Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Passing of a True Whiskey Lover

Sid Drazin, the owner of the Comet liquor store in my neighborhood for the past 20 years, just died today.

I'd go into his somewhat run-down store and ask him for recommendations on whiskey and you could tell he was so proud to be showing a younger guy what whiskey was all about. One time he asked me, "You know how much it costs to make a gallon of whiskey? One dollar and thirty five cents." Then he waited for my reaction and I feigned surprise. He also informed me that the only whiskey worth drinking was J.T.S. Brown (the type Paul Newman drank in the movie the Hustler). It was one of the only bottles in the place under $16 so I bought it. And you know, he wasn't too far off.

Some people who knew him better that I did posted to my neighborhood's email forum:

There are many thoughts in my mind for his wife Bernice, his daughter, others who worked for him, those of us who gathered at the deli table. He was like a father to many of us: a great friend in times of need, a counselor, a conscience, a voice of courage, ever-thoughtful... a great friend who many of us are going to miss.

Sid and Bernice celebrated the 25th anniversary of their marriage. Sidney Drazin—a WWII veteran who was once severely wounded and temporarily blinded by a kamikaze that crashed into his ship--owned and managed, over the years, a print shop and two liquor stores, the latter of which--the Comet--was augmented by a deli and became a
unique, unforgettable social club in the heart of Adams Morgan.

He was a good neighbor, a pillar of our community, a mentor to me and hundreds of people who frequented the Comet over the years and, frankly, one of the best friends I ever had.

My dear friends, as many of you doubtless know, we have lost Sid, the longtime owner of Comet Liquor. He died yesterday, at the hospital after suffering what I am told was a ruptured aorta.

Everyone has memories of Sid, his store, his way doing business....really, of the community center he ran on Columbia Road. We have all lost a dear friend.
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