Finally Beer Is Back
This month column was written by Bob's friend
Chuck "CC" Collan
When prohibition came into force, in 1920, saloons across the country
were boarded up and the streets foamed with poured out beer. But far
from ending corruption and vice, prohibition led to an unprecedented
explosion in criminality and drunkenness. National prohibition was
finally repealed in 1933, but it never quite died out. When alcohol
regulation was handed back to individual states, many local
communities voted to keep the restrictions in place, particularly in the
southern Bible Belt despite Prohibition dubious achievements.
Today there are still more than 200 "dry" counties in the United
States, and many more where cities and towns within dry areas have
voted to allow alcohol sales, making them "moist" or partially dry. But
hard economic times have accelerated the march of alcohol, and in
recent years many communities that have been dry for decades are
opting to end prohibition, for fear of losing business to their wet
Wiatsonburg, in the south-east corner of Kentucky, where I live, is the
latest community to take the plunge. The town has been dry for as
long as anyone can remember - apart from a few years following the
repeal of national prohibition. In my town there are no drive-through
beer joints or neon-lit roadhouses in unlike our wet neighbours, but
the vacant premises on Main Street and the forlorn, half-empty mall on
the edge of town, speak of a community in need of an economic
boost and that's why I voted to end the ban. And so did a majority of
Bootleggers once "ran wild" in this area but with the growing
availability of legal alcohol in nearby wet towns, any profit to made
from smuggling booze across county lines has largely evaporated.
Local law enforcement largely turns a blind eye to bootleggers now,
and few cases make it to court. Boiling it down to its essential
elements, it is simply somebody driving up the interstate, bringing beer
down here and selling it to people. That's it. It's not the Dukes of
I'm convinced that restricting the sale of alcohol in Wiatsonsburg will
not stop people from binge drinking or cut drink-driving deaths. It is
too easy to cross the state line into Tennessee, just 15 miles away,
and stock up on booze. You're always going to have drunk drivers.
There are some people who just don't know when. But you have
responsible folks too, and you can't punish everybody for what the
few does. You just can't do it!
Bob, your readers might be surprised to know that the majority of
Kentucky's 120 counties are still dry or partially dry, despite the state
being home to some of the world's best-known liquor brands, such as
Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon. Compare that to the fact that
97% of America is where you can get alcohol. We’ve been in the lower
three percent. Now it's time for jobs, restaurants and freedom of
When the votes were counted last week in a special election to change
the dry law my side won (but really the whole town won) by a slim 14
votes, voters. I would take it even if it was by one vote. So Bob, the
next time you stop by for a visit I'm going to buy you a beer!
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Bob and Friends Speak of Beer......
My thanks to CC for this month's column.
See you next time to
"speak about beer".
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column? Just e-mail your article to Bob HERE.