure was forced to return to Detroit, move our family in with relatives and work three jobs to make ends meet.

I always gave my parents credit for taking that risk and bouncing back. But my dad never forgave Vernor's sales execs for "conning" him into believing Californians would want their golden brew.

He banned the stuff from our house when I was growing up and never allowed us to drink it anywhere else, even the parish Christmas party!

I remember what it felt like when the Vernor's was set in front of us at the Christmas party at church and then removed by my dad. There was nothing else to drink. And this was years later; he was adamant about that!

The Vernor's gnome was not allowed in our home.

i was remembering what it felt like when the vernor's was set in front of us at the christmas party at church and then removed by my dad; there was nothing else to drink...and this was years later; he was adamant about that!


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