Alcohol Is Still a Bad Idea
30 August 2004
The Christians lost the election special amendments vote in my hometown of Bremen this year and now the city is setting up the rules for selling mixed drinks. Several years ago we lost another battle and the 7-11 type stores began selling wine and beer. It has been downhill ever since. Now our town was not always alcohol free. Years ago, near the middle of the town, where the Hubbard’s Pant Factory now sits, was a vineyard planted by immigrants and a number of people from the old country were brewmeisters before they came to the United States. But for years the wine in town was what we call homemade and harder stuff was made in the Devil’s Kitchen and other covert places.
You could get something to drink at the VFW outside of town if you were one of the boys and if you were really connected you could buy a package through the back window. Boys did get hold of beer and wine. Some of us played cards and a few sipped a little at a little ramshackle cabin in the woods outside of Buchanan. One of those friends we shared time with back then became an alcoholic, struggling with the disease for years. Even back then some people got into trouble on the roads with drink, and we have had a few injured or killed in accidents from drink in spite of the restrictions on sales.
Some funny things happened. Before there was a four-lane road called Highway 27. The two-lane ran through the middle of town and intersected with Highway 120 right in the middle of the city. I was standing nearby the day a man stalled on the railroad track right at the intersection in a cherry 57 Chevy. We wondered why he got out and ran instead of accepting help till we discovered the whole back of the vehicle was filled with gallon jugs of ‘shine.” I suppose he had watched the old “Thunder Road” movie too many times.
The State Patrol took after me one night. They probably thought I was running moonshine in my old patched up wagon instead of the saddles and horse blankets I was actually carrying. Back then I was just crazy enough to give them a run. My two- niner-two and knowledge of back roads gave them quite a run, but the fact I could only afford so much twenty-seven cent a gallon gas meant I had to find a place to hide. They knew I had hid or gotten away somehow as soon as they ran our of my dust, but what they did not know was the place where they set up to watch for me to come out was so close to where I was hiding I could not only see them, I could actually hear them talking. We might have been there all night had they not been called away. Thinking back running was just plain dumb. We had not done anything to run for, we just did not want to be harassed. The Deputy Sheriff’s son I ran with and myself was just a little crazy. But that is how the drinking of alcohol kills people too. We did not need to drink to be stupid. But some people do.
My point in writing my memories is the use of alcohol is going to increase in my hometown and so is the death and injury. Not all the people who will be hurt in this way will be the people who drink the drinks. Some will be bystanders and some will be families of people whose loved ones cannot contain themselves concerning drink. Since I was a wild kid I have seen a lot of suffering from alcohol and several deaths including a counseling client who could not kick the habit. I would very much like to go back to the old days when the only alcohol that was tolerated around here was the kind of stuff my grandmother made in her kitchen. But then, my grandfather never drank more than an ounce or so for digestion and rest at the end of a hard day. People do not have that sort of restraint these days.
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113