(Nathaniel Grann/The Washington Post)

Colleen Platis

64, Woodbridge, writer and photographer

I remember that hot summer day, my 14-year-old self astride my bike waiting for my first boyfriend, Johnny. We were going on a picnic, and I had packed a lunch. Johnny was bringing Nehi Orange.

He skidded up, holding the bottles by their necks. I put the bottles in my basket with the peanut butter sandwiches, then asked him, “But how are we gonna open them?” He strained to pull a bottle opener out of his jeans, then dropped it in the basket.

Later, as we were riding home, I offered him Tap Boy back. “Keep it,” he said. “We will need it for our next picnic.” We never had another picnic, because my family moved 600 miles away at the end of that summer.

Tap Boy lived in my purse, and all through high school, it was popular, especially at impromptu tailgate parties.

It opened bottles of wine in my first apartment, and punched open cans of juice and formula when I became a young mother. It has been a constant in my life, and, often, when I use it, I remember that golden summer day.

This past summer, my daughter came to me with Tap Boy in her hand and said: “We are going on a picnic. Can we take this old opener for the beer?”

I hesitated but then surprised myself by saying: “Go ahead. Take it; it has not been on a picnic in a long time.”

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