With the holidays just around the corner, I imagine that many of you will be throwing or attending a festive party over the next couple of months.
Hopefully, you'll be doing it as an adult, and if you have any kids that want to throw a party at home, it's your job as a parent to stay home and supervise them.
Of course, I'm a hypocrite because the first major party I was allowed to throw came on Dec. 31, 1982, at my home on Third Avenue in Altoona. My parents trusted me, and, for the most part, I did throw an alcohol-less party - sort of.
My parents were headed to their usual party venue, the Buccinese Club, for New Year's Eve, and they let my brother Tom and me have a party.
It was understood that with my father being Italian, and my mother being extremely Catholic/ Italian, everyone was to be on their best behavior.
For the most part, I was kind of geeky in high school, and my friends really didn't partake in beer parties. I had friends who did and friends who didn't. Most of the friends who came to my house that night didn't care if there was alcohol at my soiree or not.
And as they used to say on "Dragnet," here is where names will be changed - or simply omitted - to protect the innocent.
One of my friends showed up with his date, and his date was drunk. I was nervous. My brother was nervous. We talked about what to do, but then my friend informed me that he was going to have his date sleep it off and that she would soon be fine.
He put her in my parents' bedroom.
My brother and I raced upstairs to find the date throwing up in our bathroom; she had already thrown up in my parents' bedroom.
At this point, I believe my brother wanted to call the cops on the girl. Did I mention that my father was an Altoona policeman? I just wanted to throw her and my friend out in the snow.
They left, but thank God I had good friends at my house that night. A guy named Billy Karl (his real name) was able to unclog the toilet - another story. Two more friends helped Tom and me take the bedding downstairs, wash it and dry it and remake the bed.
At the end of the night, after everyone had gone home, just Tom, me and a few buddies who were staying the night were sitting around the living room when my parents came home.
They asked how the night went - and we lied through our parochial school grins. And as my parents complimented us, I looked away from them, only to notice that next to the manger scene, on our platform in front of our Christmas tree, was an open can of beer - right next to baby Jesus.
Silent Night, O holy @*%# night!
Our parents went to bed somehow without seeing it, and the five of us wrapped the can up in a bunch of paper and tossed it in the garbage without making a sound.
One last detail: Six months later, at a summer picnic in my backyard, while Tom and I were eating, my mother told us a story of a girl - who had been at the party - who came into the store where my mother worked to buy something.
She wanted to know if we ever got the bedding cleaned from the sick girl that night. Tom and I played dumb - and got away with it, but we learned our lesson. We never had another party - at least in that house - ever again.
Scott Franco, a member of the Mirror sports staff, is a husband and father of four. He can be reached at 946-7528 or sfranco@ altoonamirror.com.