Picture Abe Lincoln. Babe Ruth. Teddy Roosevelt. John Lennon.
Can you imagine their conversations over a beer or three? The heated discussions about politics? The talk about America's favorite pastime? The words about Dylan, the Stones and McCartney?
Well, these icons at one time patronized the Irish establishment pictured above (circa 1937).
It's better known as McSorley's in the East Village. And it is said to be New York City's oldest bar dating back to 1854.
Two Saturday nights ago, my sons and I sat at the table in the foreground. We shared the joint with a loud and lively crowd of men and women of all ages, from 21-year-olds to octogenarians and everyone in between.
Talking, laughing, yelling and yes, drinking beer. No doubt many offered their own solutions to the world problems of the day.
No fancy IPAs, Stouts or Lagers served here.
Just your choice of a white or dark ale. And because two beers are better than one, suds are served in pairs of seven to eight ounce glass mugs. Simply remember two words: light and dark. It’s the only type they offer. And cash only, please.
You want an appetizer you say? Sure, how does an unadorned platter of white cheddar slices and a sleeve of saltines sound?
Because that's what you get.
Everything's stripped down to the bare essence of a good time.
I thought about the stories the dark wood walls of McSorley's could tell.
Stories of love and joy.
Stories of anger and hate.
Stories of betrayal and revenge.
Stories of life.
Very compelling content, indeed.
In fact, enough ideas for a content writer to engage their audience for awhile. Make that a good...long...while.
Think about that the next time you struggle for an idea or angle into a story.
What things do people feel strongly about?
What keeps them awake at night?
What makes them laugh so hard they snort?
What brings joy to their daily grind?
Ask enough of those questions and you get unstuck quicker than the Great Bambino's swing at a pitch.
It's something skilled content writers and conscientious leaders already know. Not to mention the patrons frequenting McSorley's over the past 162 years.