October 2023


One of the enduring lessons I learned in school back in 1962 was: Tall girls can flirt and other queer things can do. 

Before any alert readers (ARs)  jump to unwarranted conclusions,  I need to emphasize that I did not learn this in a sex education class; and the teacher was not perpetuating gender stereotypes of any kind.  Rather, I learned it in a geology class as a mnemonic device to remember the Mohs Scale, which  ranked the relative hardness of minerals from one to ten. The letters T G C F A O Q T C D respectively stood for Talc (the softest mineral on the scale), Gypsum, Calcite, Fluorite, Apatite, Orthoclase, Quartz, Topaz, Corundum and  Diamond (the hardest). In other words, diamonds are literally the quintessential Hard Rock.

Speaking figuratively, as opposed to literally, the epitome of Hard Rock would have to be The Rolling Stones, often called “The Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band in the World.” With a combined net worth estimated well in excess of a billion dollars, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and their bandmates—like diamonds—are precious Stones indeed.

Some  ARs, even those who are not aficionados of Hard Rock, are probably aware that on October 20 The Rolling Stones are scheduled to release an album titled Hackney Diamonds,  featuring guest stars Elton John, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and former precious Stone Bill Wyman. Hackney, as some ARs undoubtedly know, is a district in East London and eponym for Hackney Carriages or taxicabs. In some American cities, most notably New York, the permit required to operate a taxicab is still called a “Hack License” as a result.

No Hackney diamonds on my 75th.

Hackney diamonds, it should be noted, are not literal diamonds.  Rather, they’re the pieces of broken glass resulting from car cloutings that are presumably commonplace in Hackney.  Most Hackney diamonds have a rank between 6.0 and 6.5 on the Mohs Scale, making them slightly softer than quartz and quite a bit softer than actual diamonds.

Eight days after the release of Hackney Diamonds, on the 105th anniversary of the creation of Czechoslovakia,  I’ll be celebrating my personal diamond jubilee, a milestone reached by the nation of Israel earlier this year.  In 1948, the same year Israel and I came into existence, the  democracy in Czechoslovakia was overthrown by a Communist coup.  Forty-four years later, in 1992, 74 years after its founding, Czechoslovakia broke apart into The Czech Republic and Slovakia.  In other words, Czechoslovakia was never as old as Israel and I are now.  My plan is to celebrate the occasion with a glass of Schlafly Beer that will not be dropped on the floor and reduced to a pile of Hackney diamonds.

Even at the ripe old age of 75 I’ll still be younger than octogenarians like Joe Biden, Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi, who aspire to be still running the country when I’m as old as they are.  I’ll also still be younger than Mick Jagger, another octogenarian, with a lot more apparent vigor than this afore-mentioned trio of politicians.  The Hard Rock lifestyle would appear to be pretty salubrious despite what some critics say.

As Hard Rock historians know, The Rolling Stones were founded in 1962.  Notwithstanding what some internet memes suggest, they’re not quite as old as the fossils I was studying in geology class that year.





Tom Schlafly
Chairman – The Saint Louis Brewery