Good Morning Gentle Readers,
Today is the day the 18th Amendment was repealed and Americans were given the explicit constitutional right to imbibe alcohol.
It is instructive to note that Prohibition decimated the wine industry in California, pushing the evolution of high quality wines out for a half century and changing forever our cultural views toward alcohol. Many wineries collapsed with the end of the market for legal wine. Unable to turn a profit on sacramental wine, others replanted wine grapes with juice grapes that resulted in a glut of low quality grapes that far outlasted the demise of Prohibition. One of the few wineries to survive Prohibition was Beringer.
And the human side. My grandmother's fiance was gunned down by federal agents at the Minnesota/Canadian border while trying to smuggle illegal hooch into the country. Family legend is unclear about who shot first, but it is thought that the feds opened fire and simply killed everybody. Grandma never talked about it but she remained single for many years before falling in love and marrying the Mean Old White Man at age 28.
Prohibition, like our modern
War on the Bill of Rights drug war, provided vast sums of cash to people like Frank Costello (Boss of New York's Five Families) and his alleged bootlegging partner Joe Kennedy. Unfortunately, America missed the lessons of Prohibition as it applies to drugs, choosing to spend billions of dollars and billions of police man-hours in the futile effort to prevent some junkie from sticking a needle in his arm. Last time I checked Bud and Coors weren't killing each other in a turf war over who gets to sell beer where. That's also instructive.
UPDATE: Thanks for your notes. I tried to fix it, but I can't figure out why Jeffrey's good reasons to celebrate displays screwy in Internet Explorer. It looks fine in Firefox.
- We have the constitutional right to do so. How many forms of pleasure are guaranteed by the Constitution? None, unless you’re one of those who get an inflated sense of ego from holding a firearm or speaking in public. Me, I’m going to stick with alcohol.
- It’s at the right time. Conveniently located about halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas, at a time when we’re probably not with our families, the Fifth of December represents a great time to get together with friends and celebrate our constitutional rights.
- Repeal Day doesn’t exclude. Are you an American, or are you located in the United States? Congratulations, you’re invited to join our party! Sorry, gay leprechauns, but Saint Patrick’s Day is off limits. Being French on Cinco de Mayo is about as cool as being British on the Fourth of July. But December Fifth is a day that’s open to anyone!
- It’s easy! There are no outfits to buy, costumes to rent, rivers to dye green. Simply celebrate the day by stopping by your local bar, tavern, saloon, winery, distillery, or brewhouse and having a drink. Pick up a six-pack on your way home from work. Split a bottle of wine with a loved one. Buy a shot for a stranger. Just do it because you can.
UPDATE: No, TWC does not smoke dope. Thanks for axing though.