Good Morning Gentle Readers,
Today is the day the 18th Amendment was repealed and Americans were given the explicit constitutional right to imbibe alcohol.
Oh now there's a threat. Pass that bottle to me. Pronto.
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 (the Law of Unintended Consequences) 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 machine gunned (Tommie Guns, man) in cold blood by federal agents at the Minnesota/Canadian border while smuggling illegal hooch into the country. Family legend is unclear about who shot first, but it is thought that the feds simply opened fire and killed everybody. Grandma never talked about it much, but she remained single for 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. What? You think JFK woulda been elected without the booze money?
Unfortunately, America missed the lessons of Prohibition, choosing to spend a trillion dollars and
billions of police man-hours in the futile effort
to prevent some junkie from sticking a needle in his arm. Been wildly successful too.
Last time I checked Bud and Coors weren't killing each other in turf wars over who gets to sell beer where. That's also instructive.
I'll leave you with a thought from the Duke.
Republic ... it means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose.
tip of the glass to Ms K for reminding me