In the 60's, the age of drinking varied throughout the United States. Some states like Indiana the legal age for buying and consuming alcohol was 21 like it is today throughout the entire country. Others states extended legal drinking to those 18 and older. Still other states, like Ohio had a strange law that prohibited youth from 18-20 to purchase or imbibe so called hard alcohol but permitted those youth in that age bracket to drink something called 3.2 beer also called near beer by some, which is a beer with lower alcohol content of 3.2 % by weight as compared to a more hearty 6%.
I have lived in Indiana my entire life, but I grew up in Fort Wayne, where I lived 18 miles from the Ohio border. Since Indiana had more stringent drinking laws, Ohio became a mecca of legal drinking for Hoosier young adults. In 1964 approaching my 18th birthday, a good friend Pat, and his girlfriend, Carol, offered to take me to Ohio on my birthday to celebrate turning 18 with a legal drink. (At the time, my boyfriend, the future Daddy D, was at Indiana University in Bloomington diligently studying calculus and organic chemistry.)
So on the night of my birthday, Pat, Carol, and I were off to Ohio for our birthday adventure and my first legal drink. From the northeast side of Fort Wayne, the nearest Ohio saloon was in a town called Hicksville. As the three of us entered the first tavern on the road, there were only men sitting at the bar. One of the bar patrons, said something like, "Hey look, fresh meat." , or some other derogatory term apparently referring to the two young and innocent females that Pat brought to the drinking establishment. Patrick, a pacifist, wisely decided that a celebratory drink of watered-down beer was not worth some kind of bar fight in which he was sadly outnumbered.
Therefore, we returned to Fort Wayne to Alexander's, a pizza place, to celebrate my turning 18. As I remember, we did attempt to order a drink at Alexander's, but we were asked for identification to prove our age. Thus, I celebrated my 18th birthday with two dear friends without alcohol.
I do not remember visiting Hicksville until this summer some 43 years later. On July 7, Daddy D drove through the small Ohio town on our way to our nephew's wedding in another nearby Ohio town. I was pleasantly surprised that Hicksville is an idyllic little village not a town with streets filled with dives as I falsely remember. I would venture to guess that Hicksville residents never enjoyed the youngsters from Indiana coming to Ohio for a night of drinking. Having a name like Hicksville is probably a big enough burden.